Ford has officially revealed their all-new three-cylinder 1.5-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine. Internally called the Dragon, this engine will debut with the new EcoSport later this year. The engine is built at the American carmaker’s Sanand facility in Gujarat. Here is everything that you need to know about the all-new Dragon engine.
Naturally aspirated three-cylinders:
The Dragon engine will replace the current four-cylinder petrol engine in Ford’s line-up. The engine is developed from the ground-up at the Sanand factory for domestic as well as export duties. The 1,497cc engine produces 120bhp at 6,500rpm and a max torque of 150Nm at 4,500rpm. This is 10bhp and 10Nm more than the current four-cylinder counterpart.
The naturally aspirated engine can be mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The new powertrain is lighter, smaller and more efficient. Ford claims an improved fuel efficiency of seven per cent over the outgoing engine.
The three-cylinder aluminium engine block is not related to the three-pot EcoBoost engine. It has a larger bore and stroke ratio for the increased 500cc over the 1.0-litre EcoBoost. And the EcoBoost is a forced induction (turbocharged) unit, while the Dragon engine is a naturally aspirated one.
The loss of one cylinder means reduced weight due to the elimination of all the periphery of the cylinder. However, there is a need to balance the three cylinders which are done by an “I” type balancer shaft.
The crankshaft of the Dragon engine is at 10mm offset from the cylinder axis. This offset increases the compression stroke and thus helps in better combustion during the power stroke. This results in improved fuel economy and reduced engine noise.
The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head. This reduces the need for extra bolts, thus reducing weight. At the same time, the integrated manifold helps to heat up the catalyst faster, thus decreasing the emissions.
A variable displacement oil pump is provided which can operate at lower pressure and variable loads. This consequently reduces engine’s frictional losses, makes the engine quieter and helps increase fuel efficiency.
There are hydrodynamic bearings to support the new balancing shaft. They work to eliminate the first-order vibration which is a standard issue of a three-cylinder motor. The belt-in-oil technique is used to further help reduce both noise and frictions.
The new Dragon engine will be exported to 50 markets around the world from Sanand. The international exports have already commenced, while the engine will debut in India with the new EcoSport. Following that the Dragon heart might find its way under the bonnet of the Figo and Aspire.
What remains to be seen is how the new Dragon engine feels like while driving and how it performs under Indian driving conditions. Guess we have to wait for the new EcoSport’s arrival sometime around the festive season.