By Drew Johnson
Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:39 pm
 
Performance vehicles have long relied on big, burly engines, but technologies like turbocharging and direct-injection are starting to change that. In fact, Ford has revealed it is working on a hot-rodded version of its 1.0L three-cylinder engine.

'High-performance' isn't the first term that comes to mind when discussing an engine with half the displacement of a bottle of soda, but Gunnar Herrmann, vehicle line director for the Focus, revealed to Autocar that Ford is at least considering a high-performance version of the 1.0L EcoBoost engine.

The regular version of the 1.0L engine already produces well beyond the magical 100 horsepower per liter barrier - the three-cylinder overachieves with 123 horsepower - but Ford could be eying a mark closer to the 200hp/L mark for a high-performance version of the motor.

According to Autocar, Ford is working on a 177 horsepower version of the 1.0L EcoBoost engine. The rumored mill employs an electric supercharger feeding a turbocharger borrowed from Ford's larger 1.6L EcoBoost engine. No word on what kind of torque the motor is developing, but a figure close to 200 lb-ft can't be ruled out.

Although impressive for its size, 177 horsepower isn't exactly enough to set the world on fire, so the hopped-up 1.0L would likely be reserved for a performance model of the Focus below the 247 horsepower Focus ST. The engine could also be used in a performance version of the smaller Fiesta.

No word on when a performance version of the three-cylinder might launch, but Ford says it plans to produce up to 1.3 million units of the engine per year. The company is also rumored to be working on a 320 horsepower version of a 2.3L EcoBoost engine.