As gas prices climb over $4 a gallon and sales of full size SUV's continue to decline, the American auto industry is shifting its focus and looking to capitalize on a fundamental shift in the mind-set of consumers who are buying smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

Looking to appeal to this demographic, Ford is gearing up to launch its smallest capacity engine and it has less cylinders than any engine they've ever produced. The new, three-cylinder, 1.0-liter EcoBoost will be introduced in all small Ford cars and will have an offset crankshaft for improved fuel economy. To lower exhaust gas temperatures and drop weight, the new engine has split cooling system that allows the cylinder block to warm up before the cylinder head. As well, the exhaust manifold is cast directly into the cylinder head.


The EcoBoost engine was first unveiled at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show in the Ford Start concept. This year it was featured in the Ford B-Max at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

When designing the EcoBoost, engineers at Ford's Dunton Technical Center in the U.K. focused on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction, specifically as the engine warms up because this is when higher levels of pollutants are emitted.

No specific figures have been released, however Ford says the new engine will perform equal to or better than most normal 1.6 liter gasoline engines. Details about the EcoBoost will be revealed in September at at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

[Via Gizmag]

Credit: Ford Motors