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.
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
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.
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.