Spied! 2011 Ford F-150 with EcoBoost V-6

Spied! 2011 Ford F-150 with EcoBoost V-6
Photos by Brenda Priddy & Company

Ford is about half a year away from starting production of the first six-cylinder EcoBoost-equipped 2011 F-150 half-ton pickup, but our spies have caught a tester SuperCab FX4 model racking up the miles.

In the picture, you can see a turbo intercooler framed in the middle of the lower bumper.

The EcoBoost twin-turbo system runs at up to 1,740 degrees, according to Ford. An air-to-air intercooler is used to cool the compressed intake air before it enters the engine's combustion chamber, and water cooling protects the internal turbo bearings in the high-temperature operating environment. Using two turbochargers, rather than one larger one, helps fight turbo lag.

EB F-150 Intercooler

In an interesting reversal of tradition for trucks, it's expected that the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 (which also features direct injection) will be a premium engine for the light-duty F-150, along with the new 411-horsepower, 6.2-liter naturally aspirated gas V-8 that makes 434 pounds-feet of torque.

Ford has officially said the F-150's EcoBoost engine will arrive by late 2010 with improved fuel economy and low-end torque with a broad, diesel-like torque curve through most of its power band. Our sources say it will be rated at about 400 hp and more than 400 pounds-feet of torque. Gas mileage is expected to be at least 23 mpg on the highway.

What do you think? Would you buy the new EcoBoost V-6 or stick with a conventional V-8?

EcoBoost F-150

Comments

Eco-boost would be good for those that just use it to comute or the occasional trip to Home Depot.

Hard use will require the V8

The EB motor might have the torque curve of a Diesel but it will NEVER have the longevity of one!!! As far as for gas motor and the old saying goes "There is NO replacement for displacement" this is especially true in a pickup application where torque and engine longevity count! I would never think of buying a turbo gas motor in a pickup application especially without seeing how the longevity of the motor will withstand heavy pickup use!

I don't see anything wrong with either. I'll take 'em both.

I just like reading people comments in how they are experts at everything.

Good Gawd!!!

Having owned a 5.4L F-150 Lariat 4x4 I would never buy a V6 in this truck. It's way too heavy. The motor, no matter how much HP would have to work so hard to keep the truck moving. I don't tow a lot but when I do (6000# trailer) I need something that can accelerate onto the highway and up mountain roads. 6.2L definitely.

This motor is not a motor meant for much work. Running over 1700 degrees will kill it quick. I only see 120,000 miles coming out of these motors in a truck application. Its a nice alternative for the consumer that may just haul stuff in the bed, doesn't need to tow anything more than a couple snowmobiles, and picks up the kids from school.

While I won't disagree that there is no replacement for displacement, I know there are people like me who live at high altitude who are are happy for a turbo option.

I live at 7,000 ft and tow up to 10,000 ft often. Assuming 3.5% loss/1000 ft, the 411 HP 6.2L is down to just over 300 HP at 7,000 ft and sucking wind at 10,000 ft to the tune of 260-270 HP.

A turbo engine does lose some power at higher altitude, but it is a much smaller percentage. At up to 10,000 ft an ecoboost is still probably putting out 90% of its power.

Also, if towing at altitude you are supposed to reduce the tow rating of the truck. An F150 won't tow 10,000 lb at 8,000 ft (well, it will move it, but not very well). My dealer typically tells me to reduce tow weight by 4% for every 1000 ft of altitude, so a 10,000 lb rating is down to just over 7,000 lb, and it gets worse the higher you get.

Yeah, I could buy a 3/4 ton turbo diesel, but I don't have $50K, and I don't need to tow 15,000 lb.

I know I am in the minority, but there are people like me who deal with our normally-aspirated engines sucking wind everyday and welcome a change!

If it has a Diesel like TQ curve, meaning that 400fptq hits under 2000 rpm i would consider it. Especially if it does 23 highway, thats 5mpg better than the 6.2in the raptor.

Warning. No stupid people may post beyond this point.

I will buy the EcoBoost if they make it with a FX4 CrewCab and heavy duty payload package.

Stunning achievement for Ford! The numbers are astounding, I don't care who you are. I just bought more Ford stock, I'm putting my money on it.

I doubt MPG will be anything special, SHO owners are reporting about 17MPG with this motor and thats in a car that weighs one ton less and has considerably less drag. Expect 14-15 in the truck.

