BERLIN -- Volkswagen AG is developing a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine for the Polo and Golf. The tiny powerplant is being considered for North America.
The I-3 will have an aluminum block and head and will develop 110 hp, VW executives said at a press event here.
VW spokesman Christian Buhlmann said the board of directors originally rejected the engine but reconsidered after Ford Motor Co. introduced its own 1.0-liter turbo.
Ford said recently that it is doubling production to keep up with demand. The I-3, which is rated at 123 hp, will be available in the United States in the 2014 Ford Fiesta subcompact in late 2013.
Buhlmann said the small engine makes sense in Europe because it costs less than a diesel engine and insurance rates will likely be lower.
VW's engine uses some of the same technology as the Ford 1.0-liter I-3. For instance, it does not have a power-sapping balance shaft, and it uses direct injection and variable valve timing.
VW did not say when its I-3 would be in showrooms. BMW AG and General Motors also are developing three-cylinder engines.
-- Richard Truett