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Ford Fiesta's Little Engine Is Mighty - WSJ


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The arithmetic is straightforward: Ford's three-banger generates 123 hp per liter of displacement. That specific output ranks with some of the world's most exotic whirligigs, like the 4.5-liter V8-powered Ferrari 458 Italia and 4-liter Porsche 911 (both around 125 hp/liter).

“The engine is Godzilla in a shoebox. The 3-cylinder makes 123 hp at a snarly 6,000 rpm.”

Those are naturally aspirated engines, true, but even among turbocharged engines, Ford's 1-liter is almost hilariously potent for its size and—this is the more nuanced point—its scale of manufacturing. Yes, a Nissan GT-R's twin-turbo V6 makes 139.5 hp/liter, but every one of those few thousand engines a year is hand-built by white-gloved, venerated Nismo technicians. Ford's engine line in Cologne, Germany, is cranking out 1.0-liter EcoBoosts like doughnuts, by the hundreds of thousands annually. Meanwhile, the tolerances are insane: This engine has a mere 6.1 mm between the cylinder bores, and a turbo that spools to almost a quarter-million rpm.

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