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by Matt Brogan

Ford is set to introduce its smallest turbocharged engine yet next year, with even tinier engines on the way.

Two- and three-cylinder units, with displacements of 1.0-litres or less, are currently in the pipeline with the technology as close as three years away.

“I think you’ll see all of those things roll out,” said Ms Barb Samardzich, Vice President of Powertrain Engineering at Ford in the US. “It’s more than experimental.”

Ms Samardzich didn’t clarify a timetable for the engines introduction, nor did she specify which markets or vehicles would be first to receive the low capacity units, but common sense would dictate that small European hatches, such as the Ka and Fiesta, would be likely candidates.

Meanwhile, in 2010 Ford will introduce a new 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine with its EcoBoost turbocharging and direct-injection technology. The engine will go on sale late next year on the next-generation Ford C-Max minivan.

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Ford will sell the seven-seat Grand C-Max, the larger of the two body styles, in North America beginning around late 2011. But executives aren’t saying whether the 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine will power the Grand C-Max in North America.

The 1.6-litre unit is intended to replace naturally aspirated, large I-4 engines, with similar torque values to that of a 2.5-litre in-line four.

Ford says that by 2013 it will sell 1.3 million EcoBoost-equipped vehicles per year globally.




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