Going through TSA checkpoints when flying is always a chore. You have to chug your booze, take off your shoes, belt, aluminum underpants, empty your pockets, and take your laptop and engine blocks out of your carry-on bags.
Wait, what? Oh, right — I bet many of you are still checking your V8s and inline 4s instead of carrying them on the plane, because your engine blocks are too big to fit in the overhead compartments! That's not a problem Ford has with their new 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which they were able to stuff into a suitcase and carry on to a plane.
Here's why Ford crammed an engine block on top of someone's socks and underwear in a small carry-on suitcase, according to Craig Daitch who made the journey:
We wanted to prove just how compact the 1.0 liter-was. The TSA were in disbelief that the engine block in our luggage was core to powering one of our cars. We figured the best way to show scale was through carrying it through the airport.
Well, Craig, mission accomplished. That is one small-ass engine. According a Ford internal Powerpoint, this little engine will have direct injection, a turbo, and should make around 120 HP. Thats's 40 HP/cylinder, and that's not bad at all. Expect Ford to make an announcement soon about what American vehicle they're going to put it in.
Normally in engines, the type of scale that gives us that funny pants feeling is on the large side: more cylinders, more cubic inches, more horses. But I love potent small engines, and I'm really looking forward to driving something with this little three-pot in it. There hasn't been a three-cylinder engine sold under an American name in the US since the Geo Metros rusted away, and the only three you can buy now is tucked down under the floor of a Smart. It's time we had some tiny, fun options.
An engine small enough to shove under an airplane seat means all kinds of great things: lots of packaging flexibility (mid-engine small Ford sports car, and a small cab-over pickup, please), ease of working on (an engine you could lift out by yourself!), and the possibility of selling crate motors for projects in stacks of slick boxes with little handles.
So, kudos to Ford for having balls big enough to bring a genuinely small engine to Big America, and more kudos to TSA for not doing the expected freaking out and closing the airport because something metallic and unknown showed up.
I just feel bad for the poor bastard trying to drag a V8 through security for the control group.