First Drive Review: 2011 Ford F-150 6.2 V-8 and Summary, Part 3

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6.2-liter V-8 ($2,995 more than 3.7-liter V-6)

Ford’s 6.2-liter V-8 is the only engine that carries over from 2010, when it was only available with the F-150 SVT Raptor.

The single-overhead cam engine is rated at a brawny 411 hp and 434 pounds-feet of torque. But compared to the other engines for 2011, it’s a bit of a throwback. It has two valves and two spark plugs per cylinder, a cast-iron engine block and aluminum cylinder heads. It also features a cast-iron crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods and cast-aluminum pistons.

Harley-1-560

Since it only has a single cam per cylinder bank, instead of Ti-VCT, the 6.2 uses dual-equal variable cam timing, where the intake and exhaust valve opening and closings are phased at the same time, so it’s not quite as efficient as the other engines.

The only opportunity Ford gave us to drive the 6.2 was in a drag-racing scenario with the F-150 Harley-Davidson truck, where we measured a zero to 60 mph time of 7.15 seconds – three-tenths of a second slower than the EcoBoost-powered F-150 FX2. But the Harley truck was rocking P275/45R22 tires on 22-inch wheels while the EcoBoost rig was shod with smaller P265/60R18 tires on 18-inch wheels.

The 6.2-liter V-8 is the only F-150 engine that’s shared with Ford’s F-Series Super Duty pickups. In our experience testing the 6.2 during our recent Heavy-Duty Shootout, we came away impressed with its performance pulling trailers, especially when the engine worked hard.

We’ve also been impressed with the 6.2-liter V-8 performance in the Raptor.

Zero to 30 MPH (SuperCrew): 2.84 seconds
Zero to 60 MPH (SuperCrew): 7.15 seconds

What We Like

  • If it tows in the F-150 like it did in the F-250 we tested in the Heavy-Duty Shootout, this is the engine to order if you’re going to tow heavy trailers frequently
  • Excellent zero to 60 mph performance

What We Don’t

  • Steep price tag even though it’s a 2-valve, SOHC design
  • Only available for Lariat, Platinum and limited-edition F-150 models

Zero-to-60-560

Other Changes

Other changes that we noted during our 2011 F-150 sampling were the handsome new gauges in the instrument cluster and the availability of the 4.2-inch productivity screen that debuted in F-Series trucks in the 2011 Super Duty. Hands-down, it's the best pickup truck trip computer, and it's the benchmark by which all others that follow will be measured. It has a fuel-efficiency monitor, pitch and yaw angles while off-roading and a robust set of towing apps that can store names and notes for up to 20 trailers, and provides a hitch checklist to help ensure you've hooked up the trailer properly.

Summary

Ford continues to set the pace in half-ton pickups. Chosen as our Best Overall Light-Duty Pickup during the 2008 Light-Duty Shootout, the new powertrain lineup answers nearly every weakness we identified during that test.

While traditional truck owners are likely on the fence watching how the V-6 EcoBoost engine performs before picking it to replace their current V-8 truck, technology like this represents the future of light-duty engines. It’s amazing Ford can market a six-cylinder engine with 420 pounds-feet as environmentally friendly. We’re certainly OK with it.

Non-EcoBoost buyers can find an engine to meet their needs, too. Especially when that engine is paired with Ford’s six-speed automatic transmission, which has more utility than any other gearbox available for a half-ton pickup.

After driving all four engines, what seemed originally to be a huge gamble on Ford’s part by making all of these changes in a single model year, might just be the safest bet of all.

Shifter-560

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Comments

Very nice read. Love the way Ford is taking the F-150. To sad they don't care about the Ranger anymore.

Maybe one day they will go back to the idea of an I-4 Diesel.

Is the ecoboost available in a regular cab/short bed configuration? I bet that would be a darn quick truck.

@Paul810: Nope, but Ford does offer a reg cab XL and XLT long-box with the EcoBoost engine.

