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Ford Start Concept features 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine

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April 29, 2010

Unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show, there's definitely a certain stripped-back elegance ab...

Unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show, there's definitely a certain stripped-back elegance about the Start Concept

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Ford designers set their sights on creating an endearingly simple vehicle for their latest project, and we'd have to say they've succeeded. Unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show, there's definitely a certain stripped-back elegance about the Start Concept, which along with its sculpted lines and some clever interior customization options, features a new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder addition to the company's EcoBoost petrol engine family that promises a CO2 rating of under 100 g/km.

The team at the Ford Strategic Concepts Group in Irvine, California, looked to some classic sportscars for inspiration when designing the Start, including an original Porsche 356 Speedster and an Alfa Romeo Zagato SZ.


“In an era of constant visual noise, we have created a car that conveys visual purity and harmony, in which every line has meaning and purpose. The Ford Start delivers a dynamic, personality driven design that stays true to the global Ford brand,” said J Mays, group vice president, Design, and chief creative officer.

The body is constructed from a hybrid aluminum/high strength steel with a lightweight aluminum safety cell, which houses side curtain airbags. Panels are made from recyclable composites and a full underbody tray assists the aerodynamics of the slick, high-belted design - though no drag data has yet been announced.

Inside, sisal fiber is used for the panels and to save weight and hold to the "simplicity" theme, fewer parts have been used in the curved front bucket seats. A notable innovation is the snap-fitting inserts which allow for customization. There's also a conceptual “MyFord Mobile” center console designed to explore the integration of a smart phone interface.

Ford Start Concept features 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine

Smallest EcoBoost engine to date

There's no confirmation that the Start will ever see the showroom floor, but according to Ford the Concept’s 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine will join its 3.5-litre V6 and 2.0-litre four-cylinder siblings on the production line "in the near future." Apart from the expected CO2 rating of under 100 g/km (the 2010 Toyota Prius delivers 89 g/km by way of comparison), there's little technical detail available, but Ford says that the 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost I3 "will deliver comparable power and torque to a larger I4 engine combined with exceptional fuel economy for a petrol engine."

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.   All articles by Noel McKeegan
14 Comments

Oh good, an American car where the panels are SUPPOSED to pop in and out.

So the ecoboost is like mercedes DiesOtto?

That's good news for petrol vehicles :)

But yes, what a nice little car

Craig Jennings
29th April, 2010 @ 04:03 am PDT

20 years later and Ford finally figures out how to build a Geo Metro. This is news?

Mark Petereit
29th April, 2010 @ 06:44 am PDT

Hmmm... three-cylinder, 1-liter engine. Can anyone say, "Geo Metro"? It's a Ford, though, so that's a point in its favor.

Joe Henderson
29th April, 2010 @ 06:51 am PDT

The design seems to be aerodynamically perfect and efficient fuel consumption and envornmentally benign..

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Dr.A.Jagadeesh
29th April, 2010 @ 07:02 am PDT

I imagine this is what an iCar would look like...

David Jackson
29th April, 2010 @ 10:46 am PDT

That's a sweet piece of engineering! To compare it to a Geo Metro is just plain silly... sorta like calling a gorgeous supermodel, "just another skinny woman."

I would buy something that looked like this if I was in the market for a high mileage commuter car.

matthew.rings
29th April, 2010 @ 08:29 pm PDT

It's an awesome looking car. Too bad it looks like they copied the Audi Metroproject. I would buy one if it wasn't a Ford. I had a too many bad experiences with a Mustang and swore off Fords forever. Why couldn't they offer a diesel engine too ? A hatchback version would be nice to see as well.

RESISTANCE
29th April, 2010 @ 09:26 pm PDT

Wow. This is just another example of why traditional auto makers will never be able to produce the next generation of fuel sippers. Compared to the aerodynamics of some other small startups this thing is a brick. I imagine it still has a coefficient of drag around 0.3. Most of the other vehicles that are shooting for fuel sipping have at least a 0.2 and the Aptera has a Cf of 0.15. They seriously need to take all their over paid locked in stone thinkers off the body design group and put a fluid dynamics and aerodynamics specialist on it. With the 1.0 liter and a Cf of 0.15 they could easily hit 80 MPG.

Facebook User
29th April, 2010 @ 11:58 pm PDT

Let's hope Ford will take a page from the Geo Metro's basic intro price point, along with the current non-robust economy when they decide what the market will bear. Speaking of which, has Chevy ever introduced that Suzuki 3-cylinder 1ltr in any other ultra-small cars. I loved the 91 Geo Metro I used to own. It got 50mpg @70mph! That might have been before the latest round of performance-choking emission mandates though! I can wish can't I? I bet the emissions of my 91 Metro could compare favorably with any of those late-model SUVs with v-6 or v-8s!

Will, the tink
30th April, 2010 @ 04:40 am PDT

I had a Honda(coupe) with a 2 cylinder engine in the past(1973) it got great mpg and it could keep up with traffic! wreckablyity too! rolled it a drove it home! only shows little cars and little engines are here to stay!

Dan Schafer
30th April, 2010 @ 07:13 am PDT

Sure, it took them thirty years for a U.S. car manufacturer to get it right.

But it is finally happening. Lets be happy that they finally realized that they actually have to compete and make quality cars instead of making excuses and pointing fingers.

PrometheusGoneWild.com
30th April, 2010 @ 07:36 am PDT

FBUser April 30th, you obviously don't have a clue about aerodynamics other than watching sci-fi movies. This design is very aerodynamically clean. Much more efficient than something like the new Beetle it has been compared to elsewhere. The new Beetle's single radius curves and bulging fenders with hard creases into the body are very dirty aerodynamically. This car looks to be a good step forward in making amall streamlined cars more modern looking and desireable.

FYI, Ford has some of the best quality on the road right now. Old Mustangs are exactly that. Old.

Mark in MI
3rd May, 2010 @ 04:44 pm PDT

I understand Geo Metros make great electric vehicles. Ford revamps their European Ka and they might just have something for Beyond Tomorrow (when those 3-bangers self destruct) for an up-to-date EV base.

Chris Jordan
5th June, 2010 @ 12:40 pm PDT

Love the interior, and like the exterior more and more. The only thing I don't like about it are the wheels, but those are easily changed.

Suman M Subramanian
10th June, 2010 @ 10:02 am PDT
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