Filipe: The 1.5-liter, three-cylinder replaces the 1.5-liter four-cylinder.

DETROIT — For the first time in more than a century, Ford will offer a vehicle in the U.S. with an engine that can run on two cylinders.

David Filipe, vice president of Ford’s powertrain engineering, confirmed last week that the engine, Ford’s new 1.5-liter three-cylinder with cylinder deactivation, will be offered in the U.S. He declined to say which U.S. vehicle will get the engine or give timing. Ford is launching the engine in other markets in the all-new Focus. That redesigned compact car is to arrive here in 2019.

At certain speeds and loads, one cylinder of the new three-cylinder is turned off. Maintaining smoothness when the engine switches between two and three cylinders is difficult in a three-cylinder engine, which must overcome vibrational problems because of the odd number of cylinders.

Filipe, speaking on the sidelines of the SAE International WCX World Congress Experience, told Automotive News the 1.5-liter three-cylinder replaces the 1.5-liter four-cylinder. Ford uses the 1.5-liter four-cylinder in the Fusion and Escape.

During a panel discussion on the future of internal combustion engines, Filipe said Ford remains committed to introducing technologies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve fuel economy.

The Trump administration has announced plans to revise 2022-25 model year fuel economy standards that were finalized in January by the departing Obama administration’s EPA.

That same commitment was echoed by Dan Nicholson, General Motors’ vice president for global propulsion systems, and Jeff Lux, who is in charge of transmission and driveline engineering for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The European version of the aluminum-block 1.5-liter engine in the Focus is rated at 140 hp or 180 hp. Ford has not released power figures for the U.S. version. The last Ford car marketed in the U.S. that ran on two cylinders was the 1906 Model F.