Ford's 1-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost engine will be equipped with the fuel-saving cylinder deactivation technology which will enable the engine to operate as a two-cylinder unit.
Similar technology is incorporated on many four cylinder engines, but Ford claims that its the first time on a three cylinder engine. Some manufacturers have ditched this idea due to refinement issues.
Cylinder deactivation technology will automatically cut off the fuel supply and valve operation to one of the cylinders in the engine where the full capacity operation is not required. It takes just 14 milliseconds to engage and disengage the technology.
The cylinder deactivation technology can operate at the speeds up to 4,500rpm. The system uses the engine oil pressure to activate a special valve rocker and will break the connection between the camshaft and valves of cylinder number one.
The software monitors speed, throttle position and engine load to figure out when to disable the cylinder. Ford claims that this technology will improve fuel efficiency up to six percent.
The fuel saving technology will be in testing phase throughout the 2017 and will be available for sale in 2018. Although Ford has not confirmed yet about which models will be equipped with this technology.
The new engine will be more durable to cope with the loading forces due to the deactivation of a cylinder. The engine gets upgraded camshaft chain and valve rockers manufactured using advanced metal injection moulding.
The cylinder deactivation technology is developed by Ford engineers in the UK, Germany and US in a joint venture with Schaeffler Group, an engineering firm.
Ford Motor Company's global powertrain engineering chief, Bob Fascetti said that the Ecoboost engine is a proof that there is still untapped potential for even the best internal combustion engines to deliver better mileage to customers.
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