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1L Ford Eco-boost

The One & Only Ford 1L Ecoboost Engine ^^ Wow

With 123HP and 90% of the available 148 lb-ft of overboost torque available at 1350rpms, this little beast produce the same power output per liter as the 8L engine from the Bugatti Veyron^^

January 2015 Update *** 

***Make sure to check Fuelly, and see how the vehicles with this engine are doing for their real world fuel economy achievements. You will see a range of figures that people achieve, which is due to differences in driver behavior and the routes that people drive. You can get a sense for what you might expect from a given vehicle by taking a look at the same vehicle that other people are already operating. The automotive news lately has bashed the EcoBoost program engines at Ford for not delivering the claimed fuel economy numbers in many EcoBoost vehicles. The 1L engine is the exception to the rule, and in every way delivers hybrid like fuel economy in vehicles that make use of this small 1L engine.***

This 1L Eco-boost engine is nothing short of completely amazing for 2014 : coming from Ford Motors, a company steeped deeply into the automotive history books. This engine has actually been in the real world since 2011. 

More than 5 million man hours of engineering spanning 4 different Ford development centers went into this motor. All of this engineering produced an engine that is the winner of the International Engine of the Year award for 3 consecutive years *12,13&14*

This 1L eco-boost engine one of the most interesting bits of industrial art and science Ford has ever produced. The tiny eco-boost turbo-charger spools to a blistering speed of 248,000 rpms, nearly twice as fast as most other turbos. The small light fast design of the turbos exhaust turbine minimizes spool-up time so that turbo lag is almost completely eliminated.

The aluminum engine head feeds the turbo through an integrated exhaust header. The head has its own cooling system, which allows the exhaust system to warm up quickly for clean burning operation while keeping the turbo system cool. The computer aided engineering (CAE) was used extensively to design the turbo boosting system and head integrated exhaust header.

The iron alloy block also has its own cooling system which improves warm up time while providing additional cooling capacity for the combustion cylinders for enhanced clean burning energy extraction from the fuel.

High speed computer controlled continuously variable dual overhead valve timing allows for smooth direct injection and combustion optimization in this wonderful 12 valve engine. The computer can control valve overlap to optimize combustion under different load conditions, giving the engine controller the capacity to clean the intake valves, maximize thermal efficiency, and minimize turbo spool times such that it renders performance similar to a diesel engine with all of the benefits of regular gas.

Special piston coatings and low tension piston rings reduce friction in the reciprocating parts of the engine. A newly developed oil lubricated self adjusting cam belt system also reduces friction losses. Each of these optimizations adds about 1 percentage point of fuel efficiency improvement, and with many overlapping innovations the savings add up. 

2014 Ford Fiesta 1L Ecoboost 5sp vs Motortrend 
This engine was so well engineered that I am tempted to go buy a 2014 Ford Fiesta SE Manual with the 1L Eco-boost. I actually like the 5 door hatch back version of the Fiesta, everything except the name. The Fiesta is a great compact car, especially in the 5 door hatchback layout that maximizes utility. I am also fond of the idea that the Fiesta Eco-boost is only available with a 5sp manual transmission.  If one is looking for decent fuel economy and wow inducing performance Ford makes a Fiesta ST performance version that is much faster with its 1.6L Eco-boosted engine setup and 6sp manual. 

A review of the Eco-boost 1L Ford Fiesta 5sp 

"I Was Blown Away By The Brute Force Of America's Tiniest Car Engine" 

If this engine is a sign of times to come, I am buzzing with excitement about it, because it is symbolic and emblematic of 1L motorcycle engine performance migrating into economy cars that everyone can afford ^^

Energy and Power Density 

I think of engines like small power plants, where the power output of the engine can be measured in Kilowatts like that of a generator. Small high output engines get me all hot and bothered because they can produce higher energy density mobile power systems. If we want hybrid cars that can fly, energy dense power systems are the key technology. 

In aircraft, fossil fueled internal combustion engines dominate because of their high power density. 1 gallon of gas has more than 30kWh of embedded chemical energy and weighs less than 7lbs : the Lithium Ion battery in my 2013 Nissan L S stores 24kWh and weights about 600lbs by comparison: but it is charge recyclable thousands of times unlike gas burning which is a disposable process.

When gas is burned it is a highly product favored reaction that is impractical to reverse. An example of an ideal reaction between methane and oxygen follows:CH
 + 2 O
 → CO
 + 2 H

Only plants in nature using abundant amounts of sunlight have the ability to turn CO2 back into stored carbon (oil/ coal) at an industrial scale.

I love Technology
As a child I watched the Jetson's on TV; here comes George Jetson, and their flying cars gave me an early Jones on for the future. A child the early 1980's, I am fully bent into the technology tradition of post modern globalization.

