Ford Introduces Three New Light-Duty Engines for 2011 F-150 Pickup Trucks

Ford Introduces Three New Light-Duty Engines for 2011 F-150 Pickup Trucks

The best-selling half-ton truck in the country is getting an all-new engine lineup for 2011. Ford is replacing its legacy two-valve and three-valve 4.6-liter V-8 twins and the venerable three-valve 5.4-liter V-8 in the F-150 with technically advanced six- and eight-cylinder engines that Ford says will be the most fuel-efficient in the industry. The truck maker is also shifting exclusively to six-speed automatic transmissions for every powertrain.

3.7-liter V-6

Six-cylinder engines are the unloved stepchildren of the half-ton segment. These entry-level mills have significantly less power and are only marginally more fuel efficient than most available eight-cylinder engines, making them an unpopular choice to power a full-size truck.

Ford dropped its old 4.2-liter V-6 from the F-150 lineup after 2008 – offering only V-8 engines – because even its two-valve 4.6-liter V-8 with a four-speed automatic was less thirsty yet delivered more power.

But for 2011, V-6 is no longer a dirty word when it comes to full-size pickups.

3.7-liter V-6

Ford’s all-new Duratec 3.7-liter V-6 is the new base engine for the F-150. It’s rated at 300 horsepower and 275 pounds-feet of torque on regular unleaded fuel, though it will also burn E85 ethanol. It debuted earlier this year in the 2011 Ford Mustang, where it’s rated at 305 hp and 280 pounds-feet of torque. It’s also shared with the Ford Edge crossover.

Fleet owners are most likely to be its customers, looking for a low-cost capable pickup. Ford Ranger buyers are another potential target for the 3.7-liter V-6, when production of Ford’s compact pickup ends in 2011. Ford also says it will be the most fuel-efficient engine in the segment.

The dual-overhead-cam, all-aluminum, 60-degree V-6 is stuffed with technology. Starting with composite upper and lower intake manifolds to feed air to the engine, the engine’s heads have four valves per cylinder (two intake, two exhaust) that are combined with twin independent variable camshaft timing, or Ti-VCT in Ford speak. Ti-VCT varies valve actuation throughout the power band so there’s improved torque at the low end, cleaner emissions and better fuel economy throughout the rpm range. Bucket tappets that actuate the valves are low-friction and designed to boost mileage further.

The 3.7-liter V-6 also features a die-cast aluminum deep-sump oil pan that helps the engine go up to 10,000 miles between oil changes. The high use of aluminum throughout the engine saves weight and further improves fuel economy.

3.7-liter V-6

With all of this power, maximum trailer towing with the 3.7-liter V-6 is up to 6,100 pounds. That’s more than the maximum 5,760 pounds for today’s Ranger.

The 3.7-liter V-6 will be available for all cab configurations, up to a two-wheel-drive SuperCrew – the only V-6 full-size pickup with a crew cab.

Which F-150 Models Get It? XL, STX, XLT

Availability? Fourth quarter of 2010

3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6

3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6

Ford isn’t bringing back just one V-6 for 2011. It’s offering two. However, the second six-cylinder engine has about as much in common with the first as Jaws does with Flipper. And this is one six-cylinder with lots of teeth.

As originally announced in 2009, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 will be the first application of Ford’s gasoline direct-injection twin-turbo technology in a half-ton pickup. It’s Ford’s effort to shrink engine displacement for improved fuel economy while delivering tons of low-end power.

How much power? Ford is still coy, but we estimate the 3.5 will be about 400 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque, enough to give it best-in-class towing and highway fuel economy. Ford says it will be able to pull up to 11,300 pounds, which is today’s maximum towing rating for the F-150. That’s amazing when you imagine its displacement is smaller than a pair of 2-liter bottles of Coke.

EcoBoost V-6 performance is said to be diesel-like, with peak torque coming on early in the power band and staying flat throughout the rev range.

3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6

The twin-turbo setup should also prove ideal for towing at altitude, where a naturally aspirated engine can have difficulty feeding air to its cylinders.

In the engine lineup, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 6.2-liter V-8 will occupy the top two slots. Ford hasn’t said how much it will cost. It may carry a premium over the 6.2.

Official fuel economy and power figures will be revealed during the State Fair of Texas in September. We’ll be there to bring you initial driving impressions, too.

Which F-150 Models Get It? All except for Harley-Davidson and SVT Raptor

Availability? First quarter of 2011

5.0-liter V-8

5.0-liter V-8

The 3.7-liter V-6 isn’t the only engine that the F-150 will share with the Mustang. It’s also getting the all-new 5.0-liter “Coyote” V-8.

The engine, which makes 360 hp (at 5,500 rpm) and 380 pounds-feet of torque (at 4,250 rpm), is positioned as the midrange engine choice for the F-150, below the 3.5-liter V-6 and conventional large-displacement 6.2-liter V-8.

Although the 5.0 produces more power than the outgoing 5.4-liter V-8, it won’t carry as high a tow rating. Its maximum will be only 9,800 pounds trailering, instead of 11,300 pounds. Peak torque has also moved up the rpm band, from a low 3,500 rpm in the 5.4-liter V-8.

“It’s positioned as an entry-level V-8,” said Mike Harrison, Ford V-8 engine programs manager. “It’s one step up from the 3.7-liter V-6. It’s really replacing the [discontinued 2010] three-valve 4.6-liter V-8.”

The F-150’s 5.0 benefits from some of the work done on the Mustang’s 5.0, which was engineered with the goal of being able to add a supercharger at a later date to boost performance, Harrison said.

