Ford’s extraordinary new 1.0-litre turbocharged engine could soon be available in high-performance Fords, with a power output as high as 177bhp.

The tiny three-cylinder engine is likely to feature twin sequential turbocharging to boost its output from an already impressive 123bhp to as much as 177bhp – an unprecedented figure for such a small engine.

Read our first drive review of the 1.0-litre Ford Focus

“It’s a stretch, but possible,” said Gunnar Herrmann, the vehicle line director for the Focus, in which the three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine will shortly make its debut.

Ford is believed to have a functioning prototype of a high-output version of this engine already. It is thought to be using an electric supercharger in the role of the small turbocharger, which hands over power to another turbocharger from the 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine.

The 1.0-litre unit is tipped for use in a performance version of the Focus positioned some distance below the forthcoming 247bhp Focus ST.

Herrmann also confirmed that, by 2015, the 1.0-litre Ecoboost will have entirely replaced Fordís normally aspirated 1.6-litre, four-cylinder motors in most regions of the world.

In the UK, the 1.0-litre Ecoboost will supplant the non-turbo 1.6-litre this year.

“We know there might be some resistance from customers asked to go from a 1.6 to a 1.0,” said Herrmann, “but only until they drive it.”

Andrew Frankel

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