Ford would not of released this engine for pickup use if the engineers did not think it would survive.
The problem with current half tons is that they've fallen victim to PR/Sales department "numbers" wars.
The manufactures have been so busy trying to "one up" each other that they've pushed 1/2 ton towing and hauling ratings to unrealistic levels.
Engineers like to "over-engineer" products to allow for a safe margin of error (ie. stupid use/abuse of trucks).
I think that the PR/Sales department ego wars have killed this safety margin.
Someone pointed out in the F250 test that a half ton can carry/tow almost as much as the F250 diesel.
A 1/2 ton at it's limits is working hard regardless of motor. There isn't much margin of safety with a 1/2 ton pulling a 10,000 lb. trailer.
A 3/4 ton is well within it's engineered limits with the same load.(even if it's at its rated maximum.)
Dodge Ram has taken a lot of flack for chosing to exit the "numbers war" going on in the 1/2 ton ranks. That move makes more sense that a 1/2 ton rated to pull 10,000 pounds.

D57H

I agree

@ Mike Levine -

How can you be sure that that is an intercooler in the front? There is a "Flex Fuel" badge on the lower right of the tailgate and from what I can remember, the 3.5L EcoBoost is not "Flex Fuel" capable. So maybe Ford just increased the size of the transmission cooler or oil cooler and you are mistaking it for an intercooler. I could be wrong but I just want some more definfitive answers that this is really the 3.5 EcoBoost. I would've also expected Ford to change up the look of the exhaust pipe for the 3.5 EcoBoost.

I'm seriously considering switching to ford (from GM). I rarely tow, and most of my use is hauling things in the bed, hauling around the family and daily commute. If the EPA does rate the ecoboost @ 23mpg HWY, there is no telling how much you can increase your mpg just by driving conservatively.

@ JO

Of course the SHO owners are getting 17mpg, people who drive that car probably like to drive more aggresively. I get 20mpg combined in my 2006 Chevy 4x2 1/2 ton.

The EcoBoost motor runs COOLER with direct fuel injection cooling the heads....also the Honeywell turbo is the first on the market with water cooled bearings that extend longevity to 150,000+ miles with no coking, (gunk build up for you simpletons) on the bearings from burnt oil in Ford's on durability testing WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS....this thing has been tested and retested and is not new technology.

I have been following the development of this combination of EB and F150 for some time now.

For people like me that use the truck to haul Pallets of product and do not do a lot of Towing...this truck will be awesome. Personally 300 HP would be plenty...just give me some extra MPGS please

@Andrew: There's another "tell" in one of the pictures. You'd have to look *very* closely. That's all I'm allowed to say.

It was also driving with two other EcoBoost Ford vehicles - an MKT and a Flex. Ford is also engineering EB to run with E85, so not a big surprise there.

First off, it's a F150, which is the light duty truck.

Some of you are about 15 to 20 years behind in your understanding of turbo's. Heat for a turbo=good if you have the materials engineering to accomodate it (more expansion, faster spooling, etc.).

I wouldn't buy the first year (because I won't buy the first year of any product)- but I certainly don't have a problem with the engine described in an F150 configuration. It's likely to be a good choice and good on Ford for doing it.

Modern turbo's are ecm controlled too, so I would not be surprised at all if it had a perfectly flat torque curve from 1800-5000 which would be great for pulling.

It is pretty impressive achievement for Ford. The EB motor would be an ideal choice for those who do not tow often, use the vehicle for family use and with gentle driving yield pretty decent hwy numbers. The 6.2L will be the engine of choice for towing.

If you look at the left side black "bumper pad", there are two ports that look like they are designed to open an close. I suspect that is another "tell".

Knowing Ford they will charge a 3K premium (like the 6.2)for the EB and some people will buy into the MPG/power hype. Then buy it and realize that you just paid that much for maybe a 1-2MPG increase. And, since the F-150 is so heavy, you are gonna be relying on that turbo quite a bit, minimizing the claimed gains in fuel economy. For my money I stick with a V-8, or how about a light duty diesel? Now there is an idea. Actual fuel savings, increased durabilty, and increased torque. All the things Ford claims the EB is, but with the diesel they are actually true.

Big fart noise.

GAS GUZZLER !! Premium fuel 14 mpg F-150 6 banger !!

Car and Driver tested a Ford Flex and it is lighter than a f-150 they got a 15 mpg average,they said it has V-8 like fuel economy !! The fuel economy was its low point !!

As a Chrysler Hemi in a 300 or Charger gets the same average mpg as a Taurus ecoboost both are 17-21 average mpg !!

