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On Monday, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F ) announced that it will next year begin selling a car expected to deliver "the best fuel economy of any non-hybrid car sold in America." The car in question, the 2014 Ford Fiesta, will feature Ford's 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, a popular piece of equipment that is currently selling around the globe at the rate of 520,000 units annually -- albeit mostly at larger sizes.
This is the first time the 1.0-liter EcoBoost will be sold in the U.S., and the first time the company has tried to persuade American car buyers to pony up for a three-cylinder engine at all. Once it arrives, however, Ford says, this "smooth, quiet-running engine" will produce 123 horsepower and peak torque of 148 lb.-ft.
This power, plus "outstanding fuel economy" that Ford puts at greater than 40 mpg, has the company hoping no one will notice the EcoBoost has only three cylinders. Historically, that's an engine size more commonly associated with such underwhelming automobiles as the Geo Metro. But according to Ford, "most customers are not going to be thinking about the number of cylinders under the hood" of the new Fiesta.
They may, however, notice the price tag. According to its press release, the EcoBoost engine will add about $995 to the cost of a vehicle ordinarily outfitted with a normal gasoline engine.