Ford ventured into dangerous territory five years ago, when they considered switching out the traditional V8 for a V6 powerplant. The two biggest issues surrounding the change was whether the V6 would have enough power, and whether the engine would be durable enough to compete with big boy V8’s. Doug Scott, manager of Ford’s truck marketing group said, “We knew there’s no replacement for displacement. That’s a very popular saying among full-sized pickup customers, which just shows their love for the V8 engine. We knew we had a marketing challenge”.
The Ford leaders approved the plan in 2006 to begin developing an EcoBoost engine that would be suitable for the F-150. The Ford engineers were eager to build a V6 engine that could top a V8 in performance, durability and fuel economy. Ford’s chief engineer of the F-150 at the time was Eric Kuehn, who recals making many of the engine parts by hand. After months of trial and error testing, Ford put together a high-performance turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that had an immense amount of power, torque and would return very good fuel economy. The EcoBoost V6 produces 365-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque with a maximum payload of 3,060 lbs. The pickup also achieves 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
Ford had amazing initial success selling the F-150 EcoBoost and in May, June and July and the sales have only increased. The American automaker sold forty-one percent of its F-150’s with the EcoBoost engine and 15 percent of the trucks were sold with the base 3.7-liter V6, according to Ford.
Two things have helped Ford’s V6 gain ground this year, analysts say. One was the spoke this spring in fuel prices to $4 a gallon. The other was Ford’s success in building consumer recognition of the EcoBoost name, according to J.D Powers.
Martin Gubbels, owner of Big Sky Ford-Lincoln in Torrington, Wyoming stated that he has become a believer in the EcoBoost engine. “A redneck will buy an EcoBoost when they’re told by a knowledgeable salespoerson that this thing has more horesepower, torque and better fuel economy than a V8. They’ll buy it.”
[Source: Automotive News]