When Ford introduces its global-market Mondeo to China at next week’s Shanghai auto show, the car’s powertrain roster will include an all-new 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. Astute observers may be asking why this new 1.5-liter turbo four exists when the blue-oval brand already produces a 1.6-liter turbo four. It’s simple: Ford has grand plans for China, where significant tax breaks are given to vehicles powered by engines that displace 1.5 liters or less. The Dearborn-based manufacturer expects Asian and Pacific markets to make up 30 percent of its global sales by 2020, with China making up a large chunk of that pie. Closer to home, this engine will be added to the Fusion‘s powertrain lineup for 2014.

Yes, it will be added to the Fusion’s powertrain lineup, rather than replacing the 1.6-liter. So for 2014, the Fusion will be available with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost four, a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four, a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four, a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and the Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four used in the hybrid systems of the Fusion hybrid and Energi plug-in. The 1.5 will be available only with a six-speed automatic, while the 1.6 will be paired exclusively with a six-speed manual. This will allow Ford to allocate more 1.6-liter EcoBoosts to the Escape, where demand for the engine has surprised even Ford. (The crossover also offers the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter and the 2.0-liter EcoBoost.)

  • Comparison Test: 2013 Ford Fusion vs. Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Passat
  • Prototype Drive: 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost
  • Comparison Test: Ford Escape vs. CR-V, Tucson, Sportage, CX-5, RAV4

As far as the engine itself, Ford revealed very few details. It will be built at the company’s Craiova, Romania, production facility before being shipped to the U.S. and other markets this summer. Ford says that the 1.5 will “provide similar horsepower and torque performance” to the 1.6-liter, while delivering improved fuel economy. The new powerplant incorporates some features developed and introduced in the brand’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder, such as an integrated exhaust manifold that Ford claims will allow the engine to warm up more quickly.

2013 Shanghai Auto Show full coverage

By Austin Lindberg

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