My Hemi Ram averages 16-18 mpg !! So if the lighter Flex Ecoboost can only get 15mpg real world driving, the ecoboost F-150 should average 14 mpg running premium fuel !! As PREMIUM fuel is recommended !!! Running Premium I would rather have my SRT-10 RAM V-10 that gets between 13-15.5 average mpg !!

The perception of a 6 cyl engine being better on gas than a V-8 is truly a fantasy..its proven with trucks the 6 banger is the same or worse than a V-8 !! Also proven in cars if they have a V-8 option its usually better or the same mpg as a 6...same goes for mid size cars with a 4 cyl engine if they have a 6 cyl option the 6 is the same or better than the 4..never drastically different !!

I think the Ecoboost will be a high dollar performance option on a new Ford Truck...Lightning with a 400 hp turbo 6..

@ Patrick

For those who drive more aggressively, what you said is completely true, the gains in mpg's would be minimized. Of course, if you put in the effort to drive conservatively (remember, you can tow/haul and still drive conservatively at the same time) you will not need to rely on the turbo as much. A truck does not require that much power when you drive the speed limit, and there nothing wrong with driving a bit slower to maximized fuel economy WHEN THE LEVEL OF TRAFFIC ALLOWS (60mph on the interstate at 3am is okay). If a stop sign is 1/4 mile away and there is no one behind you, the turbo does not have to work very hard if you take your foot of the gas and coast to the stop. You can take advantage of the turbo if you put the effort into it.

The figures sound good,but a regular high torque 6 (a'la 300 straight 6) with above V8 gas mileage figures and a below V8 sticker price is still needed.When CAFE rules kick in,they will have to do just that to meet the requirements.Selling 90% 5.3 V8 and less than 10% Eco Boost V6 wont meet MPG standards.

your hemi gets 16-18 mpg?? lol i work for dodge... i clean cars when they come in for dealer work. over the last year i have only seen 2 or three average over 16 mpg. we have log books for mpg that we keep.

well i respectfully admire how far technology has progressed each and every year, but i for one will not touch a direct injected turbocharged 6 cylinder truck. not even if it was free. you may get the same power and hp of an 8 cylinder, and get better gas mileage. the fact is, it is still a 6 cylinder on steroids. its already near its limits. what happens when you want to tinker with it and give it more power. down the road, say 5 or 6 years, if you still own it and realize your truck is severely lacking the power of any new truck from that year, and you realize your screwed unless you do a motor swap. there is no replacement for displacement. an old pushrod v8 has more room to add on stuff such as superchargers or turbochargers than a v6 that is already directly injected with a turbocharger. i guarantee if i make it equal and add a turbocharger in it, i will leave you in the dust with that ecoboost, way more muscle. by the way, my 2001 f150 with the 5.4l v8 can probably keep up with this truck with no modifications, but i will blow it in the dust if i do modify it!

@ Dodge - are your MPG figures Imperial or US gallon? (US gallon 20% smaller than Canadian gallon.)

Dodge, thank you. My sentiments exactly.

@ David

Point taken, but I would bet that people who purchase the EB will drive more aggressively than if they were driving a NA engine, simply because they have a 'turbo'.

While I like having options and I think the Ecoboost technology shows promise....personally I would buy either a 6.2L gas truck or a truck with a smaller diesel if they offered it.

Why you ask?

The 6.2L will offer the same or more power while being less complex than either an ecoboost or diesel. Being less complex simply means less to go wrong and easier maintenance/repairs if something does go wrong in the long run. Foe me, that's worth the lower fuel economy.

The diesel, on the other hand, would be roughly as complex as the ecoboost engine, but it is more likely to achieve better fuel economy due to diesels greater inherit energy content. Diesel engines are also known for their greater longevity vs similar gas engines. Even Ford reported that the test procedures for the Ecoboost ran it to the equivalent of 150,000miles, whereas the 6.7L diesel was tested to 250,000 miles; a significant difference in durability and longevity. Personally, I also prefer a diesel engine's driving characteristics vs. a gas engine's when it comes to larger vehicles.

Essentially, I see this ecoboost as splitting the difference between a larger gas V8 and a smaller modern turbo diesel. One one hand, it should offer some solid features fo each design. On the other hand, it will also have some of the disadvantages of each, which leads me to believe that it wont excel in a lot of the areas that those traditional engines do. With that being the case, I'd rather stick with what I know works.

@ Lou .. the left side bumper pad looks to just be a license plate holder ... those ports appear to be just a hollow bracket.

