Can the 1-liter engine really ‘pull’ the Ford EcoSport?

30/01/2012 - 04:23 | ,  ,   | Kaustubh Shinde

The world was stunned to see the Ford EcoSport concept in India at the 2012 Auto Expo. A jaw dropping, gorgeous design coupled with oodles of road presence and excellent fuel economy – surely that’s what dreams are made of. The 1.5L TDCi powering the Ecosport is very much understandable because a lot of SUVs use a 1.5L-1.6L diesel engines to propel themselves (eg – Renault Duster) and they do a pretty decent job.

Ford Ecoboost 1L

The mind boggling part is a 1 liter Ecoboost engine that will power the petrol version of the Ford Ecosport. Can a 1 liter engine really provide a fire power need to propel a SUV?

In today’s world of turbo-charging and supercharging, the ‘cc’ or displacement of the engine is less relevant. Where a Dodge Viper uses an 8 liter engine to produce 600 HP, a Nissan GT-R uses twin turbos on a 3.8L engine to generate 550 bhp. Adding to that, the fuel efficiency is generally greater in downsized engines that are turbocharged/supercharged.

But how many ponies can you extract from 1 liter engine? More importantly, will it have enough torque to provide adequate acceleration?

Car Magazine has provided some insights on this topic. So let’s try to understand them in a lay man’s terms:

  • The first advantage is the weight of the engine itself. The engine is one of the heaviest component of a car. So a heavy engine adds to the overall weight of the car thus affecting its own power to weight ratio. The 1-liter Ecoboost engine is small, in fact it can fit on an A4 sheet.
  • Ford has reduced the weight of the engine by not fitting the balancer shaft. The balancer shaft is responsible for balancing the vibrations from the engines. To offset the missing balancer shaft, Ford engineers have designed the flywheel slightly out of balance.
  • To further reduce the weight of the engine, the engineers have also combined the exhaust manifold with the cylinder head casting.
  • The 1 liter engine uses an advanced design of turbocharger, has twin variable camshaft timing, uses low friction coatings on some internal components to save more energy and the crank is offset slightly to align more efficiently with the pistons’ connecting rods. This ensures that none of the engine’s firepower is wasted when it is being delivered to the wheels.

The result of all of this technologies is that the 1 liter engine actually produces up to 118 hp and a healthy 170Nm of torque which is more than what you get from let’s say a 1.6L Petrol DOHC engine in the Renault Duster.

However, this THEORETICAL explanation only provides a close estimation of the drivability of the Ford Ecosport. The actual drivability can only be commented on when we get hold of one.

We can’t wait to drive the Ford Ecosport, Can you?


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