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Monday, 2 May 2011

2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost

When Ford CEO Alan Mulally took out massive loans in 2007 with the entire company serving as collateral, it looked like a desperation move by an automaker on the ropes. Come 2009, Mulally started looking like a genius.
Thanks to those loans, Ford didn't have to ask the government for loans or file bankruptcy, and thus didn't earn the public scorn that its cross-town rivals did. On top of that PR victory, Ford was a big beneficiary of the "Cash for Clunkers" program (Ford vehicles, particularly 90s Explorers, were some of the most common C4C trade-ins as well). And, thanks to some well-timed products like the 2009 F-150 and 2010 Fusion, its sales dropped slower than the market as a whole and the Blue Oval finished 2009 with a bigger share of the market.
Looking forward (and past the looming release of the Fiesta), Ford has enough product in the pipeline to build on its victories in 2009. Click through to the following pages for all the highlights of what Dearborn is cooking up for 2011.
That’s no doubt a question that many truck buyers are currently asking. With the recent spikes in fuel prices and impending Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets that now include light trucks as well as passenger cars, saving gas has moved from the back to near the top of the list when it comes to pickups.

How automakers will meet an average fleet fuel consumption target of 35 miles per gallon for their passenger cars and light trucks remains to be seen. Some pundits predict more use of lightweight materials and the possibility of diesel engines in ½ ton pickups, but Ford’s short-term solution is to employ twin turbocharging, variable cam timing and direct injection.
The result is of course the so-called EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6, rated at 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Naturally, the Blue Oval boys and girls have been going to great lengths to convince F-150 buyers (and there are lots of them), that this engine represents a bridge towards the future, combining V6 fuel economy with V8 power and torque.


Compared to Ford’s own new 5.0-liter V8, which in the 2011 F-150 is rated at 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque and also boasts independent twin variable cam timing; the EcoBoost might not seem that much of a big deal, especially in view of the fact that it requires an additional $1,055 to upgrade from the 5.0 to a motor with smaller displacement and force induction (which traditionally means more complexity and a greater risk for things to go wrong).
However, it’s the way in which power and torque are delivered that makes this engine stand apart from the herd. During the , AutoGuide got a chance to sample all of the 2011 F-150’s new powertrain combinations, and while it was the 5.0-liter V8 that won us over with its wonderful sounding exhaust note and strong throttle response right through the rev range, the EcoBoost quickly cast its mark.
The combination of small diameter twin turbos and direct injection give the EcoBoost an almost diesel like torque curve.  “It means that this engine generates around 90 percent of its torque at just 1700 rpm,” said Ford spokesman Michael Lord during a press conference. And that peak torque is available all the way through 5500 rpm – essentially the normal operating range of most pickups in daily use.
Compared with Ford’s other V8s, this makes a great deal of sense, especially for those that will be hauling or towing regularly. For comparison’s sake the Ford 5.0-liter makes its maximum 380 lb-ft at 4250 rpm and the big 6.2-liter makes 434 lb-ft at 4500, while Chevy’s 5.3 Vortech V8 delivers 338 lb-ft at 4400 rpm and Ram’s all-conquering Hemi puts out 407 lb-ft at 4000 revs.



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