Ford is introducing its ‘EcoBoost’ brand of small capacity, direct injected and turbocharged engines to Europe, starting with the 2010 C-Max minivan, and has hinted that two- and three-cylinder versions and sizes under one litre could follow.

For now, though, the choice will be 1.6- and two-litre versions of a new engine that reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 20% compared with conventional petrol engines, according to the automaker.

The EcoBoost global engine family with direct petrol injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing for maximum combustion efficiency has already been introduced in North America.

“The new family of EcoBoost four-cylinder petrol engines coming in 2010 is a key element of Ford Motor Company’s global blueprint for sustainability,” said the automaker’s European chief John Fleming.

“We believe that these engines will provide customers with a genuinely attractive alternative to diesel or hybrid power units, delivering highly competitive fuel economy and cost-of-ownership, along with the responsive performance and wide rev range which have made petrol engines the favoured choice for so many drivers.”

The initial range line-up will be 1.6-litre units for the redesigned C-Max and two-litre units for larger models like the Mondeo and S-Max.

An additional small-capacity engine arrives later for small and medium cars.

Ford has previously said the two-litre engine will be sold globally, launching in North America in 2010 and, in its first rear-wheel drive application, in the Australian Falcon from 2011.

“With the two-litre engine catering for applications of 200PS and above, the 1.6-litre engine spanning the 150-180PS range, and the small-capacity unit meeting the demand for engines in the sub-130PS segment, over time we will offer a high-efficiency, low-CO2 EcoBoost engine for all of our major European vehicle lines,” noted Fleming.

For European vehicles, the two-litre engine will be produced at Valencia in Spain with the 1.6-litre variant made at Bridgend in the UK.

The coming small-displacement engine will be made both in Cologne, Germany, and at Ford’s new Craiova engine plant in Romania.

By 2012, the company plans to produce 1.3m EcoBoost engines worldwide annually – 750,000 in the US. By 2013, EcoBoost engines should be offered in 90% of Ford’s global products.

The 3.5-litre V6 EcoBoost engine already made in the US is the first gasoline direct-injection twin-turbocharged engine to be manufactured in North America and is claimed to deliver similar power but better fuel economy than V8 competitors.