Ford will break new ground in engine downsizing when it offers its tiny 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in the next version of its big Mondeo saloon.
The 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost has already impressed professional testers and mainstream car buyers alike in the Focus and the B-Max and will shortly turn up in the Fiesta too. Turbocharging and other tricks have given the 1.0 EcoBoost the power and refinement of a normally aspirated engine almost twice its size but it will be interesting to see how mainstream car buyers, accustomed to using engine size as a proxy for performance, will take to such a small power unit in a car as big as the Mondeo. Ford hasn't yet revealed full details but is promising “best in class” fuel economy and CO2 emissions of less than 130g/km.
The innovative 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine reflects a broader shift in Ford's market positioning. For the best part of a century it built its reputation as a pioneer of mass production techniques and sometimes stylish but always basic and affordable cars. First it worked on the sophistication of its products, becoming a leader in chassis development, and now it is increasingly becoming an aggressive technical innovator, both in drivetrains with the 1.0 EcoBoost- so far unmatched by any other manufacturer – and in-car technology such as the voice-driven SYNC system.