Okay, okay, okay, so I was just a smidge wrong. Those that read my review of the Ford Fiesta with the new 1.0-liter, EcoBoost engine will know that while I really enjoyed the torquey little three-cylinder, I was concerned that Ford's decision to force 1.0-liter owners into a manual transmission, steel wheels and one trim level might hurt sales of the new engine. I was also concerned that the promised 45-mile-per-gallon highway rating wouldn't be enough to tempt buyers into trying an engine that's so far outside of what the general public is use to. My concerns, though, seem to have been for naught.
While not doing a booming business on the triple-equipped Fiesta, Ford is seeing a take rate of four to eight percent per month in the engine's first few months on sale. Now, four to eight percent might not sound like a lot – if, like last year, the Fiesta sells around 71,000 units, there'd be barely 5,600 1.0-liter models on the road. It is also small potatoes relative to the take rate on EcoBoost-equipped vehicles across the Ford range, which US sales analyst Erich Merkle estimates to be roughly 35 to 40 percent of retail sales. Still, according to The Detroit News, the 1.0-liter is getting adopted at roughly the same rate as the sparkling Fiesta ST, which should be a solid indication of just how well this little engine is doing.
The 1.0-liter's success "really speaks volumes, not just to what we're doing with the Fiesta, but with EcoBoost in general," Merkle told Autoblog.
The biggest issue that Ford seems to be facing in regards to the 1.0-liter is a supply issue – engines just can't be built quickly enough. Production at the Cologne, Germany factory where the triple is built was doubled to 1,000 engines per day last year, in the face of growing European demand. Despite this, widespread availability in the US is still rather far off. And it's only going to get more difficult to snap up a 1.0-liter Fiesta, as Ford will begin offering the tiny engine in the Focus later this year. Customers that have purchased the triple – around 1,000 people, a third of whom are from California, according to The Detroit News – have had to custom order their vehicles.
Provided Ford can really ramp up production and come to grips with its supply issues, the future looks bright for its newest EcoBoost engine.