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Ford’s small enginemakes a big impact 

 

WE’RE said to be a canny lot us Scots so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the man behind one of most frugal- engines at the moment comes from Perth.

Andrew Fraser is Ford’s gasoline calibration manager and I met up with him earlier this month when he was receiving the prestigious Jim Clark Memorial Award.

This annual award is in memory of the Scot, who in a Lotus 49, gave Ford its first ever Formula One win with the new Ford-Cosworth V8 Grand Prix engine, at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1967.

Now in its fifth decade, the award is presented annually to a deserving Scot by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers.

Previous winners include motorsport legends Sir Jackie Stewart, Allan McNish, David Coulthard, Louise Aitken-Walker, Colin McRae and world land speed record breaker, Richard Noble OBE.

Andrew is head of the team which developed Ford’s new high-tech 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine.

His award came in the same week that this ultra-fuel-efficient and spirited 1-litre engine was named 2013 International Engine of the Year – the second straight year the three-cyllinder unit has lifted the title.

On presenting the award, ASMW president Alisdair Suttie said: “It gives the ASMW enormous pleasure to present Andrew Fraser with this year’s trophy. His work is not only at the leading edge of engine development, it has a global impact on the cars we drive.

“Once again, it shows Scots engineers are still the best in the world.”

Andrew was delighted with the honour and said: “Our objective with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine was to deliver an engine with no com-promises – providing best-in-class fuel economy, outsta-nding driveability and excellent refinement.

“Customer response has been overwhelming and to receive this prestigious award in recognition of this achie-vement is tremendous. I am proud to follow in the footsteps of Scottish legends such as Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart and Colin McRae.”

A drive in a Ford Focus Zetec-S five-door model prior to the presentation allowed me to put this engine to the test.

It’s available with two power levels – 123 and 99bhp – and I sampled the most powerful one.

The small turbo petrol engine didn’t disappoint as it performed quietly and had plenty of power when needed going up and down through a slick six-speed manual gearbox.

It seemed quicker off the mark than the 11.3 seconds from zero to 62mph would suggest and with a top speed of 120mph was hardly tested at maximum legal speeds.

It delivered a punchy per-formance to rival traditional 1.6-litre engines and also brings much-improved fuel efficiency and class-leading CO2 emissions.

The combined fuel economy for this model is 56.5mpg (58.9mpg 99bhp) with a CO2 figure of 114g/km (109g/km 99bhp).

As well as being super frugal, both engines qualify for zero tax in the first year and then £30 and £20 (99bhp).

This might be Ford’s smallest petrol engine but it is big on performance and economy – all thanks to Andrew Fraser and his team of engineers.