Dearborn, Michigan – Ford will launch a new 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder in North America, the smallest engine it has ever built. The company will also introduce an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission, and a new Michigan-built transmission that will be used in the company’s next generation of hybrid vehicles.

The 1.0-litre engine was designed at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in the U.K. The engine will be available globally in the company’s small cars and “will also play an important role in North America,” the company said, although it did not specify which models would use it or when it will be introduced. Ford said that the engine will deliver horsepower and torque outputs equivalent to or better than most naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre gasoline engines.

The engine will include an offset crankshaft to improve fuel economy, a Ford-designed split cooling system that allows the block to warm up before the cylinder head to save fuel in cold weather, and an exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head, which lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases, saving weight and enabling the engine to run in a wider rpm band with optimum fuel-to-air ratio.

Ford has never built a regular production car engine with fewer than four cylinders, the company said. The engine was first seen in the Ford Start concept that was shown at the Beijing and Geneva Motor Shows. More information and application details will be released in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

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