2011 Ford F-150 to Get Three New Engines
By Chris Haak
Ford announced yesterday that its 2011 F-150 pickup will receive three new engines for the 2011 model year, and all should improve fuel economy, power, and torque over their predecessors.
For the first time since the 2008 model year, the F-150 will be available with a V6 as its base engine. Back in 2008, the V6 was an agricultural 4.2 liter unit, but the new one should sound familiar to Mustang fans – it’s a derivative of the 3.7 liter Ti-VCT unit installed in the 2011 Mustang Coupe. Speaking from firsthand experience, this excellent engine is a strong V6 and surely will not leave base F-150 buyers wanting for more power. In Mustang trim, the V6 produces 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque; the former base engine, a 4.6 liter 2-valve V8, produced a paltry 248 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The V8’s torque peak came at 4,000 RPMs and the V6’s comes at 4,250 in the Mustang; not a significant difference, and one that may be altered via tuning before installation in the truck. The 3.7 liter, you may recall, returns an impressive 31 mpg on the highway in the Mustang. Our crystal ball says to expect low- to mid-20s in the F-150.
Next up is a 5.0 liter V8, which – again – is more or less shared with the new 2011 Mustang. This engine in the Mustang produces 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, and those numbers are all superior to even the 5.4 liter V8 available in the 2010 F-150. The 5.4 was rated at 320 horsepower and 390 lb-ft, and again, the 5.0 may produce different numbers if it’s torque-optimized for trucks. This engine is an absolute jewel in the 2011 Mustang GT, and even though it will be saddled with considerably more weight in the pickup, it should still acquit itself well in nearly all applications, and also improve upon the 5.4’s fuel economy numbers.
Between the two new Mustang engines is a 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 with twin turbos and direct injection. The EcoBoost in most AWD applications (front wheel drive-based) produces 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, which sounds great for a truck. The EcoBoost V6 is a very flexible motor at all points on the tach, and turbo lag is nearly nonexistent. The benefits of forced induction: the EcoBoost V6 makes its torque peak from 1,500 to 5,250 RPMs, which may actually make the F-150 EcoBoost model the quickest one, at least off the line if the turbos are spooled up.
The F-150 Raptor will have an optional 6.2 liter V8 that shares most of its parts (and displacement, but not tuning) with the 6.2 liter found in the 2011 Super Duty pickups. The 6.2 produces 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft in Raptor trim, but buyers of “regular” F-150s will have to settle for the 5.0 – and that’s still a heck of an engine.
Many have been pining for an EcoBoost V6 engine option in the Mustang, but so far Ford has not complied with those requests. Could the F-150 and the original Pony car swap engines in the other direction, since the Mustang is giving its two engines to the pickup? Stranger things have happened. Ford has some customer perception hurdles to overcome as its F-150 lineup basically switches from three V8s to one V8 and two V6s. Will truck buyers accept turbocharged V6s, and give them the benefit of the doubt from a durability and capability standpoint? That’s up to Jim Farley and his team to convince buyers that it will. Otherwise, they’ll sell a lot of F-150s with the 5.0 liter V8.
At any rate, we look forward to having 2011 F-150s with these powertrains in the Autosavant Garage in the near future. We’ll let you know how well they perform and whether they can sip gas more slowly than the competition. All told, these are some nice upgrades to America’s best selling vehicles.