Ford: All-New 3.5-Liter, V-6 Engine Offers Significant Power Boost

Best-in-class performance from Ford’s largest EcoBoost engine.

2017 Ford F-150 Lariat Crew Cab.
2017 Ford F-150 Lariat Crew Cab.

The Ford Motor Company continues to provide reasons for customers to consider its best-selling F-Series pickup truck line. Its main model, the popular F-150, is endowed with countless configuration options and offers four gasoline engines for the choosing.

Second-Generation EcoBoost Engine

One of those engines is a turbocharged 3.5-liter, V-6 and come this fall the second-generation version will be released. The new engine will be paired exclusively with a 10-speed automatic transmission Ford developed in partnership with its chief rival, GM. The new transmission will also appear in other models, including the 2017 Mustang.

Benefitting the new engine is an increase in performance, with horsepower boosted from 365 hp to 375 hp. The most significant change, however, is in pulling power as torque rises from 420 foot-pounds to 470 foot-pounds. Notably, the extra power places the engine on top of the performance heap as it surpasses all diesel and gasoline competitors, including V-8s.

“The 2017 Ford F-150 now delivers the best torque in the segment,” says Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “This class-leading torque arrives with a transformative 10-speed automatic that improves nearly every aspect of F-150 performance.”

New Power Plant Combination

Of the new power plant combination, Ford says it will supply improved acceleration and performance when compared with the current engine and six-speed transmission. Specifically, the second-generation engine “…provides better low-end and peak engine performance, ideal for hauling heavy payloads and towing heavy trailers.”

Depending on just how the truck is configured, Ford data reveals that the beefy V-6 can currently pull from 10,600 to 12,200 pounds. Data for the second-generation engine has not yet been released. The current fuel economy ratings of 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway are expected to improve.

Additional Engine Choices

The standard F-150 engine is a normally aspirated 3.5-liter, V-6 paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine makes 282 horsepower and 253 foot-pounds of torque and replaced the previously used 3.7-liter V-6. It also has the lowest tow rating amongst the four engines offered, ranging from 5,000 to 7,600 pounds.

A smaller EcoBoost engine is also available, this one displacing at 2.7 liters. Paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, its power ratings are 325 horsepower and 375 foot-pounds of torque. This truck has a tow rating ranging from 7,600 to 8,500 pounds. Along with the larger turbo engine, the two EcoBoost engines represent approximately 60 percent of all F-150 sales.

The only V-8 engine offered displaces at 5.0 liters and is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Power ratings are 385 horsepower and 387 foot-pounds of torque with a tow rating ranging from 8,300 to 11,100 pounds.

Holding Off the Competition

The new power plant combination enables Ford to keep its F-150 product line fresh. Completely overhauled in 2015 and now featuring an aluminum body, truck sales for Ford have been strong this year. Indeed, the F-150 is experiencing the strongest growth in the segment as it is up 10.7 percent through the first half of the year according to GoodCarBadCar.net. Ford continues to enjoy strong sales despite a Chevrolet ad campaign poking holes at its aluminum body.

On the other hand, sales for the second-best selling Chevrolet Silverado are down 0.8 percent through the same period. Other models in this segment include the Ram Pickup (up 8.8 percent), the GMC Sierra (up 5.6 percent), the Toyota Tundra (down 9.9 percent) and the Nissan Titan (up 8.8 percent). The Nissan is the newest model in the segment with its latest edition rolling out this calendar year.


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2017 Ford F-150 Lariat photo copyright the Ford Motor Company.

Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

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