Ford Focus – the world’s fastest 1.0-litre car?

The incredible achievement, which was watched by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) officials, puts the Ford Focus ahead of similar 1.0-litre engines including the Fiat 500, Volkswagen Polo and Citroen C1.

Ford was helped by World Rally Championship driver Jari-Matti Latvala, who swapped his 304PS Fiesta RS Rally Car for the more humble Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoot delivering 125PS.

After setting a host of records, including an average speed of 109mph over a mile, Latvala said: “This little engine punches way above its weight when it comes to performance. The records prove the Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost can be lots of fun – as well as a very frugal car.”

The car also set several endurance records, clocking up an average speed of 106mph over 24 hours and 119mph over a single hour.

Despite the records, the Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost will not trouble the world’s supercars with a 0-62mph sprint time of 11.3 seconds and a top speed of 120mph.

This is more than the Fiat 500 TwinAir’s 0-62mph sprint time of just 11 seconds, meaning the records may not be safe for long.

However, that performance is matched to CO2 emissions of just 114g/km – putting the car in Band B of UK road tax, where it is exempt from payment in the first year.

It also delivers 56.5mpg with more frugal driving, while a less powerful 100Ps version boosts that figure to 58.9mpg.

The five-door Ford Focus hatchback is a small family car, making it one of the largest cars to use a 1.0-litre petrol engine or smaller in the UK.

The 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is also due to appear on the new Ford B-Max compact people carrier and the Ford C-Max MPV in 2012.

The new Ford Focus is on sale now from £14,000 at Perrys Ford dealerships.