Ford has confirmed its new B-Max baby MPV will be the first to get its smallest ever engine, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost unit.
Ford claims the unit "delivers the same performance as a four-cylinder, but with much higher fuel economy and lower emissions".
The engine has been developed by engineers at Ford's Dunton Technical Centre in Essex and will be rolled out across Ford's other small cars, likely to include the Ka and Fiesta.
“No one has ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this.It's one of the most technically advanced and efficient engines we've ever designed,” Joe Bakaj, Ford's global powertrain engineering chief said. “The new engine introduces many new technologies that could be part of the DNA of future Ford engines."
Engineers "focused on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction of the engine's internal moving parts, especially during warm-up", according to Ford, and the three-cylinder powerplant "introduces many new technologies that could be part of the DNA of future Ford engines".
Ford has also confirmed it will begin production later this year of a new electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) designed specifically for use in hybrid vehicles.