EcoBoost V-6 Representing 35 Percent of F-150 Sales in April
Ford took a major gamble for the 2011 model year by offering the segment's only direct-injection, twin-turbo V-6 as one of the flagship engine options on its critical F-150 model. Although on-paper and from behind-the-wheel, the hairdryer-fortified bent-six seemed to deliver the goods, many were uncertain what kind of reception the notoriously traditional full-size truck market would give the cutting-edge, small-cube powerplant.
If Ford's first-quarter sales results for the new F-150 are any indication, the answer is quite warm indeed. The EcoBoost has so far represented 35 percent of F-150 sales in April, and Ford notes that incoming orders are tracking even higher at 40 percent.
Although the 3.5-liter V-6 is unusually small-displacement for the full-size truck segment, its output of 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque matches or surpasses most of its rivals' top V-8 engine offerings. At the same time, the EcoBoost nearly matches the fuel economy of the 302-horsepower normally-aspirated 3.7 liter base V-6, which itself is representing a surprising chunk of 2011 F-150 sales.
Having proven itself, at least initially, in the bellwether F-150, Ford is aggressively rolling out other versions of the EcoBoost formula in four-cylinder configurations in its other passenger cars and SUVs, including the 2013 Taurus, which will offer the choice of either a four-cylinder or six-cylinder EcoBoost, depending on model. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be positioned as the fuel economy leader and is expected to get 31 miles per gallon on the highway, while the 365-horsepower 3.5 liter V-6 will remain as the high-performance engine in the flagship SHO model.