A one-of-a-kind Formula Ford racer has set one of the fastest lap times in history at Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit, completing the course in a blistering seven minutes and 22 seconds.
Ford fitted the bespoke racing vehicle with a specially-tuned 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, improving the car’s performance from its standard output of 125 to 202 bhp. The vehicle manufacturer replaced the vehicle’s standard 1,600 cc Ford Duratec engine for the circuit attempt.
And a positive move it was too, with the vehicle’s performance one for the record books, placing it at the head of the list for lap times by a four-cylinder or less vehicle and 11th overall for a road-legal car.
The EcoBoost-powered racer completed the lap in a faster time than a number of 600-plus bhp behemoths, including the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari Enzo and Pagani Zonda.
At present, the Formula Ford sits sandwiched between the 8.4-litre V10-powered Dodge Viper ACR and the Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 in the lap timetable, ahead of the Nissan GT-R and Pagani Zonda F Clubsport – which both achieved a time of seven minutes and 24 seconds.
Moreover, the Formula Ford was not that far off the lap record of six minutes and 48 seconds, which is currently held by the Radical SR8 LM.
The decision to carry out the modifications was an easy one for Ford, as the company looked to highlight the performance and sustainability of its EcoBoost family of engines.
Roelant de Waard, vice president of marketing and sales at Ford of Europe, commented: “We wanted to prove that size doesn’t matter by showing everyone what an amazingly capable engine we have developed in the 1.0-litre EcoBoost.”
“What better way than by beating some of the best supercars in the world on the Nordschleife, while using a fraction of the fuel.”
Weighing in at just 420 kg, the Formula Ford’s diminutive stature and load meant it was able to hug the windy circuit of the Nurburgring with greater ease than its fellow racers, while the model’s powerhouse delivered the considerable oomph that was required for maximum speed when it mattered.
Indeed, the bespoke racer offers some impressive statistics, delivering 118 mpg when cruising at 35 mph and 57 mpg at motorway speeds (70 mph). However, the lightweight frame coupled with the EcoBoost engine provides a top speed of 158.8 mph and acceleration of zero to 62 mph in under four seconds.
It is this blistering pace that propelled the Ford Racer around the circuit with such panache, with driver Nicky Tandy noting the level of surprise the result has engendered.
He said: “This little engine has people rubbing their eyes in disbelief. It’s simply astonishing that a three-cylinder, one-litre engine can deliver that kind of performance.”
Completing the Nurburgring circuit in such a fast time is no mean feat, with Tandy and the Formula Ford racer achieving an average speed of 105 mph on the 12.94-mile lap.
The EcoBoost range of engines is currently available in a number of new Ford models, including the Focus, Fiesta, B-Max and C-Max, with the vehicle manufacturer highlighting the green benefits of its unique powertrain offering.
Vehicles utilising the EcoBoost family of engines benefit from 20 per cent better fuel efficiency than standard models, while emissions are also reduced by 15 per cent, the manufacturer maintains.
The 1.0-litre EcoBoost was recently honoured for its green credentials by being named international engine of the year 2012 by Engine Technology International magazine.
It also picked up the accolades of best new engine and best engine under one litre, as voted for by 76 industry journalists from 35 countries.
Posted by Mark Thompson