According to an official release, cylinder deactivation could be on the horizon for the 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost three-cylinder engine, with real-world tests indicating a possible 6 percent boost to fuel efficiency.
Of course, including cylinder deactivation on a small engine might sound like an open invitation to pick up some noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). However, Ford has tested the 1.0 L Ford EcoBoost prototype with additions like a dual-mass flywheel, tuned clutch disc, and a pendulum absorber, which help mitigate not only the inherent NVH of the inline-3 engine design, but especially any NVH introduced by deactivating cylinders.
Perhaps the coolest feature of this Ford EcoBoost three-cylinder prototype is that it was fitted with two different types of cylinder deactivation. Equipment fitted to the engine could not only deactivate a single cylinder, but alternatively could implement a “rolling cylinder-deactivation,” wherein each of the cylinders is deactivated and reactivated according to a scheme which allowed the Ford EcoBoost prototype to effectively run in “half-engine mode.”
The 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost became the first-ever engine ever to take home the vaunted International Engine of the Year award three times in a row. But the automaker can’t rest on its laurels, and is developing the highly-awarded motor even further. As such, we wouldn’t be surprised if cylinder deactivation made its way to a production version of the Ford EcoBoost three-cylinder in the near future.