When gas prices hit $4 per gallon in the past, pickup sales suffered as a result. We have to wait until April sales are released to know how much truck sales have been hurt by the latest spike at the pump, but it’s clear that the Ford F-150 is getting a big boost from its turbocharged V6.
Automotive News reports that 36 percent of all F-150s are equipped with the optional EcoBoost V6, which costs between $750 and $1,750 depending on the model. What’s more, the EcoBoost model is reportedly accounting for 40 percent of all F-150 orders, and there is currently a scant 13-day supply of the boosted trucks.
Traditionally, full-size truck buyers have been more inclined to opt for larger V8 engines, but the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 appears to have changed some minds. The mill’s V8-like 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque means that capability won’t be compromised, while fuel economy rises by up to 20 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency gave the boosted F-150 a 16 mile per gallon city rating and a 22 mpg rating in highway driving.
At the same time, Ford claims a maximum tow rating of 11,300 pounds with an EcoBoost-equipped F-150, depending on the model configuration. For comparison’s sake, F-150s that come with the 411-hp, 6.2-liter V8 can also tow 11,300 pounds, but fuel economy tops out at only 18 mpg in highway driving.
With the EcoBoost F-150 off to a rousing start, the next big question is whether the boosted V6 has staying power in the event gas prices drop back down to more normal levels. We’ll have to wait and see, but with power and capability that matches other trucks in the F-150 lineup and a significant fuel economy savings, we can’t see why not.
Upon taking the wraps off of the 2013 Ford Taurus, Derrick Kuzak, the automaker’s group vice president of global product development, said the styling tweaks were wholly influenced by the new Audi A6. Sure, the new front fascia and LED square around the taillamps are total Audi knock-offs, but what’s important to learn from this is that Ford is using the A6 as its target for the Taurus, and with a host of updates for the 2013 model year, Ford’s flagship gets one step closer to being an Audi alternative.
All in, the design tweaks give the Taurus an added sense of aggressiveness, though the car is still immediately recognizable as a successor to the all-new flagship that debuted for the 2010 model year. The trapezoidal grille has been tweaked, and now features active air shutters to improve overall fuel economy. The hood has been fully resculpted, and out back, tweaked taillamps with LED running lights blend into a slightly revised rear fascia. Dual exhaust tips are now standard across the board, as are new 20-inch wheel options.
The big enhancements for 2013 are the Taurus’ powertrains. Ford’s trusty 3.5-liter V6 still serves as the base engine, though its output has been bumped up to 290 horsepower – a full 27 more horses than the outgoing car. New for 2013, though, is the addition of the automaker’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, rated at 237 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. With the EcoBoost engine underhood, the Taurus is estimated to achieve up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
Inside, there’s a new steering wheel and more soft-touch materials have been added to the dash and center console, which now uses the automaker’s MyFord Touch infotainment system. Other new enhancements include the addition of Ford’s curve control system – first seen on the Explorer – that enhances cornering capability and braking control. Speaking of brakes, the Taurus also gets a larger brake master cylinder, meaning braking feel should be substantially better.
Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date in early 2012, and while the 2013 Taurus might not be a perfect competitor to Audi’s A6, it’s sure to offer similar content (and style) at a much lower price-point. Check out all the details for yourself in the press release after the jump, as well as some B-roll footage of the new car. We’ll have plenty of live photos and impressions from the car’s official New York Auto Show debut, as well.
Please visit Autoblog for the full article and high res photo gallery.
Those of you hoping for a 400-horsepower Ford Taurus SHO are about to be severely disappointed. The 2013 Taurus SHO will continue to produce 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque from its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. Sure, that’s still plenty of oomph for the SHO, but with rumors of a higher-output version now dashed, all we can say is, “shucks.”
Let’s not dwell on that, though. There are still plenty of improvements for the 2013 SHO to talk about.
Much like the rest of the refreshed Taurus line, the SHO features styling tweaks at both the front and rear. Unlike the base model, the SHO uses a unique mesh grille pattern up front and adds a new rear spoiler out back, as well as chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes. A new 20-inch dark wheel option is also part of the SHO package, matching the black finish found on the mirrors and body trim. We like what we see.
There may not be a bump in power, but the 2013 Taurus SHO does get a new performance package option that is said to improve the car’s performance prowess. Most notably, a 3.16:1 final drive ratio means initial acceleration is enhanced, and revised suspension tuning features new dampers and springs specific to this package. Additionally, the electronic steering system has been tuned, the stability control now has a track mode with a true ‘off’ setting and performance brake pads are now available with unique, “track-tuned” calipers. Still, we’d love to see an additional 40-ish horsepower.
For full article and more photos please visit Autoblog.
By Mike Levine and Mark Williams
Watching Ford torture-test its all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 in the lab, on the job and in the Baja 1000, we get it. This six appears to be as tough and capable as an eight, but durability and power are only part of an engine’s story.
What’s it like to live with the EcoBoost? We set out to find the answer during a 2,100-mile trip around the Western U.S.
For our road test, we asked Ford to provide two identical 2011 F-150 EcoBoost trucks that can tow a heavy trailer. Twin Flame Red FX2 SuperCrews were delivered with 3.55 rear axles, two-wheel drive and maximum tow ratings of 9,800 pounds. The trucks were well-broken in, with both having around 7,000 miles on their odometers.
Why duplicate trucks? So we could test performance and fuel economy with an unloaded EcoBoost F-150 and one pulling 9,000 pounds simultaneously in the same driving conditions.
EcoBoost is a gamble for Ford, but with tougher fuel economy regulations just around the corner, it’s the direction other manufacturers are headed, too. The EcoBoost is Ford’s top-of-the-line engine for the F-150. It’s positioned as the high-volume choice above the premium 6.2-liter V-8 even though that engine option costs $1,245 more and is moderately more powerful.
EcoBoost combines gasoline direct injection and twin turbos to shrink engine displacement for improved fuel economy while delivering tons of low-end boost-assisted power. The dual overhead cam 3.5 mill is rated at 365 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque. In high-end configurations with the Max Trailer Tow Package, it can tow up to 11,300 pounds, the same as the single overhead cam 6.2.
Read the full article here: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/04/road-test-review-2011-ford-f-150-fx2-35-liter-ecoboost-v-6-part-1.html
Towing logs in Oregon and race cars in Florida, then running the Baja 1000 race. Ford did all that with one EcoBoost V6 built for truck duty. How did the engine fare? You can find out Saturday afternoon on NBC.
Ford has taken a series of Web videos, along with video of the engine being torn down during the Detroit auto show in January, to create a 30-minute show that NBC will broadcast at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. The show is narrated by Ford commercial spokesman Mike Rowe.
At the same time, Ford will host an hour-long Web chat with Jim Mazuchowsi, manager of V6 engines for the automaker, at www.thefordstory.com from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Eastern.