Ford explores carbon fibre engines and electric turbocharging at Detroit

In the pursuit of lighter, more efficient engines, Ford is exploring less conventional ways of saving fuel

Ford-Fiesta-EcoBoost-logo

Ford has outlined its plans to make its cars even more efficient, by installing carbon fibre, electric turbocharging and cylinder deactivation to its family of EcoBoost petrol engines.

Speaking at the Detroit Motor Show this week, Bob Fascetti, Ford’s vice president of powertrain development revealed the brand’s big plans to make cars lighter and more economical – as it pushes out four new versions of its successful EcoBoost engine by 2020.

Most economical cars to buy right now

Ford’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost has already won Inernational Engine of the Year three times, but not wanting to rest on their laurels, engineers rolled out a new concept using carbon fibre to cut weight and improve efficiency.

Used to seeing gleaming concept cars fill motor show stands, Ford’s prototype engine was a bit different. By using injection-moulded carbon fibre for things like the sump and oil pan, the new three-cylinder is 13kg and 15.5 per cent lighter than the engine found in the existing Fiesta and Focus. It benefits from the extensive use of aluminium to halve the weight of some crucial components, too.

Ford Fiesta - front tracking

The cylinder head, for example, has been shaved from 7.7kg to just 6.5kg – a 15 per cent weight saving. The engine block is down to just 14kg from 23.5kg, representing a bulk reduction of 40 per cent. Ford says these changes (among others) could equate to a 4.5 per cent improvement in fuel economy and emissions.

Cost is the main thing holding Ford back in implementing these technologies on production cars, but as the price comes down there’s every feasibility we could see carbon fibre engines taking the market by storm.

Elsewhere, Ford is looking at variable geometry, electric turbocharging and cylinder deactivation to improve cost of ownership even further. Bosses said they were not looking at smaller two-cylinder engines due to unwanted vibrations in the cabin, but insisted that shutting down one of the three cylinders on its EcoBoost engine when not needed could improve cruising fuel consumption by four to six per cent.

What do you think of Ford's plans for carbon fibre engines and electric turbocharging? Let us know below...

Recommended

Ford Bronco to launch in Europe in 2023
Ford Bronco UK
News

Ford Bronco to launch in Europe in 2023

The Ford Bronco SUV has taken the USA by storm and will now hit European showrooms - but not the UK just yet
4 Jul 2022
Next-generation of Ford electric cars will be built in Spain
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford

Next-generation of Ford electric cars will be built in Spain

Its expected the factory in Valencia will start building cars on the new architecture later this decade
22 Jun 2022
Future classics 2022: car investments that could make you money
Future classics - header image
Best cars & vans

Future classics 2022: car investments that could make you money

Identifying future classic cars is a tricky but potentially lucrative business, here are our future classic recommendations
23 May 2022
Ford appeals to EU for 100 per cent electric car sales by 2035
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford

Ford appeals to EU for 100 per cent electric car sales by 2035

Ford proposes a 2035 ban on petrol and diesel car sales 
16 May 2022

Most Popular

Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga: 2022 twin test review
Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga - both cars front tracking
Car group tests

Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga: 2022 twin test review

All-new Range Rover takes on Bentley Bentayga in luxury SUV face-off
2 Jul 2022
Best car manufacturers 2022
Best car manufacturers header
News

Best car manufacturers 2022

We reveal the UK’s best car brands based on the feedback from car owners who took our 2022 Driver Power survey...
29 Jun 2022
How to find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you
Diesel pump
Tips & advice

How to find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you

Cheap fuel is hard to come by in the UK at the moment but there are ways that you can minimise what you pay for petrol and diesel
1 Jul 2022