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Three-cylinder Formula Ford laps Naburgring in 7:22

Ford is out to prove small engines can provide big performance.

Ford's 1.0L EcoBoost is more about efficiency than performance, but the Dearborn-based automaker has just posted an impressive lap time at Germany's famed Narburgring in a unique Formula Ford powered by the three-cylinder engine.

Formula Ford cars are typically powered by a 180 horsepower version of the company's 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder, but Ford's one-off racer employs a 205 horsepower version of the 1.0L EcoBoost - more than double the engine's standard output. Thanks to that boost in power, the three-cylinder Formula Ford was able to lap the Nürburgring in 7 minutes, 22 seconds - besting cars like the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari Enzo and Pagani Zonda.

"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," said Roelant de Waard, vice president of Marketing and Sales, Ford of Europe. "What better way than by beating some of the best supercars in the world on the Nordschleife, while using a fraction of the fuel."

Ford says the three-cylinder Formula Ford can return 118mpg while cruising at 35mph. At 75mph, the car sips fuel at the rate of 57mpg.

Although the three-cylinder Formula Ford won't be going on sale anytime soon, European buyers currently have access to the 1.0L EcoBoost in the Focus compact. Ford is also planning to offer the three-cylinder in its B-MAX, C-MAX and redesigned Fiesta.