2011 Ford Fiesta

2011 Ford Fiesta

Back in early June, Ford unveiled a three-cylinder, 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. At the time, the automaker said that the new engine would have a role to play in North America, not just in Europe. Ford’s global development head, Derrick Kuzak, called the engine a “little dynamo” and claimed it would deliver “hybrid-like” fuel economy.

The mystery back then was where the new engine would turn up. Recent statements from Ford executives have narrowed that field to three possible vehicles, including the Ka, the Figo and the Fiesta. Of the three, only the Fiesta is sold in the United States; the Ka is considered too small for American buyers and the Indian-built Figo is targeted towards emerging markets.

We still don’t know when three-cylinder Fiestas will hit our shores, but the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine starts production in Europe next spring. Ford still isn’t releasing details on fuel economy, but they’ve hinted that new turbo designs are putting out 120 horsepower per liter.

That would make a 1.0-liter EcoBoost Fiesta as powerful as today’s 1.6-liter Fiesta, with less of an appetite for gasoline. If gas prices remain high, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the 1.0-liter EcoBoost Fiesta launched as a 2013 model.

[Automotive News (subscription required) via Green Car Reports]