Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Three-Pot Screams Green Credentials

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Three-Pot Screams Green Credentials

Article excerpt

THE new Ford Fiesta ST was one of the most impressive and fun cars I drove last year.

A true hot hatch, it reminded me you don't need to spend big or have ludicrous power figures to experience driving thrills.

Result is, I've got something of a soft spot for Fiestas right now.

And from this month, the little Ford's range has been extended to give buyers even greater reason to party.

The 2012 and 2013 International Engine of the Year -- Ford's 999cc three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo -- has been introduced in the Fiesta; the first time we've seen this lauded petrol powerplant in Australia.

Three cylinders? We've seen Fiat and Alfa Romeo offer an 875cc TwinAir two-cylinder recently, so there's clearly a bit of a sub-four-cylinder movement happening right now.

And during a short drive of a new three-cylinder Fiesta Sport, I'm convinced this is going to be a good thing.

I feared a three-potter would be gutless, over-stretched, noisy and prone to vibration, but on the contrary, it proved to be a lovely little thing.

With 92kW it doesn't turn the Fiesta into a rocket ship of course, but it's hardly bad for an engine with a block roughly the size of a sheet of A4.

You're not left wanting for torque, with the maximum 170Nm reached at just 1400rpm thanks to the fast-spooling small turbocharger, and peak torque remains up to 4500rpm.

Around town the motor feels refined, quiet and very smooth; in fact, very much like a well-built in-line four-cylinder.

Incredibly, these qualities remain when reaching speed on the freeway, and sitting at 110kmh the little three feels anything but stretched.

It makes Fiesta's entry-level normally aspirated 1.5-litre Duratec engine look somewhat redundant: it may have 50% more capacity, but the 1.5-litre has 10kW and 30Nm less than the three-cylinder, drinks more fuel and produces more emissions. …

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