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.

Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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7 Comments

  1. I still believe an EcoBoost Mustang (return of the SVO Mustang?) is in the future, but will probably be the 4-cylinder. The only question is where it will fall in the lineup. At this point, EcoBoost engines have been a premium upgrade, but unless Ford can get a 4 cylinder above the V6’s 305 horsepower, I don’t see too many people paying extra for it. Maybe if the power output is similar or a little below the V6, but fuel economy is 35+, Ford can command a premium.

  2. Oh, and if the EcoBoost 3.5 goes from the F-150 to the Mustang, that wouldn’t be the first time a truck engine has gone to the Mustang. The 2007-10 Shelby GT500 used the 5.4L iron block from the F-Series.

  3. Time will tell, other than fleet buyers (the main buyer of the 4.6 V8) I don’t see a lot fo folks wanting the new normaly asperated V-6. Both are undertorqued for a modern pickup and real world mileage for these smaller engines is never as good as it is on paper. Wonderful engine in a Mustang, one of these days I shall be trading in my 01 mustang for a stick-shift V-6 2011.

    For the F-150, the 5.0 will be the mainstay of the line, just as the venerable 5.4 is now. The only question in my mind wouod be reliability. The 5.4 is a mature design, and the engines will easilly go 250,000 – 300,000 miles without any major work (my wife’s Expedition has “only” 198K miles on it)

    Now if we could just convince Ford to bring over the Falcon…

  4. Given Ford’s claimed capabilities for the EcoBoost(ed) Duratec family the engines seem to be right for the Mustang though probably not earlier than the next Gen. Mustang (apt to debut in MY 2016).

    With the addition of Direct Injection to these engines Ford claims the 2.0 L I-4 is capable of near 300 hp and the 3.5 V6 can pump out 415 hp.

    Moreover Ford has to be concerned about the continued appeal of the V8 in the sporty car segment, despite all the money it spent on the “Coyote” 5.0 version.

    The company’s own research suggests that a vast majority number of sub-35 year olds in the market for new cars simply refuse to consider any model with a V8.

    Perhaps if Ford were to include the Coyote V8 as part of a gas-electric hybrid powerplant the “eco-conscious” might be more inclined to “hug a V8”.

  5. @Luke

    You’re not alone for wishing an Ecoboost Mustang/SVO, unless an upcoming Ecoboost 4-turbo is in the pipeline as well. I wish for one too 🙂 Maybe an aftermarket specialist might show a Mustang Ecoboost prototype at the next SEMA.

  6. I am glad to see the new engines!

    I think my favorite would be the 5.0 V8!

    I still think V8 engines are the way to go in work trucks! When hauling loaded trucks or towing the V6S DONT GET ANY BETTER FUEL MILEAGE!!!!!! They are somewhat better on fuel when not carrying big loads however!

    What I would like to see is Ford step up to the plate on the new Super Duty trucks and offer a “Eco Boost V8 6.2 LITRE” Gas Engine to give another option to the Diesel!

    That folks would be a homerun!!!!!!

  7. I suspect that Ford US are waiting to see the reception from Ford Australia’s Ecoboost 4 cyl Falcon before considering it seriously for the Mustang.

    As for the F-150……no. I’d still go an FG Falcon ute with the turbo I6 over an F-150 any day – quicker, lighter, safer. If I wanted to carry anything then the Ford Transit dual cab chassis with the 2.4L TDi would be a safer pick too. All of which demonstrates why the F-150 isn’t offered in Oz.

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