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Ford adds Ecoboost engine

The company has rolled out the next instalment of its EcoBoost engine story, which will eventually be sold in future Fiestas and Focuses. The 1.6-litre four cylinder engine is the smallest so far in Ford's new engine lineup that now includes a 2.0-litre four and 3.5-litre V6.

"The new family of Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder petrol engines coming in 2010 is a key element of Ford Motor Company's global blueprint for sustainability," according to Ford of Europe chairman, John Fleming.

"We believe these engines will provide customers with a genuinely attractive alternative to diesel or hybrid power units." The smaller 1.6-litre engine unveiled this week will span power outputs in the 112kW to 135kW range.

It is likely to arrive first in the C-Max people mover just unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The EcoBoost strategy will also filter down to small-capacity four-cylinder engines under 110kW. The larger 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine makes its first rear-wheel drive appearance in the local Ford Falcon from 2011.

Fleming also gave the first indication of the Falcon four's likely power output, saying the 2.0-litre engine will cater for applications of 150kW and above. This means the Falcon four could have more than 150kW on tap but still be under the six's 195kW/391Nm. However, direct injection, twin variable valve timing and turbo-charging is expected to deliver a broader spread of torque from around 1500 revs.

Ford also expects the EcoBoost four to deliver fuel economy gains of up to 20 per cent and 15 per cent fewer greenhouse gases than an equivalent six-cylinder. Ford Australia engineers have already started development work on the four and will soon start testing it in local Falcons.

The four-cylinder EcoBoost engines in Ford's European range arrives early next year and will be called SCTi, for sequential charge turbo injection. Apart from the fuel-efficient 1.6, Ford used the Frankfurt Motor Show to show off its latest Econetic car, the Focus, which boasts economy of 3.2 litres/100km and greenhouse emissions of just 99g/km.

The new Focus Econetic is powered by an 80kW 1.6-litre turbodiesel with a particulate filter to lower greenhouse emissions. It joins Econetic versions of the Fiesta and Mondeo in Europe. Ford Australia is on track to launch the Fiesta Econetic in November, which promises real-world fuel economy of 3.7 litres/100km.

The company is closely watching the success of its Econetic range in Europe, which includes a Mondeo, but it will test the water with the Fiesta first. Ford Australia spokesperson, Sinead McAlary, says there is a strong push to make Econetic a strong brand within the local Ford structure. "If it gets the response we think it will, then we will extend it across other models," she says.

McAlary expects the Econetic Fiesta to have wide appeal, not just for fleet buyers. It will also be priced more competitively than some hybrids. Ford Australia has not released pricing yet but based on the European car, an Econetic Fiesta should be about $3000 more than the top-end Zetec model.