LONDON – Ford’s 1-litre EcoBoost engine installed in the Focus is winning considerable media praise around Europe. Here is a digest of what the motoring writer of The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling daily newspaper, had to say about the car and its engine:
“It is a brilliant 1-litre petrol engine - a game changer for mainstream cars. The Ford engine has the same power as a 1.6-litre petrol and the 58 mpg economy of a supermini diesel — and from this month it is going into the Focus.
“I don’t normally get excited about what’s under the bonnet unless it’s a V8 and small eco engines leave me cold. So my initial reaction to a little 1-litre in a Focus was that it would be a recipe to ruin an excellent car.
I expected a gutless, noisy effort, too small for the car. How wrong I was.
“As for the rest of the driving package, it’s the same top-drawer handling that puts the Focus to the top of the class, with pin-sharp steering and a comfortable ride to boot.
“On the inside, it’s a totally practical family car with room for five adults and plenty of boot space but this model is all about the engine.
“Ford know it will be difficult to persuade motorists that a 1-litre engine can be fun and refined in a family-sized car. But if they get them behind the wheel the engine will sell itself. I expect this gem to start a trend that persuades car buyers to switch back to petrol — and diesel’s domination may be under threat like never before.”
Other UK publications are equally as impressed. Autocar, says the light-weight three-cylinder engine is a “game changer.” It adds: “Paper figures don't prepare you for the driving experience. You barely hear the thing start, and it idles so smoothly you'd swear it had stalled. Your brain tells you such a small engine will need lots of revs off the mark, but it gets going easily because the combination of a tiny turbo, advanced electronic engine management and double variable valve timing give it amazing oomph in the low gears. Amazingly, the car is even long-legged. You've got to be indicating nearly 90mph before the tacho shows 3,000rpm in sixth, and it can maintain this up hill and down dale.”
What Car? asks itself “what’s it like to drive?” The reply: “Extraordinary is not too strong a word. You might expect such a small three-cylinder engine to be unrefined, but this isn't the case. Outright performance feels at least a match for the 1.6, as it should given the fact it has equal power and less weight. However, it's the driveability of this engine that is most impressive.”