Originally published on Cleantechnica By Tina Casey.
Just in time for the 2014 Go Further With Ford auto trend conference in Dearborn, here comes news that Ford’s new super-efficient EcoBoost 1.0-liter engine has just been named International Engine of the Year for the third year in a row, and it also garnered the honor for Best Engine in the under 1.0-liter class. That’s according to a survey of 82 automotive journalists at Engine Expo 2014 in Stuttgart.
We were just talking about a bigger version of the EcoBoost, which is standard on that all new 2015 Ford Edge crossover SUV. The 1.0 version is in the Ford Fiesta available now and it will be available later this year on the 2015 Focus.
The Ford EcoBoost Engine
We happened to be visiting Dearborn (okay, so we were invited by Ford) last December and we caught a hands-on look at the Ford EcoBoost engine, so here are a few more details about the 1.0.
For starters, the three-years-in-a-row achievement is unprecedented. It brings the 1.0 EcoBoost up to 13 awards, including a Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics and a Ward’s 10 Best Engines award in the three-cylinder class, which is a first for any automaker.
Performance-wise, the 1.0 liter EcoBoost has a compact turbocharger that clocks in at a maximum rpm that compares to 2014 Formula 1 engines. We don’t really know what that means in terms of the numbers but we had a chance to experience it on the road when a Ford staffer offered us an “enthusiastic” spin in a Fiesta around the high-speed track at Ford’s Dearborn facility.
For those of you in the know, we’ll admit there’s a 70 mph limit on the high-speed track but hey you can still feel the burn.
Of more interest to the clean tech angle are the efficiency refinements. Some of them relate directly to fuel efficiency, and others help enhance life cycle factors that have more to do with general resource conservation.
As Ford describes it, the 1.0 liter can fit into an airplane overhead luggage compartment, but packed into that space is a system for cooling exhaust temperatures that provides for an optimal fuel-to-air ratio.
Here’s some more green goodies:
An innovative flywheel and front pulley design delivers improved refinement compared with traditional three-cylinder engine designs.
Engine friction is reduced by specially coated pistons, low-tension piston rings, low-friction crank seals and a cam-belt-in-oil design.
A variable-displacement oil pump tailors lubrication to demand and optimizes oil pressure for improved fuel efficiency.
Engines With Benefits
As Ford describes it the 1.0-liter EcoBoost delivers “big-car benefits from a small engine.”
That goes to the heart of a conversation we’ve been having about the future of liquid fuel. While first-generation biofuel has some serious ball-and-chain issues in terms of sustainability, the emergence of next-generation sources means that gasmobiles have the potential for a sustainable supply chain far into the future, even as the electric vehicle market grows.
Efficiency enhancements like the EcoBoost series and the advent of new lightweight materials will also contribute to that trend.
Speaking of contributing, the EcoBoost is the result of an intensive collaborative effort involving more than 200 Ford engineers and designers.
Collaboration also emerged as a running theme throughout the Go Further with Ford conference, and we’ll have more details on that in a later post.