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How Automobiles Work

Steve Sutcliffe: A Formula Ford racing car
is not perhaps the most obvious choice of vehicles compared with an Audi R8 supercar,
a BMW M6 GranCoupe, or a Mercedes A45 AMG. But here’s the thing, because this particular
Formula Ford is, in fact, road legal. Hence, the reason it wears numberplates, has a set
of headlights, and even has a tax disc to prove it.
Okay, I’m sitting on a 1.0-litre turbocharged engine. It’s been pretty heavily turbocharged.
Ford says it’s got just over 200bhp, which might not sound a great deal until you realise
that this car weighs less than 500kg. It’s got mega, mega performance as a result – quite
a lot more straight line performance than a regular Formula Ford would have.
It’s the torque that’s most impressive. I just put my foot down now, and – wow – in
fourth gear you’ve got a big, big thrust in the back for starters, but you also get
all these massive chatters and fizzes from the wastegate because it opens and closes
as it dumps boost. It sounds just like a mid-80s touring car. It’s fantastic. Listen. (Laughs), I mean the rest of this car is absolutely straight Formula Ford – sequential gearbox, double wishbone suspension front and rear, actually be no curb weight whatsoever. Super
hyper-instinctive, hyper-precise steering. And the movement on all the pedals, it’s just
tiny. The brake pedal moves about an inch backwards and forwards through its total travel.
That’s really nice because it’s a lovely solid pedal to lean up against.
This car is all about showcasing Ford’s award-winning three-cylinder engine. It’s basically to show
the world, I guess, an alternative view to what a sports car could be like. We’re going
to show you what it will do to an Audi R8 V10 in a straight line, and to an M6 going around
a corner, and a Mercedes A45 AMG going through The Snake (test track). It can live with or beat
all of those cars, despite having only a 1.0-litre engine.
I think the real killer point about this car is not just how fast it is in a straight line
or around corners, it’s how much fuel you don’t use in the process. Ford reckons that
this car will do 118mpg. That’s mad – all that performance and 100mpg. That’s the answers
to all of our prayers, isn’t it? Okay, so here’s how the Ecoboost from the Ford
compared with the Audi in a straight drag race up to about 100mph. Unfortunately, it was
soaking wet when we started filming as you can see, which gave the four-wheel drive Audi
a massive advantage off the line. But when we compared them in the dry a bit
earlier, before the cameras started rolling, the Formula Ford could stay with the Audi
up to 90. In fact, it was a little bit quicker. Once again, it was wet when we filmed the
Ford and the M6 going through our favourite corner on the test track. As you can see, the M6
was all over the place while the Ford just basically drove through with no problems.
Even so, the lack of inertia in the Ford was very obvious. Beside it, the M6 felt like
a bit of a tank, although it did provide us with the perfect opportunity to do some gratuitous sideways driving. It was the same when we compared the Ford
with the A45 through The Snake. The A-class felt more stable, true, and it probably had
a bit more grip, thanks mainly to the Ford’s not entirely rain-friendly tyres, but the
way the Ford could change directions so rapidly, thanks to its light weight, was still a real
eye opener. That’s the one key lesson in all this, I guess,
which is lightness in a sports car really is the Holy Grail. And when you don’t have
two tonnes of car to lug about but instead, in this case, just half a ton, when everything
else kind of falls into place, sports car makers of the world, please take note.

100 thoughts on “Road-legal 1.0-litre Formula Ford EcoBoost vs Audi R8, BMW M6 and an Mercedes A45 AMG

  1. Ford should have some kind of top on the look-a-like Formula-Race-Car so it can be driven in the rain with out getting wet. But it's a good-idea to get the feel of a Formula-Race-Car off the track.

  2. That they even hinted Ford would sell this as a road car is a joke. This was never more than the engineers' wet dream side project like the Golf GTI with the W12 in it. Even then, they only got to do it to show off their ecoboost engines. Hype-machine.

