A while back, we told you the 2017 Ford F-150's latest 3.5L EcoBoost V6 would boast best-in-class torque, and we were right, but today Ford has confirmed it's still a major player in the numbers game with a power bump even larger than we'd initially thought.
The new engine gains 10 hp and 50 lb-ft of torque, for totals of 375 and and 470, respectively, a torque figure Ford claims is higher than that of competitive V8-powered models (including Ford's own 5.0L V8, which tops out at 387 lb-ft) and even bests Ram EcoDiesel's 420 lb-ft. Those improvements come thanks to a number of engineering changes, including new turbochargers, lighter camshafts and a dual fuel injection system that combines direct and port injection. Ford says that torque, along with the industry's first 10-speed transmission will improve "nearly every aspect of F-150 performance," but what's conspicuous by its absence among Ford's claims is any mention of how the new powertrain will affect fuel consumption, which was the main driver behind the development of its turbocharged EcoBoost engine program.
The 2016 Ford F-150 4x4 with the 3.5L engine and a six-speed automatic transmission gets Natural Resources Canada fuel consumption ratings of 14.7/10.7 L/100 km (city/highway), and the 4x2 model's estimates are 13.5/9.8. For the record, the Ram EcoDiesel 4x4's consumption ratings are 12.1/8.8 L/100 km (city/highway).
While Ford's engine revisions were ostensibly made to facilitate the power increase, one of the most common arguments for adding more ratios to a transmission is that those extra cogs will save fuel. So, we hope the new powertrain's added complexity also translates into more economical operation, even if the improvement is only marginal. Typically, automakers will say they expect a new engine to be so many percentage points more efficient than the one it replaces even before it conducts official tests according to NRCan's approved methods, so our initial thought is the new EcoBoost motor's improvements were purely meant to put Ford ahead in the horsepower race even if it meant a truck no more efficient than the one that came before it.
The 2017 Ford F-150 goes on sale this fall, and we expect pricing and fuel consumption figures to be announced closer to that time.