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Tony O'Kane | May, 28 2013 | 1 Comment

Ford and Daimler are reportedly planning a partnership that could see Ford's 1.0 litre three-cylinder ecoboost engine power the next-generation smart fortwo.

According to industry mouthpiece Automotive News Europe, the deal will also see Daimler sharing the secrets of its Euro VI-compliant lean-burn direct injection petrol engines with Ford, something that will give the American manufacturer a critical edge in meeting ever-toughening CAFE emmissions legislation in the USA.

And, with Daimler already tied-up in a partnership with Renault-Nissan, the Ecoboost three-pot would also find its way into the upcoming 2014 Renault Twingo.

Voted the 2012 International Engine Of The Year, the 1.0 litre Ecoboost engine produces 92kW and 170Nm in its most powerful turbocharged form and is available with a manual transmission only. A low output naturally aspirated version exists, with just 60kW.

In its various forms, the 1.0 litre Ecoboost motor currently powers overseas variants of the Focus and Fiesta, as well as the Ford B-Max and C-Max MPVs. Locally, it will be available exclusively in the Ford Ecosport mini-SUV in 92kW turbo trim.

The current generation smart fortwo is powered by two versions of a Mitsubishi-sourced 1.0 litre three-cylinder, producing 53kW in the naturally-aspirated base model and 62kW with the addition of a turbocharger.

It's not clear whether smart will opt for the high-output turbocharged version of the Ecoboost inline three, but given the projected weight of the new fortwo is expected to be only slightly heavier than the 825kg current model it could be quite the pocket rocket if the 92kW engine is employed.

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