Space X that Solar City in a Self Driving Google Car with Asimo in back ^^ I love technology : the Toyota Prius, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model S, the Saturn 5 Rocket, Noncrystalline Solar Panels, Lithium Ion, Intel, LCD, OLED, LED, Electric Motors, Energy Storage, Hydro-power, Wind Turbines, Nuclear Energy: add this 1L Ecoboost engine to the list.

The future is going to be awesome: mate this little engine gem to a pancake IMA style electric motor, and a super hybrid would become possible. More good things are on the way!

Thorium Ion Electric Vehicles

Staying optimistic, the year 2083 has me all up in a fuzz at the thought of battery electric vehicle powered by a solid state thorium ion battery good for tens of thousands of miles of zero emissions no plug in energy : in fact the only thing you will be plugging the thorium ion battery from your vehicle into is your future home: when the battery electric thorium ion car is not being driven, it can power the electrical systems of your home.
Ford 1L Eco-boost

Back to the turbo-charged steam-punk perfected Ford 1L Eco-boost, and we have the cutting edge of engine technology from today :) Take a look at the video in the following link! 

How the 1L Eco-Boost Engine Works

The exhaust harmonics of the 3 cylinder engine help the tiny turbo charger inhale exhaust effectively, to spool up a light weight low lag compressor wheel to provide modest boost pressure for the intake: and from 1350rpms, this little beast pumps out over 100 lb-ft of torque, almost like an electric motor or diesel engine: but it runs on regular pump gas. The variable valve wizardry, direct injection and turbo-charging make it all possible. In Ford lingo each technology is the Led of a three legged stool on-top of which the Eco-boost technology operates.

Direct fuel injection aids in power output, cleaner emissions and better combustion efficiency. With multi-jet nozzle high pressure injectors, the fuel atomizes more effectively, giving rise more power and cleaner burning. The compact high pressure fuel pump is driven by a modified cam lobe. 

A variable displacement oil pump wastes less of the engines energy at higher RPM's, where most other oil pumps are overproducing oil pressure and reducing power output and efficiency.

Energy efficiency and performance in engines go hand in hand. If engine designers can make an engine with less friction, it can produce more power from less fuel. If the engineers can reduce the weight of the pistons, connecting rods, and valves, the engine can breath more easily, and convert more of the fuels chemical energy into mechanical output for driving. 

Better engines give both better performance and improved fuel economy with reduced emissions. When you improve an engine you improve a vehicle. Ford went to the moon on over engineering the 1L Eco-boost to the point where it has received repeated international acclaim. Ford claims that we live in "and" society, and that people want more power, better fuel economy and cleaner emissions.

At 215lbs, this mostly iron engine is relatively heavy for its compact small size, but light by contrast to the engines in most vehicles.

The 1L eco-boost engine is not perfect, it just excellent. Among the engines available on modern cars, this is one of the best. In a lighter smaller vehicle like the 2014 Ford Fiesta, the 1L eco-boost shines. Reviewers note that you have to rev it up a little to get it going: remember it is only 1L and 3 cylinders : the Eco-boost turbo putting the magic into the action.

DI Intake Valve Carbon 

As I continued reading about direct-injection engines I found that many gasoline direct injection or GDI engines have a common problem of carbon deposits forming on the intake valves in the engines head. Ford's 1L Eco-boost engine utilizes direct injection with conservative turbo-charging and dual continuously variable valve timing.

In port-injection engines the gasoline being sprayed behind the intake valves helps to keep the valves clean of any goo because gasoline is a solvent. In direct injection engines goo can form on the back of the intake valves. Over time the heated intake valves bake on the goo and it carbon deposits form. Be not alarmed, Ford is well aware of the issue and has already rolled out a solution across their product lines. See the evidence :

Ford Patent #US6178944 describing a method to clean the valves of a direct injection spark ignition engine:

Patent US6178944 - Valve cleaning method for direct injection spark ignition engine - Google Patents

"A control method and system is described for a spark ignited, four-stroke engine having multiple combustion chambers, each coupled to at least one intake and one exhaust valve, a fuel injection system for injecting fuel directly into each combustion chamber, and an electronically controlled throttle for throttling air inducted through an intake manifold into the combustion chambers. Comprising:

1) Detecting when to initiate an intake valve cleaning;
2) Indicating when the engine is operating in a homogeneous mode wherein the throttle is partially closed and fuel is injected during an engine intake stroke to generate a homogeneous air/fuel mixture; and
3) in response to said valve cleaning detection and said homogeneous mode indication, injecting additional fuel during a valve overlap of the intake and exhaust valves so that fuel is drawn into the intake manifold and subsequently inducted back into the combustion chamber past the intake valve.

