Coming Soon: Three cylinder cars
Propelled by coming new Federal regs for better fuel economy from cars, Ford announced that its Focus model will have a three cylinder engine with a turbo in it. The little 97 kg engine will produce 118 hp with only tres cylinders. The tiny 1.0L engine is no longer than 14", yet creates more horsepower than its current 1.6L 4 cylinder. VW is already selling its, Up, compact car in Germany with a 3-cylinder engine, and BMW has one in development.
There is a real mindset in consumers about a car with only ONLY three cylinders. The last ones sold in the US were in the 90s, the Suzuki Swift and Chevy Metro. The main issue with these little tiny engines is lack of power, which Ford thinks has solved the problem. Maybe.
A car weighing 23-2500 lbs is light and if powered by a 100 hp engine, the car will be a dog when accelerating. Just drive the new Fiat 500C, or a 1991-94 Mercury Capri automatic without a turbo. They all have 100 hp engines. But add another 15 hp, and things are much more powering. Remember the old VWs, their engine was less than 100 hp and remember them chugging up a hill?
The downsizing of cars is mostly because the price of gas hovering around $4 a gallon in the US, yet, consumers still want power. Because gas will more likely go up and not down, Ford and other carmakers are seeing the trend.
More by this Author
Typical 2 carb 110 hp Corvair engine in aircraft engine without shroud cover The weather gap under the oil cooler The Chevrolet Corvair is America's most unique car built from 1960-69. Then and now, the Corvair had...
1966 Corvair Corsa The Chevrolet Corvair remains one of America's best car's to collect with over 100,000 still on the road in various states of condition. Chevrolet made over 1.5 million of them from...
It has become iconic for its style and grace worn in 1963 during the Kennedy assassination, yet it is mystery.