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Smaller Engines Are Proving Big Sellers

V-6s now dominate in Ford’s F-Series, while Volvo will migrate to 4s and 3s.

by on Sep.21, 2011

The majority of Ford F-150s are now being ordered with 6-cylinder engines.

Nearly six of every 10 Ford F-Series pickups now are being purchased with V-6 powertrains, Ford officials confirm, a significant shift away from the classic V-8s that have long been the engines of choice among full-size truck buyers.

The downsizing reflects a variety of factors, according to top Ford officials, including a growing emphasis on fuel economy among all U.S. buyers.  But Ford is also benefitting from the development of a new generation of high-performance V-6s that can match and, in some cases, even exceed the performance and towing power of bigger eights, even while delivering significantly better mileage.

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The shift seen by Ford isn’t limited to big trucks.  Across the board, American motorists are migrating to smaller powertrains – and several makers are responding by planning big changes in their engine line-ups.  Hyundai has largely switched to I-4s for its mainstream line-up, and Volvo soon plans to shift to 4- and even 3-cylinder engines across the board.

“People are looking at fuel economy more than ever,” says Ford’s President of the Americas Mark Fields, who adds that the key selling point is that with the new engines, “you don’t have to compromise.”

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