Amazing 'Ring time for 999cc FordComment on this story
Ford's feisty little one-litre EcoBoost engine - the 2012 International Engine of the Year - is fast making a name for itself for punching way above its weight, but this time the numbers are frankly outrageous.
First the boffins at Ford of Europe tweaked one of the 92kW, 999cc three-cylinder turbopetrol terriers to deliver an eye-watering 152kW - that's a 64 percent power hike.
Then they bolted it on to a six-speed racing gearbox and dropped it into a Formula Ford racing chassis - but they wanted to run the car on the infamous Nordschliefe at the Nurburgring which, you are reminded, is a public road most of the time.
So they fitted the FF chassis with road tyres, wheel covers, front and rear lights and indicators, aerodynamically designed wing mirrors - and a hooter! - and actually got it through Germany's notoriously stringent TUV roadworthy inspection.
Then they took it to the Eiffel forest and handed it over to their tame racing driver, 'Ring specialist Nick Tandy.
After his shakedown laps he said: “This little thing has people rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
“It's simply astonishing that a three-cylinder, one-litre engine can deliver that kind of performance.”
Then he went out and did a flat-out run, recording the 11th fastest time ever round the 20.832km circuit at 7 minutes 22 seconds (an average of 169km/h) - beating the times set by such supercars as the 516kW Lamborghini Aventador, the 487kW Ferrari Enzo and the 444kW Pagani Zonda.
It's also the fastest time on record by any car with less than five cylinders.
This one-of-a-kind, street-legal roller-skate pulls 0-100kmh in less than four seconds and it's geared to hit 255.5km/h flat out - but at a steady 60km/h it burns only 2.4 litres per 100km, and five litres per 100km at 120km/h.
Of course, you can't buy this 'Ring Runner' at your local dealer, but Ford is claiming an average of five litres per 100km for the 92kW production version of this engine in the C-segment Ford Focus sedan - and probably less in the all-new Fiesta, due later in 2012.