There are a number of ways to increase fuel efficiency, turboboosting, as used in the new Ford EcoBoost engine lineup, adds power, but also reduces fuel consumption.
It may seem counterintuitive to make an engine more powerful to reduce fuel consumption, but it all depends on when you add that power. Adding cylinders and displacement certainly adds power, but dramatically decreases fuel efficiency, which is why the 50th Anniversary Ford Mustang, equipped with a 5.0ℓ V8 may be a qualifier in the quarter-mile sprint, but not for Green Car of the Year.
On the other end of the spectrum, Ford Fiesta’s tiny 1.0ℓ i3 turboboosted engine is very thrifty because of its small displacement, just 20% of the Mustang’s, and somewhere near 40mpg compared to the Mustang’s 19mpg. The turbobooster helps the small engine generate up to 123hp and 148lb•ft of torque, power needed to get the Fiesta going from a stop, but entirely unnecessary when cruising on the highway.
The combination of turboboosting and small displacement hasn’t gone unnoticed as other manufacturers are looking for ways to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. MG is taking cues from the Ford EcoBoost lineup and will introduce a new engine lineup in China by 2014 and Europe later.
The new engines will be in the 1.0ℓ to 1.5ℓ range, three cylinders and turbocharged. China will get gasoline versions, while European versions may get small turbodiesel technology. Paul McNamara, head of MG Powertrain, said, “Ford has got the technology to market first and changed perceptions. Our goal is to be competitive with their figures and attain the best real-world results possible.”