Photos by Brenda Priddy & Company
Last week, Ford officially introduced the all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 for the 2011 Ford F-150 by showing a cutaway of the technically advanced six-cylinder mounted on an engine stand. But if you wondered what the 3.5 might look like fully dressed in an F-150, our spies have snapped the first photos.
These underhood shots show the powerful EcoBoost engine sitting at home in the engine bay of a test F-150. The large plastic cover that masks its composite intake manifold is stamped with “3.5L V6” and “EcoBoost.” Interestingly, the cover also has four deep grooves on each side, which cosmetically hints it’s a V-8 engine with only a quick glance. A subliminal message from Ford?
The gasoline direct-injection twin-turbo engine is positioned next to Ford’s premium 411-horsepower, 434 pounds-feet of torque 6.2-liter V-8 in the F-150 engine lineup. It’s Ford’s effort to shrink engine displacement for improved fuel economy while delivering tons of low-end power for trailer towing (up to 11,300 pounds) and heavy hauling. Ninety percent of peak torque is delivered at a diesel-like 2,000 rpm but continues across its wide gasoline rpm band. It also features twin independent variable cam timing.
Ford hasn’t announced power or fuel economy figures yet for the 3.5. We’ve previously said we expect it to make about 400 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque, but we’re revising our estimate a bit to about 390 hp and at least 410 pounds-feet. We'll expect to find out officially by the State Fair of Texas in September.
Production and sale of the 3.5 EcoBoost is expected to start in the first quarter of 2011. It will be available for every F-150 model, like the high-end Platinum model shown here, except for the special-edition SVT Raptor and Harley-Davidson trucks.
Note the EcoBoost engine's turbo intercooler seen through the inlet in the front bumper.