Ford's 3-cylinder 1.0 Engine
Gas in Europe hovers around $8 a gallon, in Canada, $5, in the USA, $4. Is there a bad omen here that is trending? Maybe, but Ford seems to think so, So, they are introducing its 1.0 three cylinder engine that allows for more MPH with less fuel consumption.
This engine has a turbo, The block itself is the size of a suitcase yet delivers 123 hp and 148 pounds of torque AND still get a whopping 50 MPG on the highway. That is significant for those who need this as a commute car.
The engine is Europe's most popular choice. Its proven and putting many four cylinder turbos in the back seat. Ford calls it "Ecoboost", and has already 141,000 in cars across Europe and plans to increase this to 480,000 by 2015. Not to be outdone, GM is spending $215 million to create their own 1.0 engine. Their smallest is 1.2 liter in the Chevy Spark (which is a very underpowered car). Also, not to be outdone, BMW will have its own little engine in their i8 hybrid sports car. In fact, all car makers are planning a three cylinder engine.
The battle for the best MPG car will be a Ford Fiesta at $15K, a Toyota Prius costs $25K. Ford is even halting its production of its 4-cylinder 1.6 engine that has been around for at least 20 years because it all comes down to driving on the cheap. If you can get 50 MPG from a gasoline engine, keep the price low, many will buy the car. Of course, second in line are diesel cars because they already get near that MPG in the VW TDI series engines found in the Jetta and Passat since 2005. Diesel is found at most gas stations, but not all. Electric cars still suffer from charging stations and very limited range yet cost $25,000.
Ford has solved the 3-cylinder problem, vibration and shaking common with these engines. Drivers in Europe seem to agree, Ford solved it and now taking the engine to the American market because one day, gas will be $5. The price of fuel will only rise, level off, and rise again. The days of the large V8 and V6 may be decreasing in cars. The rise of the 3-cylinder seems to be the answer for the years to come.