  3. This is a bit of an unfair comparison. What is the point of comparing this against sedans? Of course it will out-perform them. This should be compared to cars like the Caterham or the Atom.

  4. Give it a windshield/canopy and the ability to go over speed bumps then we can talk about using it on the road. And 200hp out of a turbo 1L is not all that impressive. Bike engines can do that N/A, although I'm sure they don't get nearly the same gas mileage as this does. Ford should definitely sell these though.

  5. this car beat ferrari enzo and many many cars why many shit dont accept it the facts , see nuremburg time laps for this car is 07:22 better then ferrari enzo better then audi r8 better then nissan gtr 2011 , better then many many super cars, for exemple radical sr8 is the first on the list radical beat all cars all even the mighty porshe 918 spyder was unihilated by radical sr8 and they has ford engines and honda

  6. Automakers take note? Every engineer at an automaker knows this, we've all done FSAE when we were at uni and some still do motorsport. However, manufacturing a car for the general public is about more than engineering, it's about what marketing can sell, what can turn a profit, what can meet regulations across multiple countries and normally about what the majority of the motoring public want.

  7. It's a shame that it rains so much in the UK that you see many tests having to be done in the wet. Sorry, but that ruins it for me. I suppose it's good for you guys across the pond because that's more like a real-life road test. Sure we get rain in the states, but not like you guys. Well, maybe Washington state… Anyway, thanks for the reviews! /subscribed.

  8. The M6 still handles better. It did go side way but it is a perfect slide instead of Ford's understeer->oversteer->understeer. 

  9. But think about this…

    I can live with the AUDi, BMW and Mercedes all year long… while… i only would go with the ford in the summer period…

    It light and the engine is a 1.0….

    Compared to the massive engines in the Germans…

  10. he sports car of the world take note. but that mercedes is not a sports car that's a wagon. the bmw is a m6 nice but exactly pure sporty the m3 would of done better and the audi is just as fast as that car and it has a/c, heat and cab drive in the rain without getting wet.

  11. It's amazing the little 1.0 3 cylinder makes the power it does with a tiny 38mm, and under full throttle the vacuum operated wastegate can open up giving an extra 25 ft lb or so. This Formula Ford is running a stock 1.6 ecoboost turbo instead which puts down around 200hp. that's a still "stock" engine too. in that car you don't need more power BUT…. I'd like to see just how much they will put down

  12. is it just me or every video of these f1 like road legal cars with rwd vs. some awd super cars, get filmed only on rainy days ?

  13. "Lightness in a sports car really is the holy grail ……. sports car makers of the world please take note." Yes, yes, yes! And make sure that they are balanced properly.

  14. What I don't understand is why would you compare it to such heavy cars? Why not the ariel atom with a k20? or hell why not a motorcycle? This thing has crazy torque, race it against an s1000rr or something similar.

  15. Slick tires on a wet day while the other cars have all weather tires and are heavier.                  They just didn't want to embarrass the other cars by having them look like they're sleeping behind there I suppose.

  16. Why don't u take a supper sport bike? This thing and a sports bike have the same cons f.e. U can't go shopping with it XD but u can take with a sports bike girl with u. And a bike is lighter but with the same power! AND it is less expensive. Why the fuck should somebody buy this shitty thing?

  17. "the Formula Ford could stay with the Audi up to 90. In fact, it was a little bit quicker" – Cut the Bullshit !
    The Formula Ford is a WAY QUICKER !!! See by yourself in the Nurburgring Lap Time Records EVER !

    Top 100 Nurburgring Lap Time
    14 – FordEco Boost 7m22 sec
    58 – Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI 7m44 sec

  18. 100 mpg? I have a hard time believing that since a 170 kg, 500cc and 47 hp bike is at 75 mpg when you ride economically.

