While design, creature comfort and packaging all play a role in differentiating one pickup model from another, perhaps nothing has more impact than powertrain. And for 2011, Ford Motor Co. will complete update the engine and transmission options offered for its best-selling F-Series.
For the upcoming model-year, Ford will launch four new powertrains, including a compact, high-mileage V6, a pair of V8s and the newest member of its expanding, high-tech EcoBoost line-up. Collectively, the maker claims the typical 2011 F-Series model will get about 20% better mileage than the 2010 pick-up line, despite big improvements in power, torque and towing capacity.
“Fuel economy,” explained Doug Scott, marketing manager for Ford’s Truck Group, “is building in importance with the consumer,” as much with pickups as with compact passenger cars.
Ford research shows that 70% of pickup buyers are demanding better fuel economy, and 32% say they are willing to switch brands to get higher mileage.
A major reason why Ford anticipates the big jump in 2011 F-Series fuel efficiency is the introduction of the all-new 3.7-liter V6, a four-valve DOHC package that will put out the type of numbers that only a V8 could match until recently. It will make 300 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, and handle up to 6,100 trailer loads – the best in its segment according to competitive data.
At the other end of the spectrum is the new 6.2-liter V8 that Ford just yesterday announced will go into its newly-updated 2011 Harley-Davidson F-150 truck. (Click Here for more.) A hefty SOHC design, this is “more of a traditional truck engine,” according to Mike Harrison, Ford’s V8 engine manager.
Turning out 411 hp and 434 lb-ft, the 6.2-liter engine will also be offered as standard equipment in the high-style 2011 Ford SVT Raptor, and as an option in other F-150 models. It also delivers segment-leading towing capacity of 11,300 pounds, according to Harrison.