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Ford Fiesta to get 3-cylinder engine in 2014

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Christian Hartmann/Reuters/File

(Read caption) Engine parts are displayed in front of a Ford Fiesta Titanium 1.0 EcoBoost car displayed on media day at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile in September. Ford has announced that the three-cylinder EcoBoost engine will be an option for US versions of the 2014 Ford Fiesta.

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Ford’s 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine is small enough to fit into an airline-approved carry-on bag, yet powerful enough to deliver some 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque.

As you’d guess, it’s also fuel efficient, which is the primary reason why Ford has announced it will be offered in the 2014 Ford Fiesta as an alternative to the base model's 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.

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Though Ford didn’t release details on fuel economy, it did say the 1.0-liter EcoBoost-equipped Fiesta would return the highest fuel economy of “any non-hybrid” model sold in the United States.

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As Green Car Reports tells us, in European testing the 1.0-liter EcoBoost has achieved an equivalent 47 mpg, meaning that 40 mpg on the EPA test cycle is a reasonable expectation.

Ford has gone to great lengths to ensure better driveability from its 1.0-liter EcoBoost than consumers typically associate with three-cylinder engines. The current Smart ForTwo relies on a 70-horsepower, 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, and past models such as the Subaru Justy, Geo Metro and the ironically named Chevy Sprint previously relied on triples as well.

None were known for their refinement, which is why Ford has equipped its EcoBoost triple with an “unbalanced” flywheel to counter the engines uneven pulses. With a diesel-like torque curve (peak torque hits at just 1,400 rpm) the baby EcoBoost isn’t likely to feel underpowered in the Fiesta, either.

Look for Ford to unveil the 2014 Fiesta with the optional 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine at next week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, with sales beginning in 2013.
We’ll bring you more details on this and other models as part of our comprehensive 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage.