Ford is working on ways to increase the power of the recently-introduced 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine to upwards of 150bhp.
One of the ideas, all of which use the existing Continental-designed turbocharger, is understood to involve electric supercharger technology to circumvent any loss of efficiency associated with traditional designs.
The diminutive three-cylinder engine block is reportedly very strong and will comfortably and reliably deal with an increased power output. The engine has already been combined with the larger turbo from Ford’s 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine as part of a racing car project, achieving around 200bhp in the process.
At present the highest output available from the unit is 124bhp. Its current bias towards efficiency means it has been used with tall gearing, helping it to achieve scarcely believable fuel economy but denting outright performance. It is hoped that a more powerful version would redress the balance.
An electric supercharger would spin up much faster than a mechanical one, drawing much less power from the engine to do so. It could be configured to provide low-down torque before a reconfigured turbo would then take over and supply more peak power than at present.
If such a move were made, the engine’s potential applications would broaden still. The chief engineer behind the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, Andrew Fraser, is understood to want to push the boundaries of the type and size of engines that can be replaced with small-capacity turbocharged units.