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Ford’s triple terror touches down

Pitstop: Ford's three-cylinder Lambo-basher is wheeled off a trailer in Australia.

Three-cylinder Formula Ford racer makes flying Australian pitstop

Ford logo9 Aug 2013

THE three-cylinder Ford racer that outpaced a Lamborghini Aventador around Germany’s tough Nurburgring is visiting Australia – but don’t expect to get a weekend test drive.

The diminutive Formula Ford open-wheeler, developed as a promotional tool for its award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder turbo engine, makes a quick pitstop at next week’s ‘Go Further’ event in Sydney, where the Blue Oval is also expected to preview the final ever Falcon.

As reported the major media gathering next week, on August 13, will be hosted by Ford’s global executive vice president of marketing Jim Farley. There, the company is also expected to announce it will add the next Mustang to the local range from 2016 – the year of Falcon’s demise.

Ford’s 92kW/170Nm 1.0-litre powertrain, the reining International Engine of the Year, will roll out in Australia from next month in the Fiesta, and the EcoSport SUV from early 2014.

The racecar has an unofficial top speed of 255.5km/h and can dash from 0-100km/h in fewer than four seconds. Its 7 minute, 22 second run of the Nordschlieffe is the 11th fastest lap to date, and edges out some supercar heavyweights including the Aventador LP77-4, Ferrari Enzo and Pagani Zonda.

That may be because under that featherweight frame is an engine tuned to produce 152kW of power – 18kW more than the regular 1.6-litre engine used in other Formula Fords.

The project team also modified the vehicle so it would be fully street legal for on-road use by fitting it with wheel covers, front and rear lights and indicators, aerodynamically designed wing mirrors and a horn.

The car is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox and was driven on road-legal tyres during its hot lap.

“We built this road-legal race car to demonstrate the outer limits of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost in terms of performance and fuel efficiency,” said Ford Australia president and chief executive Bob Graziano.

“Once you experience the innovative 1.0-litre EcoBoost’s blend of performance and economy, everything else seems old school.”

Unfortunately, Ford Australia did not replicate the publicity stunt enacted by its US counterparts last November that saw the tiny EcoBoost block taken through airport check-in inside a suitcase. Can’t win ’em all ...

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