Ford’s tiny but feisty 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is the reason why a unique road-going Formula Ford race car has scored one of the fastest lap times ever at Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit.
The one-of a-kind, road-legal version of the latest Formula Ford single-seat racer completed the lap in 7 minutes, 22 seconds to register the 11th fastest time ever on the circuit – a performance that puts it ahead of a host of supercars including the 600+ horsepower Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari Enzo and Pagani Zonda.
“This little engine has people rubbing their eyes in disbelief,” said racing driver and course specialist Nick Tandy, 28, who completed the drive. “It’s simply astonishing that a 3-cylinder, one-litre engine can deliver that kind of performance.”
Ford engineers have led several months of work on the project to switch the Formula Ford’s usual 180 PS,1.6-litre EcoBoost power unit with a specially tuned 205 PS version of the company’s new global 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, which was recently named “International Engine of the Year”.
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 6-speed manual gearbox and was driven on road-legal tyres.
The car’s unofficial top speed is expected to be 255.5 km/h (158.8 mph) with a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of less than four seconds. The vehicle completed the 20.832 km (12.94 mile) Nordschleife circuit at an average speed of 169 km/h (105 mph).
The 1.0-litre EcoBoost powered Formula Ford car beat previously recorded fastest times of many supercars including the 700 horsepower Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, the 660 horsepower Ferrari Enzo and the 602 horsepower Pagani Zonda. No other three- or even four-cylinder car has posted a faster time at the legendary circuit.