Written by: Motor Trend Staff on December 6 2011 12:00 PM
Editor’s Note: starting today with the Ford F-150, we’ll be previewing each of our 2012 Motor Trend Truck of the Year contenders leading up to the official announcement on Monday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. eastern time.
We had a pair of F-150s for our 2012 Truck of the Year testing that represent two of the more popular trim levels: a Platinum Edition EcoBoost and an XLT 5.0-liter V-8. Also new for this year (although not on hand for our test) are Ford’s entry-level 302-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 and the range-topping 411-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8. We extensively tested all four engine options early this year, so we’re very familiar with power levels and delivery of the entire lineup.
( http://www.TFLcar.com ) The 2011 Ford F-150 Ecoboost Twin Turbo has been a surprise grand slam for Ford. Not only has this V6 Twin Turbo pick-up proved to be the most popular engine choice in the country’s most popular vehicle but it also surprised many automotive journalist and buyers with it’s fuel economy, towing capacity and 365 horsepower. So which is the better F-150? The traditional V8 or the brand new twin turbo V6 Ecoboost? Check out this video as we compare the two Ford best selling pick-ups to each other.
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The week-long Ford F-150 EcoBoost Challenge is over and Carlee Mallard of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina has emerged victorious. Mallard achieved a rather impressive 28.3 miles per gallon (not as spectacular as the 32.281 mpg that CleanMPG averaged back in May) during her week behind the wheel of the F-150. Additionally, Mallard rounded up 56 volunteers for her community service event, which included collecting donations for the Raleigh YWCA for distribution to families affected by Hurricane Irene.
For Mallard’s efforts, she’ll receive a year’s supply of free Shell gasoline (oh, the irony) and two Shell stations in Raleigh-Durham will celebrate Mallard’s win by offering free regular-grade gas (up to 15 gallons per vehicle) at two stations on September 9 for two hours and 22 minutes. That’s in recognition of the F-150 EcoBoost’s 22-mpg rating.
The F-150 EcoBoost Challenge had eight Ford truck fans put the F-150 to the test in their own communities in an attempt to average the highest mpg while driving at least 25 miles a day. Additionally, participants created, managed and executed their own community service event. The winning driver was selected through a score that blends average mpg, votes on Ford’s F-150 EcoBoost Challenge Facebook page and how many volunteers participated in their community project.
With early returns showing that truck buyers are really into boosted V6 engines, it appears that Ford hit the ball out of the park when it comes to the F-150 packing an EcoBoost V6. Truck buyers seem to like the fact that the V6 is as powerful as most V8 engines, and the improved fuel economy is the real deal maker.
The EcoBoost V6 boasts 22 miles-per-gallon on the highway, and 16 mpg in the city. Ford’s 5.0-liter V6, which is down on torque versus the turbo six, can only muster 21 mpg highway and 15 mpg city. That’s all well and good, but what happens in real-life driving conditions?
Consumer Reports put rubber to the road to find out, and the consumer advocacy institution found that the fuel economy numbers were about the same for both engines, though one certainly has a bit more punch than the other.
CR pitted a pair of otherwise identical 2011 F-150 XLT 4×4 Supercrew models against each other in towing and non-towing tests. The non-towing test returned identical fuel economy numbers of 15 mpg, but the EcoBoost Model was a bit faster at passing speeds of 45 mph to 65 mph. CR then put 7,500 pounds on the hitch of each truck, and again both models returned an identical 10 mpg. The EcoBoost was quite a bit more sprightly with a load in tow, taking 1.6 fewer seconds to hit 60 mph, and 1.2 fewer seconds to travel from 45 mph to 65 mph.
So what does this little test tell us? CR says that the 5.0-liter engine is likely a simpler engine than the EcoBoost mill, and it costs $750 less. But if towing is in your future, we’re thinking the EcoBoost engine is still the way to go. Plus, we can say that our experience behind the wheel of both engines was rather pleasant. Hit the jump to watch the video review from Consumer Reports.
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.
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.
It’s time to take the bull by the horns once again and test your luck in the 2011 Invasion of the Bulls promotion.
Three lucky finalists will win:
|Trip for two to Las Vegas|
|VIP tickets to the 2011 PBR Built Ford Tough® World Finals|
|Private lunch with top riders|
One grand prize winner will win:
|PBR Special Edition 2011 Ford F-150 with EcoBoost™ engine|
It’s going to be a wild ride. So saddle up for a shot at winning this year’s Invasion of the Bulls.
Click here: http://shar.es/3j0Mm