PH BLOG: ECOBOOSTED
Shameless PR stunt maybe but that 'ring lap shows why we should all be excited about Ford's Ecoboost 1.0
now Fiestas and Mondeos) identified. And now demonstrated by Ford.
OK, claiming lap records and supercar-beating comparisons for a single-seater racing car with treaded tyres and bolted on lights is a tad spurious. But the point it demonstrates about the extra-curricular potential for a mass-produced, lightweight, turbocharged engine with a 200hp per litre specific output and cylinder block smaller than an A4 sheet of paper is the kind of thing that gets cogs whirring in our heads. This is a small engine with a big future too, Ford investing £110m in a new production line in Cologne to build it and reckoning global production could top 1.3m per year before too long.
new Caterham boss Graham Macdonald dropped by. And you can see the potential there, especially as forced aspiration has already been confirmed for the next wave of ludicrous Seven variants. The Sigma and Duratec engines are still core - there are R300 racers who've done four seasons on 2.0 Duratecs without need for a major overhaul - but who'd bet against an Ecoboost one day finding its way into a Seven.
And the potential for the likes of BAC, Ariel, Radical and others is only too clear to see. British sports car manufacturers are famously creative when it comes to dreaming up exciting applications for mass-market engines and Ford has a history of supporting them with crate motors for just such use. Senior Ford exec Roelant de Waard, quoted in the press material released with the 'ring lap announcement, has himself raced Caterhams so, you'd hope, has a personal interest in seeing what small-scale manufacturers can do with it.