We all knew it was bound to happen sooner or later, and Ford has finally started lifting the veil on the F-150 EcoBoost. This engine is a big deal for Ford and pickup truck owners, and it could have a profound effect on pickups as a whole. Are buyers willing to pay a premium for an engine that gets better gas mileage, if all other factors remain the same?
The 2011 F-150 will get four engine options, two V6 engines and two V8s. The 3.7 liter V6 will be the base engine, and the 3.5 liter EcoBoost will be the top end motor, the two V8’s (5.0 and 6.2 liter) sandwiched in between. Is a 20% boost in highway gas mileage going to be worth the as-yet unspecified price premium?
Ford made it clear that the EcoBoost engines would be making their way through the whole Ford lineup, including the F-150. This is the first front-engine/rear-drive setup for the EcoBoost too, which means much in the way of burnouts is sure to come. This isn’t just about power though; it is about gas mileage. The EcoBoost V6 is supposed to make as much, if not more horsepower than the outgoing 5.4 liter V8, while getting a 20% boost in highway mpg. The 2010 5.4 liter V8 go 14 mpg in the city and 20 on the highway.
That means the EcoBoost would have to get at least 24 mpg on the highway, in a pickup that has a towing capacity of over 11,000 pounds. Ford hasn’t set the exact horsepower numbers for the 3.5 liter EcoBoost, though it should easily make over 400 horsepower and 400 ft-lbs of torque. It will also have a very flat torque curve, with much of that power available by 2,500 rpms. That should make towing a breeze.
My question though is, how much is a 20% boost in gas mileage on a full-duty pickup worth to you?
Source: Green Car Advisor | Image: Ford