Mike, if you were to pick one, which engine would you get? Just your personal opinion, not a "depends what you use it for" answer :)

Would love to hear more about that 5.0L

Save the Ranger! Turbo 2.3 from the Mazdaspeed 6 in the Ranger. It could be the Cyclone of the '10s. If not, just keep the Ranger exactly as it is. It outsold more than one Ford product last quarter.

Sounds like the 3.7L Supercrew 4X2 is going to be a big seller. Also, a 24mpg EPA rating for the Ecoboost would blow my mind! If that is what the Ecoboost gets, then the 3.7L ought to be well over 23mpg.

Mike, I really want to hear an in-depth review of the 5.0L, as I think this will have the highest order volume of the engines and is the one that I am most likely to buy.

By the way Mike, you are admirably dedicated to your readers. There aren't many guys who would answer a reader's question at 11:43pm.

"Ford continues to set the pace in half-ton pickups. "

Mike, I like the sound of that.

When do you think we will hear the official mpg estimates?

Thanks for your report.

hm and why is the silverado half a second faster with his 6,2L engine?

S10-Heizer ,

It depends on the driver,wheel spin,altitude ...

The Dodge Ram CrewCab 5.7 Hemi (345ci) does 6.4 0-60(c&d)...I get 6 flat in my QuadCab (bit lighter than a crew)..bet I could do a bit better,manage wheelspin and momentum.

@ S-10 Heizer

The F-150 is considerbly heavier than the Silverado to. The GM 6.2L is a ligjht weight aluminum block. The Ford 6.2L is a heavier Cast iron block. And Ford trucks have almost alwase weighed more than their GM countrparts.

Will they pair up a V-6 3.7L with a 4x4? 9 seconds, that's about the same as my current 5.4L 2001 F150. I was against UAW products after seeing that attrocious video of dope smoking and drinking, but it is undeniable that Ford is doing some neat stuff. I think this is great for business. Now, work on that price a little bit and I *may* consider buying another F150 as long as I can get a 3.7L, Ext Cab with 4x4. It can be a stripper truck, fancy gadgets are of no importance to me. 300 hp and 280 lb/ft is agreat for my use and a benefit to fuel economy over my 5.4L

They have pioneered many things in the SUV and truck markets. But, they should not have gotten rid of the Ford Ranger. Many buyerrs simply will not fork out more dough for a big guzzling F150. They will look to their Foriegn counterparts.

I like the performance of the ecoboost engine. I still would love to see a lightning type truck. I like the raptor but its just so expensive, the lightning is perfect in my opinion

@Brian: Yep. Can't wait to do a deep dive (drive?) road test of the 5.0-liter V-8. Stay tuned. Hope it will be soon.

Impressive lineup. I am green with envy. Ford is sure to gain market share with 4 new engines. Look at how the HD sales have jumped.

I really hope they make a street oriented sporty single cab and short bed 3.7 V6. I have a 2009 F-150 in that body style with the 4.6 2V and would love the extra 54 horsepower, not to mention the weight loss of the smaller motor. It would be awesome if it was lowered down and sitting on some lightweight 18's or 20's. If I had the money to do it, mine would be set up like that already. Also, is it possible to swap the new electric power steering into my truck?

I think they should supercharge the 6.2 or 5.0 put it in a regular can truck put an svt badge and call it a lightning..... just saying lol

After carefully reading the reports posted here and in several other site I feel very similar to the way I felt a night ago. I continue to be on the fence with the EB. I value the confidence you get behind a good set of wheels, particularly when heading out of town with wife, kids, dogs, boat/trailer, etc. Add to that the usual winter conditions of Northern Alberta and you know it can be stressful.
We still have plenty of time to figure this V6-baby out. More rigorous tests will help; but optimally owner’s feedback will build a track record that will determine the future of V6 engines in our pickup trucks.
P.S. Mike, thank you so much for the work you do. This is the only webpage I visit daily in case you have posted a new report (I google/reader everything else). I was impressed last night to see the articles posted at 10pm on the dot, as early as the embargo was done. We appreciate and admire your dedication.

@Mike. I know the big buzz is about the engines. Which I am thrilled about but do you have any photos of the interiors of the Lariat and Platinum? I was curious if there were any changes other than the dash computer and shifter?

Hmm, so no Ecoboost in regular cab/short bed trucks, no 36 gallon tank with the ecoboost. 6.2L is only available in short wheelbase (5.5ft bed) Crew-cab trucks.

So, basically.......if you want a truck that can actually do real work (i.e. 8ft bed with the bigger tank), or if you want a little regular cab hotrod.......you are stuck with the 5.0L.

That really blows.

The ecoboost should be available in every cab configuration and with the larger fuel tank. The 6.2L should be available in trucks other than the crew cab/5.5ft bed. I mean, it would make sense for the 6.2L to be an option on Crew Cab/6.5ft bed trucks, as that's what you typically see towing 5th wheels/goosenecks (and it's their longest/heaviest configuration).

It seems like the people that come up with these options configurations must not actually use their trucks for anything other than looking pretty. Either that or they want to force buyers into a Super Duty.

The 4.15 sec from the two wheel drive f-150 is still a little slower than the 7.04 sec from the 4wd chevy in the 2008 shoot out

Ford 6.2L/7.15sec
Ford 3.5L/6.82sec
Ford5.0L/7.38sec
Chevy 6.2L/7.04sec
Toyota 5.7L/7.16sec
Dodge 5.7L/2010?
Titan 5.6L/7.52sec
Thats not bad at all looking at a TRUCK that weights about 500lbs more ... Loose that WEIGHT and there will be no Competition .... ALA-----> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXusbh5hb8U

@ Jonathan - the 5.0 is designed with forced induction in mind (aka Shelby Mustang). The 6.2 being an overhead cam design would be (relatively) easy for Ford to upgrade to Ti-VCT and direct injection. I'm willing to bet SVT comes up with something for it.
http://www.hennesseyperformance.com/raptor.html
If you got the money, they'll mix the poison.

a regular cab 5.0 or 3.5 or 6.2 would be another lightning lol just saying. Im impresed with the 3.5 (0-60 in 6.82). ford will blow away the competition. It will be awesome if the chevy fags watch this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I were in the 1/2 ton market I would have a hard time choosing what motor I would go with. If I wanted the power but did not haul or tow much i would go with the EB. If I haul and tow alot and the EB got worse mpg loaded than a loaded 6.2 then I would go with the 6.2. Then there's the 5.0!!!! Mike said they are sand bagging the 5.0 liter, so there's no telling what its going to do, so its like which one is the right one?? I would have to take two weeks of vacation time to decide!!!! It's good to see Ford giving more choices on the motor side.

Ford also sandbags payload too! Here may truck with 1,440 lbs of payload:

Unloaded http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af159/robertpdp/DSC03041.jpg
http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af159/robertpdp/DSC03039.jpg

Loaded
http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af159/robertpdp/DSC03047.jpg
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Payload 48-30 lb pavers
Pahttp://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af159/robertpdp/DSC03048.jpgyload 48-30 lb pavers

http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af159/robertpdp/DSC03043.jpg

The only mods are Banks power pack (worth the money) and bilsteins front and back. There were no issues at all. Hands down Ford makes the most capible and best looking truck on the road today and tommorow!

payload:
http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af159/robertpdp/DSC03048.jpg

Yeah, I might sound greedy when I say this, but I would want a significant boost in power compared to the last one, but not to much to where the truck can't put the power down. Maybe around 450? Im dreaming lol but ya never know

I went to the F150 roundup on sat here in Dallas and I was able to drive all the trucks and engines. The first event I did was the drag race but the only problem was that it was raining but I quickly figured out that starting out in second gear was ideal because you could do the whole thing in 2nd. All 4 of the engines were hugely impressive specially the EB because the torque hit so hard so early. When you hit 2k rpms it pushes you back into the seat and doesn’t let off all the way to the end, I haven’t felt that much torque down that low except in a diesel. I then went over to do the towing test and because it was raining it was a great opportunity to test out the trailer sway control. I was driving a King Ranch with the EB and a 24ft 6700lbs trailer. I pulled out onto the street and floored it to simulate getting on the highway and before I knew it I was doing 55 and then it settled down nicely and stuck at about 2k rpms. The next thing I did was gently accelerate as if to pass someone from 45 to 60 and it didn’t need to downshift at all and effortlessly accelerated to 60. Finally I did an emergency stop from 60 mph and whipped the steering wheel left and right to try and get the trailer loose and it just stuck behind me and remember it was raining, it was a weird feeling because I tow a lot of trailers and was expecting the trailer to step out at any moment but it didn’t. The last thing I did was take out an EB on a drive empty and monitored the mpg; I didn’t take it especially easy but just drove normal (for me). I went through 3 stop signs and floored it twice from 40 to 70 and when I got back the avg mpg was showing 26. Overall I am very impressed with all the engines Ford is offering now and now I believe that the only real complaint that people had with the F150's is now gone.

@ Daniel - don't make me regrete buying a 2010 ;)LOL

" Ford is offering now and now I believe that the only real complaint that people had with the F150's is now gone." - Daniel

Underpowered?

@ Frank .....yes

This EB is looking like its going to be the nutz. I'm working on the wife to get into a SuperCrew FX4 or Lariat with the EB next early summer when the lease is up on her Camry Hybrid.

If it works out, we'll probably do a lease again, which would eliminate the long-term durability questions for us.

Mike, thanks for posting a picture of the shifter, there is a lot going on, similar to a 13 speed big-rig shifter...

Once again we see... FORD is the undisputed KING of trucks.

government motors and dodge are left in the dust, literally.

Nice Job Mike!

Hey Mike Levine, Is the 2012 or 2013 Ford F-150 going be a Globel or made here in USA? Want to hear more on the 5.0L.. Thanks for the great reviews...

I thought the EB was supposed to be around 400hp, WTF. and Im dissapointed to see the MPG tow numbers cause what else do you do with a truck? So either get the EB and cruz around town with good MPG, but blow your towing MPG all to hell or get the 6.2 and get better MPG towing but then blow your MPG around town? Ford is doing better being their power in the motors have been...well lets face it, sucked the big one. but I still think there is room for improvement.

@josh
I think that Ford is probably playing it safe by keeping the RPMs and torque curve down somewhat to be easier on the engine. By quick calcs, if the motor made 400 ft-lbs at 5500 rpm, it would be making 420 hp. Using their 90% available max torque to say 5500, we'd be at 395hp.

The aftermarket will have huge potential IMO. With the forced induction and all kinds of computer control which can be manipulated, I'm sure that we will easily see 450 ft-lbs and around 475 hp by increasing boost at higher RPM. Those little pistons should love RPM, hell look what the 3.7L V6 likes!

The 6.2; What a concept; a bigger heavier engine that has to be revved more! I thought the reason for a bigger engine was to make lower rpm power, oh no, not this one! After years of Ford drivers griping cause the early Hemis need revved, Ford does this??

Isn't 'virtually no turbo lag' pretty much the same thing as saying' it has a little turbo lag'? So, like all turbos, you have turbo lag to deal with on the latest and greatest hocus pocus turbo machine out there. On day one. It doesn't improve over time. By 25,000 miles you'll wonder what you were thinking buying the turbo and by 50,000 you will be looking to trade for a proper V8. Hopefully, you do trade out before the inevitable turbo, vacuum, and PCV problems that come with every boosted engine. And in 3,2,1.... someone will post how these new turbos are 'different' than the old ones and don't suck. Except they do suck, just like the always have. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Possibly the quickest 2011 F150 is a regular cab (6.5' bed) 2wd 5.0 with 3.55. That is the way I would go; STX with 18" wheels fully optioned ($29.5k), less than a 2011 Mustang GT - and more capable IMO.

I just picked up my Extended Cab 2011 2WD F150 with the 3.7 engine.

I am very impressed with the new motor. I will see about the mileage claim of 23 highway

I own a 6.2 lariat. I love the truck and the power. I have a bully dog and a K&N cold air. I want more power before I buy a $7K supercharger. Any ideas/advice?



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