Ford Focus RS’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost Named One of 10 Best Engines by WardsAuto

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High-Output EcoBoost Engine Joins Other Turbocharged Power Plants on the List

Ford’s little hot hatch recently won a big award. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 in the Ford Focus RS was named one of the 10 best engines by WardsAuto.

The Focus RS was one of 40 vehicles the site tested. WardsAuto stated it conducted its evaluations – without instrumented testing – in “October and November, driving to and from home, work, school, the hardware store and on weekend roadtrips.” It rated the engines based on factors such as horsepower, torque, comparative specs, and real-word fuel economy.

While the EcoBoost was the only Ford power plant to make the cut, it wasn’t the only engine of its kind. If you take a look at the full list below, you’ll quickly notice two themes: turbos and hybrids.

-3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW M240i)
-1.5L DOHC 4-cyl./Dual Motor EREV (Chevrolet Volt)
-3.6L DOHC V-6/Dual Motor PHEV (Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid)
-2.3L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Ford Focus RS)
-2.0L DOHC 4-cyl./Dual Motor HEV (Honda Accord Hybrid)
-1.4L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Hyundai Elantra Eco)
-3.0L Turbocharged DOHC V-6 (Infiniti Q50)
-2.5L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Mazda CX-9)
-2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Mercedes-Benz C300)
-2.0L Turbo/Supercharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Volvo V60 Polestar)

Times, they are a-changin’. In fact, this is the first time in 23 years that a V8 didn’t get put on the list. That doesn’t mean WardsAuto didn’t appreciate an engine with plenty of punch, though. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 in the Focus RS generates 350 horsepower (as much as the LS1 V8 in the C5 Corvette did) and 350 lb-ft of torque. WardsAuto said it “sends the Focus RS from standstill to lightspeed in a flick of the throttle. There simply are no dead spots in this all-aluminum engine’s power delivery, making the RS a totally civil daily driver.”

I just spent a week in a 2016 Focus RS and have to give its EcoBoost some praise of my own. It liked being revved, but I never once felt I had to wring it out to get juice out of it. Power came on strongly yet smoothly. As hopped up on boost as the car was, the throttle was well-tuned, even when I put the RS in its Sport and Track settings. Pulling away from stops was always lurch-free. What made the EcoBoost even more fun was the fact that Ford Performance hooked it to a six-speed manual gearbox – no paddle-shift auto or dual-clutch setup. That kind of wonderful and satisfying simplicity deserves an award of its own.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

via [Ford] and [WardsAuto]

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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