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Unofficial Details Leak out About Next-Gen Ford and GM Pickup Powertrains

Horsepower matters but mileage is the mandate.

by on Jul.29, 2011

Ford's F-150 EcoBoost engine shows there's a lot of room to improve fuel economy without sacrificing performance and payload.

The pickup market, though barely half the size of its one-time peak, is still a viable – and profitable – force in the U.S. automotive market.  So, expect to see Detroit makers, in particular, do everything they can to retain the segment’s viability – though that won’t be easy, especially in light of today’s announcement outlining tough new mileage standards set to reach more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

Next-generation full-size pickup trucks from Ford and General Motors will have to balance towing and hauling capability with unprecedented frugality to meet the tough new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

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That has some folks worrying it may be too much of a challenge to pull off, at least not without sacrificing the functionality American truck buyers expect.  But don’t plan on holding onto your big rig ad infinitum.  As we’ve begun seeing with such innovations as the turbo-powered EcoBoost V6 on the 2011 Ford F-150, there are some promising ways to reach mileage never seen before.


Ford F-150 To Reign As Fuel Economy King

New engine boosting pickup mileage to 23 mpg.

by on Oct.14, 2010

Ford will deliver up to 23 mpg with a 2011 F-150 equipped with the new 3.7-liter V6.

Good fuel economy is not something normally associated with a pickup truck – one reason the truck market crashed when gas prices spiked past $4 a gallon in 2008.  But Ford Motor Co. is betting that a new array of powertrains, including a high-mileage V6, will help revive demand among personal users as well as those watching their budget at work.

The compact 3.7-liter six is one of four powertrains that will be offered with the 2011 Ford F-150, a list that also includes a new truck-based application of the maker’s EcoBoost engine, a premium offering that is designed to pair both fuel economy and performance in one package.

But the V6 is the 2011 F-150’s mileage king, delivering 16 mpg on the EPA City cycle and 23 on the highway.  By comparison, the Chevrolet Silverado gets, at best 14/19 mpg with its current base engine, a 4.8-liter V8.  And while the Silverado Hybrid is rated at 21 City, it still delivers only 22 on the Highway cycle.

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Overall, Ford claims its new F-Series powertrain line-up is 20% more efficient than the engine offerings from the 2010 model-year, meeting what truck marketing manager Doug Scott calls, “the number one unmet need in the segment.”