7. Ford Proves Truck Buyers Can Love a V6
The dominant force in the truck market, Ford’s F-150 has been the top selling model in North America for over 30 straight years. Normally, when that’s the case, you don’t mess with a good thing, but Ford is feeling the pressure of increasingly strict fuel economy and emissions standards and so it made the bold move to introduce a version of the current truck powered by a new EcoBoost direct-injection twin-turbo V6 engine.
Foreseeing a reluctance by truck buyers to switch to V6 engines, let alone potentially high-maintenance turbocharged ones, Ford let loose a marketing onslaught aimed at convincing buyers of just how durable the new engine is – using one particular stunt where an EcoBoost engine was tortured for 160,000 miles, including spending 24 straight hours towing 11,000 lbs and running the Baja 1000.
Either the marketing folks need a big year-end bonus or truck buyers are more easily convinced than anyone thought because year-to-date the F-150 EcoBoost model has accounted for 41 percent of sales – just shy of the 44 percent take-rate of the 5.0-liter V8. Add in the standard 3.7-liter V6 and the six-cylinder is now Ford’s volume seller in the segment.
EcoBoost models make 365-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque with a 16/22 mpg rating, a max payload of 3,060 lbs, and a 11,300 tow rating.