2011 F-150’s EcoBoost V6 Power Ratings Released
By Chris Haak
We just got word from Ford PR that the power ratings for the 2011 Ford F-150 pickup’s new optional 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 have been published. Actually, the power figures for the entire 2011 engine lineup for the F-150 was released today. You may recall that the 2011 F-150 is receiving an all-new engine lineup for the 2011 model year, set to improve the power and economy (at least theoretically) of the best-selling vehicle in the US.
To recap the engine lineup, the base engine is a 3.7 liter V6, marking the return of a six-cylinder to the F-series lineup for the first time since 2008. This engine produces 302 horsepower at a high-revving 6,500 RPMs and 278 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 RPMs, which is amazing for a base six-cylinder truck engine. GM’s 4.3 liter V6 base engine, in contrast, produces just 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. According to Ford, the base engine can tow 6,100 pounds.
Next up the ladder is the 5.0 liter Ti-VCT V8, also shared in another state of tune with the Mustang. In the truck, the new 5.0 produces 360 horsepower at 5,500 RPMs and 380 lb-ft at 4,250 RPMs. For comparison, the Mustang GT, the new 5.0 liter V8 produces 415 horsepower at 6,500 RPMs and 390 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 RPMs. The 5.0-liter equipped F-150 will tow up to 10,000 pounds. In spite of the F-150 producing lower numbers than the Mustang GT, they’re still better numbers than GM’s 4.8 liter V8 (295 HP/305 lb-ft) and even GM’s larger 5.3 liter V8 (320 HP/340 lb-ft). Likely part of the reason the F-150’s 5.0 is de-tuned is to move the torque peak lower in the truck application, but they also probably don’t want this engine to step on the toes of the EcoBoost V6.
The big engine news for the F-150, though, is that of the EcoBoost 3.5 liter V6. Ford is positioning the EcoBoost V6 above the 5.0 liter V8 in terms of price and towing capability. Though the blue oval has not released fuel economy figures on any of the four engines, it’s likely that the EcoBoost V6 will be the most-efficient engine, and certainly more efficient than the two V8 options. It’s likely to cost more than the 5.0 liter V8 as well, which may relegate this engine to more of a niche status. We haven’t seen a lot of online interest in a boosted V6 in a work truck, but if gasoline prices change for the worse, expect it to become a more viable option. As-is, the F-150’s EcoBoost V6 will produce a Taurus SHO-matching 365 horsepower at 5,000 RPMs (500 RPMs lower than the SHO’s horsepower peak) and an SHO-topping 420 lb-ft of torque at just 2,500 RPMs. The SHO produces 350 lb-ft at 3,500 RPMs, so there is a definite torque upgrade here – chalk that up to the beauty of forced induction.
The EcoBoost-equipped F-150 is rated to tow up to 11,300 lbs., which matches the capabilities of Ford’s 6.2 liter SOHC V8 available only in the Harley-Davidson F-150 and SVT Raptor specialty premium trucks. More impressively, the SHO needs premium fuel to achieve its numbers, while the F-150 EcoBoost will run on regular fuel all day and still hit its numbers. Too, this engine’s 420 lb-ft of torque tops competitors’ premium V8s torque outputs. For instance, GM’s 6.2 liter V8 produces 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft in pickup applications, and reaches its torque peak at 4,300 RPMs versus the EcoBoost V6’s 2,500 RPMs.
Having spent several hundred miles in the driver’s seat of various EcoBoost-equipped Ford vehicles, I can attest to the brilliance and flexibility of this engine. It moved a heavy Ford Flex with minimal turbo lag; by the time the transmission kicked down into passing gear, the engine had spooled up, and away I went. I imagine a similar experience in the F-150, particularly with another 70 lb-ft of torque to work with. Sure, the F-150 is heavier than the Flex, but the EcoBoost concept allows Ford powertrain engineers to optimize boost to levels ideal for each application.
The last engine, the SOHC 6.2 liter V8, makes the biggest numbers, but almost certainly at the highest level of fuel consumption among the F-150’s engines. The 6.2 produces 411 horsepower at 5,500 RPMs and 434 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 RPMs. Both of those numbers top all engines available from any competitor – GM, Chrysler, Toyota, or Nissan – but the only half-ton trucks with the 6.2 available are the SVT Raptor and Harley-Davidson premium trucks. Another version of the 6.2 liter V8 is available in the 2011 Super Duty, though in a different state of tune more befitting its work-truck status in the bigger trucks.