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Old 03-25-2013, 05:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1 litre 3 cylinder engines

I drove a hire car for work today and got given a Ford Fiesta with their new 1 litre, 3 cylinder engine. The 'rorty' noise and lack of punch for overtaking at high speed reminded me of our first generation Insight engine that won International Engine of the Year in its class for seven years in a row.

It occurred to me that Ford has a new 1 litre, 3 cylinder engine for its Fiesta, Focus and B-Max. As does Peugeot in their 208 model and VW with their Up! etc etc

See:
Ford Fiesta 1 0t 100 Ecoboost Zetec S S 5dr Review | What Car?
Full review of Peugeot 208 Hatchback What Car?
Full review of Volkswagen Up Hatchback What Car?

Of course all these car manufacturers are now trying to produce economical cars and reduce their average fleet CO2 emissions to meet regulations. However it occurs to me that the patents may now have expired on the Insight engine design? It is just the number of 1 litre, 3 cylinder engines that are suddenly available...any patent lawyers or car industry experts able to back up my hunch?

.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe they have been following the history of the LITTLE RED ROCKET.

The Ford engine has a lot of the same things the G1 has. Ultra low friction, offset cylinders, etc. I think I read somewhere that it has Direct Injection.

Unfortunately I don't think it will ever appear in the USA, due to the Govt. crash test standards.

I said some years back that eventually we would see smaller engines produced.....with turbos.

Willie
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In the united states I think a patent is good for 17 years.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Williford View Post
Unfortunately I don't think it will ever appear in the USA, due to the Govt. crash test standards.

I said some years back that eventually we would see smaller engines produced.....with turbos.

Willie
Isn't the new fiesta already sold here? Why would the 3 cylinder do differently in the crash tests?
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes it is as I can attest to one sitting in my garage. Right now the 3 cylinder 1 liter turbo charged engines are not sold in the US but I'm guessing we'll see them in another year or two.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ford are using the engine across a few models - I thought you guys get the Focus across the pond? They sell the 1 litre version in Europe.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the first thing I thought was how long it takes to develop an engine.
then how long to create the production line.
5 or so years does not seem unreasonable.

I am not sure what was the first 3 cylinder gasoline
but Good Ideas are often copied quickly.

victor
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Ford engines by Yamaha?

I believe Yamaha have been doing the design and development work for Ford for the last twenty years, taking over the reins after Ford Engineers lost the plot with the Sachs 2 stroke and the lean-burn engines which all failed Nox standards.

As you can guess I am not a fan of Ford products, although I acknowledge their major strides in improvement since the 1990s.

3000 components all from the lowest price bidder, describes the typical Ford in my ownership experience.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Three cylinders

I do not think you can patent "three cylinders".

The benefit of three cylinders is a reduction in engine friction and fewer parts but with the disadvantage of greater vibration and torque fluctuation than a four.

Honda have an ace up the sleeve in the IMA system. The IMA motor serves as a clever electrical balancer system, the IMA motor generator loads and unloads in synchronisation with compression and ignition strokes of the Insight engine, reducing vibration and harshness. That is very patentable being one of the many Honda lodged for the car, I think any competitors would have a hard time getting around the Honda patent if they tried a similar idea
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi all.

I posted this on 21st feb 2012:

"I was struck by an odd sense of deja-vu recently when reading about developments in engine design at Peugeot and Ford. Peugeot describe this as 'a gamechanger' and Ford as "the freshest powertrain lineup in the industry". These engines will be produced in large volumes, powering the Peugeot 208 and Ford Ka, Fiesta, Focus, C-Max etc.

Both claim that they are introducing many new technologies. So what makes these new engines so innovative?

The Ford 1.0 litre Ecoboost features:
- three cylinders 999cc
- direct injection
- offset crankshaft to reduce friction
- exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder head
- no balancer shaft
- variable valve timing
- low friction coatings to reduce loses
- less than 120g/km CO2

The Peugeot engine family will include:
- three cylinders 1.0 and 1.2l
- exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder head
- variable valve timing system
- 'innovative' micro-hybrid Stop & Start System
- 99g/km and 104g/km CO2

So how can smaller, less powerful (but more efficient) engines provide adequate performance in mass market cars, even when turbocharged?

Ford say that the next stage is downsizing of the cars themselves to reduce weight, and less drag. There is a tantalizing mention of adding mild hybrid systems recovering energy when the car decelerates too.

Peugeot's new 208 is claimed to be shorter and lower than the 207 it replaces, weighing "a commendable" 110kg less. Cd of 0.29, CdA of 0.61 are also claimed.

Have we just seen the corner being turned here? Given the massive investment needed in new engine production, there must be real commitment to a future that looks just a little like the one Honda's engineers saw at the turn of the last century..."
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