Hyper-mile that Ecoboost 1L 

I would be curious to try hypermiling one of these 1L eco-boost equipped 2014 Ford Fiesta's. A trip over to Fuelly shows the average for the 2014 1L eco-boost Fiesta hovering around 40MPG. I know that with careful gentle smooth driving it is possible to get much better than EPA fuel economy. Using a set of techniques colloquially referred to as hypermiling, it is possible to minimize fuel consumption in order to maximize driving range.

Bring Start-Stop to America

This engine needs to be utilized in a vehicle with Start Stop so as to improve the city fuel economy. In the UK ford sells the Focus with the 1L eco-boost, but also regenerative brake charging, auto-start stop, and a few other efficiency tweaks sold under the Econetic badge. It looks like it will 2017 before Ford launches an Eco-boost Econetic version of the Fiesta or Focus in America. 

Where I live in downtown Bellevue Wa, traffic congestion is perfectly normal, and low speeds are common with lots of stop and go. Start-stop works great in these conditions. The 2005 Toyota Prius we drive has auto-start stop which contributes to its superlative ~46MPG combined lifetime fuel economy average. 

Migrating out to the surrounding suburban areas in Puget Sound is also a traffic nightmare as Microsoft has imported hundreds of thousands of mediocre to bad drivers from other countries. Everyone seems to want to live within 10 miles of Lake Washington. 

Washington Drivers 

If you pa-rouse any of the parking low where I live and examine the vehicle bumpers your will notice lots of dings. Our previously square curbs now look like the surface of the moon because of all the brilliant driving taking place around here. I have driven in 40 other US states and have never seen so many bad drivers in one area. The Washington DOL should be ashamed of itself for handing out drivers licenses to anyone who can speak any language while fogging up a mirror, regarding of whether or not they posses any safe driving skills.

5sp Only :)

On that note, few if any of these low skill drivers would be able to operate the manual only transmission 2014 Ford Fiesta with the Eco-boost engine :) This means that only "Drivers" are buying this car, so the Fuelly numbers are a little lower since people seem to enjoy the over-boost function on the new turbo-1L Fiesta cars. For 15 seconds the Torque peak can be raised from 125 ft-lbs to 148 ft-lbs by an automatic over-boost function that engines when you step on it for overtaking, passing or hard acceleration. The 1L eco-boost Fiesta is not going to light up the tires much off the line as it takes a moment for its power output to shine: reviewers noting that it launches really well from a rolling start.

Turbo Chargers are Awesome 

As Fords head of engine development noted in one of the Eco-boost videos, the turbo-chargers of today are a lot more robust than the short lived units of the 1980's. Turbo-diesel engines have been a mainstay as commercial vehicle power sources in vehicles that rack up 1 million miles or more on an engine. The turbo-chargers used in these heavy duty diesel engines hold up exceptionally well over time and keep going in going for thousands of hours of operation.

They are like little jet engine air pumps, that take hot combustion gases to create mechanical energy that compresses air. In many ways turbo-chargers coupled to an internal combustion engine have things in common with turbine engines from aircraft. They sound cool too, especially the louder units on commercial diesel engines. Waste-gates and blow-off valves on turbo-charged engines can sound cool too.

OEM Turbo Only

What I never liked was the idea of turbo-charging and engine that was not designed to be turbo-charged. The increased thermal loads an pressure from the turbo makes an engine less reliable unless the engine was designed to be turbo charged. Turbo-charging and engine increases its fuel consumption, unless the engine was downsized in the first place. Ford's Eco-boost engines take this smaller, high pressure, direct injection, valve wizard approach that gives more power, better fuel economy and cleaner emissions.


I am hard pressed to think of a another turbo-vehicle that I would like to have for fun except for the Subaru WRX. Perhaps more than anything else the WRX speaks to my formative years of automotive indoctrination when I would watch the world rally car championships on the Speed Channel at my parents house when I was in high school. A healthy dose of grand turismo on playstation back then also got my moto-petro performance geek core stoked. My automotive enthuse friends in high school were into big trucks and off-road/ ing by contrast. I never ended up buying a WRX because of its horrendously poor 18mpg average fuel economy. The accounting frugal person in me thought of the high operating costs at then $2.50/ gallon and thought that 18mpg was just too expensive to run. How many gallons per hour? too many!

My Vehicular History

My first job was at Park Place LTD, a luxury exotic car dealership in Bellevue WA : known for selling unusual expensive used vehicles. This position fueled my interest in automobiles even more. I have roots at a motorsports enthusiast that translated into my first super-sport motorcycle purchase, a 1999 Honda F4. My second car was a 1992 Nissan 240sx Type X : that I drifted with enjoyment until it was totaled when I slid it into a landscaping boulder. I replaced this car with a more tame 1.8L 1995 Toyota Celica. The Prius II was my first automatic, and was the result of my shift in focus towards clean technology vehicles : the 295ft-lbs of torque it offered through the PSD helped to win over some of my loyalties that contributed to my decision to get the 2005 Prius. 

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