  19. Please dont do tests like this in the wet. What a waste of something which could have been very interesting. The rain killed the test

  20. I know it can't compare to the real thing , but I use one of these on Forza 6. I can't believe that 1.0 L can be so much fun!

  21. Ahem, 200 bhp from a 1000cc. this sounds familliar, but i ride bikes.. and i know emessions and so on, are much much stricter on cars, but still. 200 bhp per litre is pretty much the standard for supersport bikes 🙂

  22. A good tip for your crap production team – when someone is speaking, lower or remove the background noise and sound effects. If you leave them at the same level, we can't hear what is being said. I think it must be the same silly people that produce other videos that are just as bad. If it isn't the video they mess up by using every special effect in the drop down list, they ruin the audio completely. Get people that know what they are doing, as in – not graduates with no experience.

  23. I really don't see the reason for some of these comparisons. So take a small, light highly boosted engine and compare against "cars".
    Why not show the crash test of this car against a VW beetle or a 75,000 GVW tractor trailer? Just impracticle to most of us.
    However, would be fun if these could be rented on a track somewhere…

  24. No cup holder ?? I definitely don't want this……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. j/k ! Where do I sign ? But absolute useless comparo ! It's like the Brits can't find a way of testing cars in the dry !!! That's ridiculous…. I'm not interested in watching cars run at half their potential because they're running in the wet ! Come on…..

  25. Why the comparison. The Audi, BMW and the merc can sit passengers and take luggage, plus you do not get wet in the rain. He should taken the Ariel Atom and the Caterham for a similar comparison. Would really want to drive down from to Nice in a one seater track car or the M6?

  26. As US engineer, William Bushnell Stout, recommended and Colin Chapman often repeated: "Simplicate and add lightness".

  27. 1) it doesn't do anything like 118 mpg when you hit the gas and you are not doing 'an economic cycle'.2) it is rather expensive compared with other light-weight sports cars.3) Making a light-weight minimalist sports car is the easy bit. Translating it into something that can be used everyday well Lotus have done that well and quite cheaply. This is a play thing. The 1 litre Ford engine is great. The fiesta shows this not this 'lesson in power to weight'.

  28. Mom: Have you found a car you want to buy yet?
    Me: Yes.
    Mom: Well, which one ?
    Me: 'points at Formula Ford EcoBoost'
    Mom: Oh boy…

  29. I want one!!!..I think this is what Ford need..small turbo engine with lightweight body…it would really give the Japanese cars some competition

  30. "The car is absolutely straight Formula Ford… Sequential gearbox." Ummm, no. At least in Australia, FF1600s are all 4 speed manuals…

  31. really disappointing the weather was this bad. I'm sure the Ford had alot more to show and give in the dry weather. Would love to see this comparison again in warm and dry weather conditions to see what it could really do against these cars.

  32. What gets me about programs like this why would you do it on the wet that gives advantage away? Surly these supposed shows could easily wait for a dry day so makes this pointless.

  33. Very patronising. So it is power divided by weight is it? a = F/m …… and there was me thinking that it was power multiplied by weight. I didn’t understand why my 2.6 tonne Camper with 110 bhp was slower than a Golf GTI when their power multiplied by mass was the same. Now I know!

  34. But why the need to turbo to get to 200hp… Plenty of engines do that NA, some close to half the size.

  35. There are very, very few sports cars manufactured these days. The performance offerings from the manufacturers list here are properly considered Grand Touring cars. A real sports car sacrifices luxury, comfort and sometimes basic livability to get the weight down. Most people don't want to buy such a car, and I don't blame them. Neither sports cars nor GT cars make sense in today's road environment except as a display of conspicuous consumption or maybe, just maybe, an appreciation for the unusual but useless – like fine art. If you like to drive fast, you'll get more enjoyment for your money with a trailer, a track car, and something to pull them that also goes to work.

  36. I have better idea … use the same body or make a bit biggger one with 2.0 ecoboost 400 hp. That will be insane

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