Given a choice of vehicles in which to lap the famous Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany, something with a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine may not be your first pick.
As you're often told in life though, you can't judge a book by its cover.
When that 1.0-liter engine is Ford's new turbocharged EcoBoost engine, and when the car it's powering is a 1,100-pound Formula Ford single-seater, that lap begins to sound a lot more exciting.
Normally found on the circuits of Europe, typical Formula Ford racers use a 1.6-liter Duratec engine, putting out around 120 horsepower. Ford's EcoBoost 1.0 puts out 123 horses in standard tune, and the company claims it delivers the performance of a 1.6 with the economy of a 1.0.
A race circuit may not be the best place to test out economy but it's certainly ideal for performance testing. The EcoBoost Formula Ford certainly isn't short of speed--with a 7:22 lap, the tiny racer beats the 7:25 set by a Ferrari Enzo in 2008. While the engine in the racer wasn't completely standard, developing 202 horsepower, that's still no small feat for such a small engine...
Ford even prepared the racer to make it road legal, fitting lights, license plates and road tires to ensure the car could be driven to the circuit--and making it eligible for a road car record. Ford estimates the top speed at 158.8 mph, and the car reaches 62 mph in under 4 seconds.
Okay, so not many will get to drive an EcoBoost-powered single-seater, but you'll still get to play with its engine, when Ford releases the 1.0 EcoBoost-powered Fiesta in the U.S.
The car is making its debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, alongside the sporty Ford Fiesta ST. Both facelifted Fiestas are set to go on sale next year.