Ford plans to launch a new 1.5L direct-injected turbocharged inline 4-cyl. EcoBoost engine to drive growth in global markets.

Production of the new engine will start at the auto maker’s Craiova, Romania, engine plant later this month and it will debut in the new Ford Mondeo midsize sedan later this year, followed by an application in the Ford Fusion. Other manufacturing locations will be announced in 2013, Ford says.

Output of the new mill has yet to be released, but Ford says it will provide horsepower and torque on par with the current 1.6L EcoBoost 4-cyl., which produces 178 hp and 184 lb.-ft. (249 Nm).

Ford says the new engine is a strategic entry in global markets that offer tax relief to consumers who purchase vehicles powered by engines of 1.5L displacement or less.

“The new 1.5L unit further extends our EcoBoost promise of economical driving in terms of both fuel efficiency, and in some markets, tax savings,” says Joe Bakaj, vice president-powertrain engineering.

The new mill will borrow some technologies from the 1.0L 3-cyl. EcoBoost engine, including an integrated exhaust manifold. It will be the first engine from Ford to incorporate a computer-controlled clutch on the belt-drive water pump, which the auto maker says improves efficiencies by reducing warm-up time.

With the launch of the new engine, Ford now has capacity to build 1.6 million EcoBoost engines annually. By the end of 2013, six plants across Europe, Asia and North America will be producing EcoBoost engines, triple the number that were doing so in 2010.