Ford Motor Co. Consumer Marketing Manager Marc Lapine disclosed that sales of the F-150 pickups equipped with the optional EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 engine have surpassed the company’s forecasts. Some dealers are even reporting strong demand along with the rise of gasoline prices.
The EcoBoost V-6 has the fuel economy of a V-6, as well as the torque and horsepower that are comparable to a V-8. Specifically, it reduces emissions of carbon dioxide of up to 15 percent compared with the V-8s.
The EcoBoost, one of the newest engines from Ford, increases fuel economy by up to 20 percent. Those who like to have the optional EcoBoost engine will have to pay a price between $750 to $1,750 depending on the model of the F-150. Production started in January, and as of April, F-150s with the optional engine comprised 36 percent of the total F-150 sales and 40 percent of the pickup’s orders, according to Lapine.
He added that there is a 13-day supply for the F-150 models with the engine option. "It is not staying put very long," Lapine stated. As the average prices of gasoline in the U.S. are reaching $4 a gallon, customers are opting for vehicles that are more fuel-efficient and more compact. The consumers’ response to the EcoBoost engine, according to General Manager Wayne Seidel at Hiller Ford in Franklin, Wis., has been “awesome.”
Ford revealed that for the 2011 model year, the F-150’s powertrain will be overhauled extensively for the first time in its history. As such, the 2011 F-150 will come with a choice of four new engines, all of which have been paired to an improved automatic six-speed transmission. Regardless of what engine is chosen, all of them provide segment-leading capability, excellent performance, and improved fuel economy.
Due to the versatility delivered by this new lineup, customers will be able to select the engine that meets their preferences. During the official launching, the brand will be revealing the 3.7-liter V6 engine and the 5.0-liter V8 engine, each having the independent variable twin camshaft timing technology that enhances performance and helps save fuel. A version that is similar to the 6.2-liter V8 engine inside the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty will be released as well.
During the early part of 2011, Ford will then be releasing the EcoBoost 3.5-liter engine, calibrated and tuned specifically for the F-150. Customers of the F-150 will always want an engine that will deliver the capability, durability, performance, and reliability, they want. Horsepower, torque, and fuel economy, are also part of the consideration. All four engines being launched will offer an unrivalled combination of each of these qualities.
As expected from Ford, the lineup will also offer fuel economy that is the best in its segment. Once the EcoBoost 3.5-liter is officially part of this lineup, the fuel economy of the 2011 F-150 is improved by 20% when compared to the 2010 F-150. Powertrain Engineering vice president Barb Samardzich shared that the brand’s new engine lineup offers customers more flexibility especially when it comes to choosing the powertrain that meets their expectations. At present, she continued, the brand is in the middle of what it calls as the powertrain revolution, considering that 30 new powertrains will be unveiled during the next two years.
Clearly benefitting from this will be the loyal customers of the brand’s F-150, she added. Engineers at Ford have been studying the warranty history as it relates to the outgoing engines. They have also been developing various test procedures mainly based on the real-world driving experiences of the brand’s F-150 drivers. The goal of this is, of course, to guarantee that the new engines are reliable and show the highest quality.
Once the engine reaches the prototype phase, it will then be made to undergo a series of tests to make sure that it is completely compatible with the truck application and durability. All of the parts and the different systems will also need to pass the test equal to 150,000 miles. Inside the F-150, the engine was fine-tuned to enhance its durability and to have better heavy-duty operation. Certain parts were upgraded like forged steel crankshaft and exhaust manifolds.
Oil coolers and piston-cooling jets were added as well. VP Samardzich related that truck customers will always want engines that could deliver low-speed torque as this can help in ensuring that the truck could move or tow heavy payloads. Another quality that customers want is an engine that can endure low-speed and high-load operation, she added. For the 2011 F-150, the engine lineup was tuned not only to meet the needs of a truck operation but to also offer optimized fuel economy, she continued. Because of this, the new engine lineup is one that has excellent output, torque, and fuel economy, while ensuring that it has the class-leading payload capability and towing capacity.