Ecoboost Passes The Test

22 Dec

The red F-150 that’s been packing the Ecoboost #448AA has recently completed it’s fourth stage out of a five stage gauntlet.  A gauntlet that Ford is hoping will sway conventional pickup truck consumers to buy their twin turbo Ecoboost V-6 over a small block V-8.  This is no small task as farmers, construction workers, and a whole slew of other heavy duty professions have been relying on their V-8 powered trucks for generations.  Truck owners expect the best from their chosen workhorses, whether it’s towing capacity, power, or reliability.  Fords F-150 has been America’s best selling truck for several generations so why throw a wrench in the formula by putting a V-6 under the hood?  It’s no secret that the government has been breathing down Detroit’s neck of late, pressing for higher fuel efficiency standards that in the past have often been pretty easy on the trucks and SUVs of the industry but it’s no longer so.

Ford's marketing campaign

Ford met the problem of fuel efficiency head on with its new Ecoboost line of engines, a 2.oL turbo and 3.5L twin turbo, a pair of engines that have found homes under the hoods of everything from the Edge to the new F-150.  The most newsworthy of course being the F-150 powered by an Ecoboost.  It’s the first V-6 to find duty in a full size pickup that produces enough horsepower and torque to compete with the big V-8s in the half-ton truck segment.

The marketing guru’s at Ford were faced with a gargantuan task, a task that required shedding light on the new Ecoboost V-6 and it’s ability to perform in a full size truck.  Those hardworking men of America who are already planning on buying a V-8 powered pickup need to know what the Ecoboost can do, that it can be reliable, and that it can get better fuel economy than the V-8 competitors.  Mountain High Motoring has published several reviews already, following the progress of Fords marketing campaign.  By now you should be aware that Ford has taken a randomly selected Ecoboost V-6, #448AA, submitted it to a simulated 150,000 miles of wear, then putting it in a band new F-150 XLT and driving it 1900 miles to Oregon where it pulled over 100,000 pounds of timber, acting as a skidder for a day.  Only then to drive another 3300 miles to Miami where it pulled its max towing capacity of 11,300 pounds  at full throttle for 24 hours straight.

Head to Head Up Davis Dam

The most recent tests have recently been produced by Ford and can be found at their website.  After its grueling 24 hours at Miami, the red Ecoboost powered F-150 headed for Davis dam in Arizona where it was hooked up to a 9,000 Lb trailer and pitted against two age old competitors.  The Fords task was to pull its 9,000 Lb burden up Davis dam’s 10 mile 6% grade faster than the new Ram 5.7L Hemi and the Silverado 5.3L V-8, no small task considering the Ecoboost is a 3.5L.  From the get go the F-150 pulled hard and ultimately outgunned the competition for the entire trek up the pass.  With help from the twin turbos the Ecoboost produces an impressive 420 ft-Lbs of torque, the Ram and Silverado just couldn’t keep up.  Equipped with identical trailers the Ram and Silverado were both slower to 60 mph by at least 11.9 seconds and while the Ram climbed the hill only 3.2 seconds slower than the F-150 the Silverado took nearly 43 seconds longer than the Ford; that might as well be an eternity in the world of drag racing.

Ecoboost Baja Racer

After accumulating over 160,000 miles the Ecoboost was pulled from the F-150 and fitted to a custom built, heavy-duty, Baja 1000 race truck.  The Baja 1000 is one of the most popular desert races in the world and definitely one of the toughest. For over 1000 miles the Ecoboost equipped Ford racer performed without a hiccup, returned more than double the fuel mileage than previous racers, and finished the race over 40 minutes ahead of schedule.  Because of the unexpected advantage in fuel economy the team was able to skip a pit stop which can make a big difference in an endurance race.  To illustrate the Baja 1000’s difficulty, over 1/3 of the competition didn’t finish the race.

A look under the hood

In a time of turmoil, uncertainty, and increasingly stringent regulations, Ford has built the engine for the truck that America needs.  Best in class torque, best in class towing capacity, and most importantly, best in class fuel economy should keep the F-150 on top of the best selling list.  The big question will be whether or not the best selling F-150s have the Ecoboost V-6 under the hood, as it is one of four new engines offered in the F-150 and two of them are ground breaking V-8s.  With all new 6.2L and 5.0L V-8s as options for the F-150 it may be hard to sway the the V-8 faithful to buy a V-6 but if the marketing guys at Ford accomplished what they wanted, the Ecoboost F-150s will hopefully sell somewhere near the 200,000 mark.

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One Response to “Ecoboost Passes The Test”

  1. jeremy January 6, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    i like it

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