5. New engine tech
While turbocharging is nothing new, sticking a turbocharged V6 in a light duty pickup truck was a big step for the industry, taken by Ford. The EcoBoost V6 proved once and for all that it is possible to get V8-like power numbers out of a six shooter.
Not only did this twin-turbo motor cause a stir in the industry, Ford says that almost half of new F-150s are sold with the turbo V6 unit. Power output is rated at 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque while fuel economy for the engine is pegged at 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway.
Ram is also taking a step into uncharted territory, offering a 3.0-liter diesel engine under the hood of 1500 for the first time in almost 20 years in the segment. The diesel unit makes 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, matching the EcoBoosts torque number, but will almost certainly beat it out in mpgs.
Chevy hasn’t taken any radical steps, instead introducing variable valve timing, direct injection, and cylinder deactivation to its newest Silverado.
Engine technology is the key to delivering truck buyers the torque they want, and the fuel economy they crave, and the segment has to constantly evolve and innovate to deliver.