V6-powered Ford F-150s models outsold models using more powerful V8 engines

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 28, 2011

Car production workers typically take a two-week break for summer vacation but because of the high demand for pickups with smaller, more fuel-efficient engines, Ford’s Brook Park plant will only be taking one week of closure this year. The orders have been coming in rates faster than what Ford had expected.

Pete Johnson, the building chairman at Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 for the United Auto Workers Local 1250, said that the 869 workers will be allowed to make up for the lost vacation days later this year.

Johnson explained that its supplier plants will “probably work straight through" the traditional July shutdown. Last May, the V-6 engines outsold their V-8 counterparts in the F-150 for the first time in the history of the truck. Ford had hoped that its new engines would be popular but it didn’t expect that it will hit those numbers in so short a time.

Two V-6 engines are being built at Engine Plant No. 1. Ford's F-150 pickup uses these two engines, namely: the 3.7-liter base engine and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost (a turbocharged model that is Ford's flagship in the truck segment).

Ford spokesman Richard Truett said that the demand for V-6s in the F-150 has “far exceeded projections." He also said that the combination of outstanding performance and class leading fuel economy is just what consumers want.

A new standard engine in the hood, a variety of new technologies, and the SuperCrew add-on have all made the 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor one of the trucks to beat when it was released.

Jost Capito, director of motorsports business development and global performance vehicles at Ford, reveals that customers were instantly amazed by the sheer power and capability of the new truck when it was first launched. Capito adds that the optional SuperCrew made the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor even more flexible and more appealing to a wider set of enthusiasts who are looking for the top-notch performance that only this truck can provide.

Built for speed and performance

The Build Ford Tough philosophy extends to three main areas: durability, engineering, and innovation, and all of these are present in the new Raptor. In fact, this is the first high-speed off-road truck that the company has released and it takes its cue from an off-road pre-runner. Of course, extensive modifications were done on the suspension and chassis. Is it any wonder then that Ford can boast of more than three decades of truck sales leadership?

Speaking of the suspension, the form factor of the new truck is seven inches wider than the regular F-150 to allow for the added suspension components. Not only does this change help guarantee a smoother off-road experience for the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, but this also gives it a more aggressive look. Additionally, you have triple-bypass shocks designed by FOX Racing Shox inside. This is the first time that a product truck would have such shocks and it gives the Raptor drivers a smoother ride on the road while also making it fit for extreme off-road conditions.

Further, you also have the 35-inch BF-Goodrich tires and the one-of-a-kind aluminum front control arms that give the truck more than 11 inches of front suspension movement and roughly 12 inches of rear suspension travel.

One of the exciting features that you can opt for is the SuperCrew, which adds flexibility, space and performance. That larger cab has a 145-inch wheelbase (12 inches more than the SuperCab wheelbase) and allows for more room for the passengers to move around! And that is definitely a plus for off-road conditions. Ford’s SVT chief nameplate engineer Jamal Hameedi explains that they have taken cues from the SuperCab to design SuperCrew. Even with its bigger dimensions, the SuperCrew has the same suspension and ride specification as the SuperCab.

And if you are thinking of using the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor as a tow truck, then it is one more reason why you should love SuperCrew. The SuperCrew has a bigger fuel tank that can accommodate 36 gallons of fuel as well as 8,000 pounds of towing capacity.

Lastly, there is the performance. Unlike in the previous models, the 6.2-liter V8 engine is now standard for the Ford F-150 SVT. The engine gives you an output of 411 horsepower and 434 lb. ft. of torque, making it the most powerful pickup in its class. And because the American automaker promised that its vehicles would be “Built Ford Tough,” the powertrain underwent hundreds of rigorous tests that were all beyond the necessary tests for truck engines. And if that is not enough, Ford also tested the pickup to run on a durability loop for 62 miles, with road conditions that are highly similar to the Baja 1000. Their findings? Top scores for engine reliability and durability even in the most brutal conditions.

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