What does the 2011 Ford F-150 have in common with the 2011 Ford Mustang? Two engine offerings (a 3.7-liter V-6 and a 5.0-liter V-8), to start, but it appears both models make use of electric power steering (EPS) units.
The crafty folks behind PickupTrucks.com recently dug up the official dealer order guide for the 2011 F-150 range. Within those pages is confirmation that electric power steering will be fitted to all trucks built with the 3.7-liter V-6, the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6, or the 5.0-liter V-8.
The news isn’t too surprising, given Ford’s drive to improve the fuel economy of its hallowed pickup. Since it eliminates the engine-driven hydraulic pump and only draws power once the driver turns the steering wheel, EPS systems reportedly can shave fuel consumption by as much as four percent.
Although EPS is commonly found in today’s passenger cars, it’s a relatively new technology in the world of full-size trucks. Apart from the new F-150, the system has only been implemented on General Motors’ full-size two-mode hybrid pickups and SUVs since 2009 — and even then, that system drew upon the hybrids’ 42-volt electrical system, not the standard 12-volt architecture found in conventional vehicles.
Don’t expect EPS to proliferate throughout the F-series lineup. Specialty models equipped with the 6.2-liter V-8, including the 2011 SVT Raptor and the 2011 Harley-Davidson F-150, will continue to utilize hydraulic power steering, as will Ford’s heavy-duty Super Duty pickup line.