Just look at Mazda's 3speed single turbo 4cylinder: 131 cubic inches with 280hp and 263 torque. I have a F150 with 4.6 v8 (286ci) with only 225hp and maybe 275 torque. I would say in todays world a single turbo can make a difference .I can't imagine what 2 turbos would do. Did I mention the little whimpy(131cu) has 280hp and 263 torque with single turbo.ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM... Look at the normal asperated v6 for 2010 mustang:305 hp and 31 mpg..uhmmm 263torque with 4 cylinder vs 275 torque with v8.uhmm..nothing like a v8 right...

Nice to watch Ford continue to euthanize the V8 in favor of unreliable, complicated V6s that get V8 mileage.

Must be the way forward...but I'll take my extremely efficient, powerful pushrod V8 any day over some puny V6 that had the mileage of a V8.

@ mike lavinge I can't see the "tell" whats the other hint that it is a turbo??

Lou,
When are you going to trade the van in? What are you thinking about buying? 2011 F150 with the new engines? Will you wait for the 2012-2013 for the rumored all new trucks from F-150 and Silverado? Will wait for the 2014 Fiat Ram for when Fiat takes controlling ownership of the company? Perhaps you will buy the Mahindra in December?

@Dodge: I have yet to see an owner of a 300 or Charger, heck even the new Ram claim they bring home the EPA ratings. And you must be loony if you think the SRT10 gets 13-15.5 mpgs, unless it's all highway mileage. The HEMI 5.7L typically can't reach those city figures.

@ Donnie - my plans for a new truck were killed last fall when my wife's vehicle died and we needed replacement. I don't like having too many things on credit.
Life sucks sometimes.
I like the F150 but as a rule I try to avoid 1st year runs of any new product.
There are so many cool trucks and not enough bank account. Whaaaa.... ;)

Ecoboost V6 would be okay for towing something like a bass boat, even through the mountains. I had a '05 F-150 with the (no longer available) base V6. I towed a mid-size car (on trailer) from Dayton OH to Charleston, SC, with lots of mountain driving. Frankly, I could hardly tell I was pulling anything, and the milage wasn't bad. Turbos would up horsepower all right . . . torque wouldn't rise that much, though. Underhood temps would be higher, and when the turbos need replaced, get out you wallet. Hopefully, a normally aspirated EFI V6 will be available. If you need a heavy tower, the V8 is the way to go.

do all of you people not read at all. do you remember a v6 in the gradnational that put out 400horse. it was a turbo v6.I think ford is doing a great job of finding new and better choices for the american people. Be cause when you get right down to it; ITS A PERSONNAL CHOICE. I would buy the turbo in a split second.Maybe just maybe we should all just wait and see what it brings, instead of assuming. You know what that does right

"Nice to watch Ford continue to euthanize the V8 in favor of unreliable, complicated V6s that get V8 mileage.

Must be the way forward...but I'll take my extremely efficient, powerful pushrod V8 any day over some puny V6 that had the mileage of a V8." - P

Ah yes, THE REALIST who always post mumbo jumbo on LLN. Why can't you post a different comment. You're idiocracy is shining across the web.

@Jordan- I think Mike is referring to the small badge at the bottom right of the tailgate?

If I buy another half-ton, I would seriously consider the EB V6. I drove it in the Flex, it makes any V8 I have driven feel like a dinosaur, though if I was considering a V8 gasser, the most impressive is the Ford 6.2. So its not like Ford isn't offering great choices all around. And anyone who thinks the GM 5.3 is a better motor than the EcoBoost V6 DEFINITELY has NOT driven the EB V6.
Also cylinder displacement is not a measure of structural integrity. I wish people understood that. You could make an 8L V8 total piss weak, and you can make a tough titanium 2L 4 cyl with a huge crankshaft if you wanted to.

Nash,
Not it. That's the Flex Fuel badge.

direct injection is a far better design than a port inducted engine. thank goodness for high fuel prices or this technology would have never been developed.

@ Justin

I own both a 300 and a Ram. My wife regularly gets 26 mpg with the 300. I regularly get mid 15s with my Ram HEMI (and I drive with my foot planted a lot).

I have no doubt that the numbers that Dodge posted is "close" to accurate.

Back on topic. I see many disappointed Ford fans in the future. The EB hasn't lived up to its hype so far. I see getting the same mileage as the current 5.4, with many more reliability problems.

@Jman

Direct injection has been around for more then a decade now, well before gas prices started to rise.

How the heck do so many people know so much about something that's not even out yet? Seriously!

Did it say operating temps up to 1,700 degrees? How does stuff not just melt away?

Hope it lives up to the hype. I'd suspect towing mileage wouldn't be comparably efficient as a diesel.



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