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Ford unveils minicar for China at Beijing show


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Ford unveils minicar for China at Beijing show



Ford said Thursday it plans to build what may be its first-ever three-cylinder engine for a car in China and is showing the engine in a concept car called the Ford Start at the Beijing Auto Show.

The Ford Start showcases a 1.0-liter, direct-injection, turbocharged engine that Ford said it plans to begin building in the "near future."

Eventually, Ford expects to introduce the engine, which will be part of Ford's EcoBoost engine family, in all regions, including the U.S., said Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer.

Both the engine and the concept car are part of Ford's overall effort to offer additional products in the fast-growing Chinese market, where sales of Ford cars and trucks account for just 2% of the market.

Ford also plans to show its next-generation Ford Edge midsize SUV at the Beijing Auto Show. The Edge will be built at Ford's assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, and shipped to China.

While the Edge will be considered a large SUV in China, the Ford Start is designed to be small and simple.

Designed by Ford's global design team at Ford Strategic Concepts Group in Irvine, Calif., the Ford Start is a minicar envisioned for people who live in large cities.

"The Ford Start delivers a dynamic, personality-driven design that stays true to the global Ford brand," J Mays, Ford's group vice president of design and chief creative officer, said in a statement.

Ford said it expects the three-cylinder EcoBoost engine will deliver horsepower that is comparable to that of some larger four-cylinder engines. Ford's other EcoBoost engines that are on the road or in production average more than 100 horsepower per liter.

First introduced in 2009, Ford's EcoBoost engines combine direct fuel-injection and turbocharging technology to increase horsepower with better fuel economy.

Ford has said it plans to offer its direct-injection, turbocharged EcoBoost engines on 11 models globally, or seven more than the company currently offers, by the end of this year.



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