The new 1.5-litre 3-cylinder Ti-VCT Dragon petrol engine will be made at the Ford engine and vehicle assembly plant in Sanand, Gujarat. Being the only maker of the engine for the Indian as well as international markets including Brazil, the assembly line has been been made to be capable of producing as many as 750 engines a day, that translates into a new Dragon engine every 26 seconds. This new engine will power the upcoming Ford EcoSport facelift which is slated for launch in India after Diwali. The plant utilises 185 workstations to build the engine at this rapid pace. However, even as Ford and Mahindra signed a deal for joint development of electric vehicles, no plan has been made for this plant under the agreement yet.
Ford India's Sanand Vehicle Assembly and Engine Plant is spread on a 460-acre campus which has been operational since March 2015. Built at a cost of $ 1 billion, the plant has an installed production capacity of 2.40 lakh vehicles and 2.70 lakh engines per annum, respectively. To aid manufacture of vehicle, 19 Ford component suppliers are also located near the plant. The body assembly line has an automation level of 95 per cent. The engine assembly meanwhile cam handle two engine architectures. Apart from the new Dragon engine, the plant produces the Ford Figo, Ford Figo Aspire and the Ford Figo Plus (export market) at the facility.
The new 1.5-litre 3-cylinder Ti-VCT Dragon petrol replaces the 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol, and produces 123PS / 150Nm. The engine has 10 per cent more power and 7 per cent more torque with a similarly higher claimed fuel economy compared to the engine it replaces. It is also 10 per cent smaller and lighter. The new engine is as yet cleared to meet BS IV and Euro IV emission norms, and has not been tested for European markets so far. Ford will also export the Dragon petrol engine to South Africa eventually. Meanwhile, Ford Europe had also recently showcased its 2018 Ford EcoSport for the European market ahead of the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany.