Barter trade is very much alive, especially in the car industry. Want some cool tech from your neighbour? Just offer some of your own specialties and a deal could be struck, because chances are, he could do with some of yours. The latest two parties checking out each other’s wares are Daimler and Ford.

Automotive News reports that Daimler and Ford recently exchanged information about their petrol engines. Of interest to the maker of Mercedes-Benz is Ford’s award-winning three-cylinder EcoBoost engine (pictured above), and in return, Daimler shared details on its stratified lean-burning powerplants.

Daimler kept an eye on the small EcoBoost engine while developing its own three-pot turbo petrol engine with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The new engine will be used in the next-generation Renault Twingo mini car and in the German carmaker’s new Smart ForTwo.

“It’s a very interesting and impressive engine. We have had some discussions with Ford engineers about this engine,” said Mercedes-Benz engine development director Roland Kemmler. The 1.0 triple is the reigning International Engine of the Year, and it powers models like the Fiesta, B-Max, Focus, C-Max and Ecosport SUV.

Mercedes-Benz’s stratified lean-burn gasoline engines already meet Euro-6 emissions rules that take effect for new cars in Europe starting in September 2014. A four-cylinder version of the engine is currently on offer in the facelifted E-Class.

Daimler is already in a partnership with Ford and Nissan to accelerate the commercialisation of fuel cell EV technology. The three-way agreement was signed in January this year, and you can read the full story here.