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Ford to bring smaller engine to US in 2014 Fiesta

Associated Press Modified: November 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm •  Published: November 19, 2012

Ford's first three-cylinder uses turbocharging and direct fuel injection to give it the power of a larger engine. It has 123 horsepower, for example, which is three more than the current Fiesta with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder. At the same time, the 1-liter will likely get far better fuel economy than the 33 mpg combined city and highway rating for the current Fiesta

By comparison, the Smart ForTwo gets just 70 horsepower and 36 mpg out of its 1-liter three-cylinder. And unlike the Fiesta, it uses premium gas.

Dave Sullivan, an analyst with auto consulting firm AutoPacific, said he was pleasantly surprised by the three-cylinder he tested in the European Focus. He doesn't think customers will care if the engine has fewer cylinders as long as it performs well and saves fuel.

"Other European automakers like VW and Fiat have these, but none of them are as quiet as this one," Sullivan said.

The 1-liter is the fourth member of Ford's EcoBoost engine family. The first engine was a 3.5-liter V6 that gave the Taurus SHO performance sedan the power of a V8. Ford also has 1.6-liter and 2-liter versions.

EcoBoost engines cost around $1,000 more than conventional ones, but they've been a popular option anyway. Ford says 80 percent of Ford Escape SUV buyers and 42 percent of F-150 pickup buyers are springing for EcoBoost engines. In Europe, about 30 percent of Focus buyers are getting the 1-liter EcoBoost