Although Lincoln's C Concept may have struck few chords with show-goers, its theoretical internals could live on in a future Ford Focus. The latest reports indicate Ford is considering a 1.6L 180hp (134kW) four-cylinder EcoBoost engine for its next Focus, capable of pushing highway fuel economy as high as 43mpg (5.5L/100km).

That figure easily tops the efficiency of the somewhat larger Fusion Hybrid, which scores 41mpg (5.7L/100km) in town but just 36mpg (6.5L/100km) on the highway. Neglecting the Focus's size advantage and considering only the much simpler technology at play and the likely much lower purchase price, the addition of EcoBoost could make for a very attractive package.

“We haven’t announced the powertrains yet on the next generation Focus, but it certainly gives you an indication of what the powertrain might be and what the fuel economy might be,” said Kuzak, according to a Reuters report. A new low-displacement EcoBoost powertrain was announced late last year, however, and it has already been tipped as a possible inclusion in the Focus range.

Sweetening the deal even further would be the inclusion of the U.S. in the global Focus market. For years, Americans have made do with inferior versions of the Focus while Europeans and others have enjoyed the spritely and aggressively styled vehicle in an array of body styles and engine configurations.

If the inclusion of the Lincoln C Concept in the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and comments of Derrick Kuzak, Ford's global product development guru, have any symbolism, they could indicate the EcoBoost Focus is at least on the table for America as well.

At 180hp (134kW), the 1.6L EcoBoost engine also offers promise of a lot of fun in addition to frugality. With the potential for turbo-charged torque and aftermarket tuning, the small-displacement EcoBoost Focus could be a real performance bargain. Though it's not likely to challenge the Focus RS (pictured) for outright performance, it will be doing it with a great deal less fuel and emissions.