EcoBoost Winning Hearts And Minds
A recent visit to my local Ford dealer served as a reminder as to just how good their current engine range is.
While waiting for the lady on the service desk to finish a particularly lengthy discussion with a friendly old gentleman, who seemed oblivious to the queue of people behind him, I got chatting to a salesman. We got onto the subject of the new EcoBoost engine range and how it’s transforming how people view small engines.
It seems that despite initial fears many customers are starting to see the benefits of downsizing. There had been some apprehension amongst the sales force that many of the … how do I put this? … ‘older’ buyers would not understand that a 1.0-litre engine could be just as powerful as a good old 1.6-litre. They’d never appreciate the benefits of turbocharging and CO2 emissions and would probably walk out of the showroom muttering something about “too complicated” and “don’t build ’em like they used to”.
Well, it seems that the message is getting across. Buyers of the Fiesta and Focus are warming to the little 1.0-litre three pot and the good old 1.6-litre’s days seem to be numbered. Ford’s marketing seems to be working as buyers are swayed by the promise of improved economy and cheaper fuel bills. Mind you, it only takes a quick test drive to be convinced that the little engines are more than up to the job of propelling a mid-sized hatchback.
But what really caught my eye was a press cutting on the waiting room table showing the road-going Formula Ford that was recently fitted with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and let loose on the legendary Nurburgring. If there’s a way to make people sit up and take notice of new technology it’s to do something a bit crazy like this.
Never mind lower CO2 figures, slightly cheaper road tax and a few extra miles to the gallon – this is a road-legal race car that weighs little more than a sack of potatoes but has almost as much power as Ford’s hottest hatch, the Focus ST, which is also powered by an EcoBoost engine. Although at 2 litres it’s got twice the capacity of the Formula Ford’s engine.
The result? 60mph in under 4 seconds, a top speed of 158mph and the ability to return 57mpg when crusing at 75mph. That’s how you make economical engines look fun! If anything Ford aren’t making enough of this mini marvel. Perhaps they ought to get it out on a tour of dealerships and get a bit of a crowd in. Most people would be amazed at just how close the engine is to the one they could buy in a humble Fiesta.
If you’re one of the few doubters left in the world who don’t see the advantages of sticking turbos onto small engines then head on over to the Go Further website and have a click around.