Motor Co. is investing £70 million ($114 million) in its Bridgend engine plant in Wales, U.K., for the production of an all-new, turbocharged 1.6L 4-cyl. gasoline engine.
Marking the first European application of the auto maker’s EcoBoost technology, which combines advanced turbocharging and direct-gasoline injection for improved fuel economy and reduced carbon-dioxide emissions, the commitment raises the investment in the Bridgend plant to £315 million ($514 million) over the last five years,of Europe says.
Production is expected to commence within two years and will bring the facility’s annual build capacity to nearly 1 million units, the auto maker adds, noting the factory produces multiple 4-, 6- and 8-cyl. engines ranging from 1.25L to 4.4L.
Serving as a less-expensive alternative to hybrid-electric and clean-diesel powertrains, the new 1.6L mill will provide 20% better fuel economy and 15% fewer CO2 emissions than larger-displacement I-4s of similar output.
Specifics of the engine’s design and performance are not yet available.
Ford’s current rollout of EcoBoost engines includes only a twin-turbocharged 3.5L DOHC V-6, which debuts in the U.S. next year in the Lincoln MKS and Ford Flex and Taurus. The auto maker previously has said it later will introduce a 4-cyl. variant for small cars in North America, with various reports indicating a U.S. build site for I-4 EcoBoost powerplants will be announced in the near future.
Of the £70 million to be invested in the Bridgend site, which currently employs more than 2,000 workers, the Welsh government is contributing nearly £14 million ($23 million), Ford says.