“We put a forged crank and good rods in [the Mustang’s 412 hp, 390 pounds-feet 5.0 V-8],” Harrison said. “The head bolts are upsized. The main bearing bolts are upsized. That then lends itself for a very robust truck application.”

5.0-liter V-8

The 5.0 also uses Ti-VCT to continually optimize power and fuel economy during two cam timing schedules – one for performance and one for mileage. It’s also E85 ethanol capable, which gives it increased power figures (and lower fuel economy), though Ford won’t say by how much.

There are some physical changes, too. The exhaust headers for both engines are different from each other for extra durability in the F-150. Instead of the Mustang’s unique tubular stainless-steel exhaust headers, the F-150 uses thermally tougher conventional cast-iron exhaust manifolds that give it a small loss in low-speed torque and performance, which has to recovered to improve the driving experience and meet long-duration high temperature work demands – such as during cross-country towing. To do that, Harrison’s team shrank the duration of the intake cam duration from 260 degrees to 240 degrees, dropped the compression ratio from 11:1 to 10.5:1 and advanced spark timing for extra low-speed torque. The changes also help F-150 owners run their 5.0 V-8 with regular unleaded instead of super unleaded for optimal performance in the Mustang.

The F-150 5.0 also gets a heavy-duty oil cooler that's not shared with the Mustang.

Which F-150 Models Get It? All except Harley-Davidson and SVT Raptor

Availability? Fourth quarter of 2010

6.2-liter V-8

6.2-liter V-8

The single-overhead cam 6.2-liter V-8 that debuted in the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is rated at a brawny 411 horsepower 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. "Powered by Ford" is proudly embossed on the valve covers.

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.

We expect that in the next two to three years Ford will revise the 6.2 with new heads, four-valves per cylinder, direct injection and Ti-VCT for improved mileage and power.

For now, this engine is a brute force power lifter that’s rated to tow up to 11,300 pounds (depending on model), the same as the EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6.

Which F-150 Models Get It? Harley-Davidson, SVT Raptor and Platinum and Lariat with Max Trailering Packages

Availability? Now

2011 Ford F-150 Engine Chart

Six-Speed Automatic Transmission

Every engine for 2011 will be paired with the F-150’s existing 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission, but Ford has improved the gearbox as well, with features inherited from the 2011 F-Series Super Duty HD pickups.

Progressive Range Select allows a driver to reduce the number of available gears so it’s easier to tow up a grade and hold a specific top gear without worrying about the truck upshifting and getting bogged down in a higher gear.

There’s also a manual shift function, which lets a driver operate the truck like it had a manual transmission. The driver can shift whenever needed, as long as it doesn’t over-rev the engine.

The transmission also receives new ratios so it can operate with a lower final drive ratio for improved highway mileage – we’re waiting for the final ratios from Ford and word about rear axle changes – tow/haul mode has been re-calibrated for improved grade-shifting during descents and there’s also a new one-way clutch for smoother 1-2 and 2-1 shifts between the first two cogs.

Which F-150 Models Get It? All 2011 models. No more four-speeds.

Availability? Fourth quarter of 2010


No surprises here, I think these numbers and models are what we all expected.

What about electric steering for the 2011 F-150?

FINALLY I've been waiting for this kind of news from ford for years. I've always preferred ford trucks overall but their engines always dissappoint (except for the 7.3 diesel in the superduty). This is exciting news. I wish dodge or chevy had some kind of exciting news. Ford is really taking over the auto industry. They seem to be doing EVERYTHING right. I only have two complaints about ford now. 1 KILLING THE RANGER. 2 NO MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Its a sad day when a 6 cylinder had more power than my current V8 Ford F150 lmao... Then again most new 6 cylinders are more powerful than my 2v 4.6L but the one thing I will say about it is no matter how hard I drive it, the damn thing just keep going and going and going!

Another question. Which engine will be available with the Heavy-duty Payload Package and which models?

so no 6.2l in the xlt trim? that dissapoints

@ Mike

- No mention of FX4? Gone?

- How long until we see how the EB compares directly against 6.2L in side by side comparo?

- How long until the rest of the 2011 F150 info (interior etc) is out?

- How much weight savings between EB and 6.2L? Safe to assume EB will have higher payload #.

- Will max tow pkg even be available with XLT trim given no 6.2L, EB is premium $$$ engine and 5.0L tow max is lower?
Heck maybe it isn't w/2010 either?

the 3.7L has the same power as my 2005 5.4! So the Lariat, which is only available with one engine right now, will be available with 3 engines? Nice! I might even make it to Texas State Fair this year!

I think this just proves how far Ford (and by all accounts the entire auto industry) have come in the past few years. Lets face it gas is going to go back up at some point. The recession only halted the rise for a a few years at best. The more HP and MPG you can squeeze out of a smaller engine will be the way forward from now on. I wonder what will be around the corner in the next 5 years or so. The one thing I was surprised at was no mention of a 4 cylinder EcoBoost for the lower end trucks.

No Diesel???

Ahh the news as promised, great info Mike, thanks for the update! It's getting hard to hold onto my 03 Supercrew with the 260hp 5.4L with these new options on hand!!

Oh and one more thing. The 5.0 having a lower tow rating than the 5.4, are they for real. Do you suppose this is Fords way of admitting that they overshot the capability of the 5.4 and are now correcting it or do you suppose that this is only to get people to buy the Ecoboost or the 6.2 premium trucks? I find it hard to believe that a motor with more HP and TQ can't haul the same weight as the current outgoing model does. Maybe they know with the upcoming regulations about towing that will affect all manufactures that they needed to dial it back a bit...

Nice looking all around. i was hoping the 5.0 would be a little more impressive, but if the MPG is there i can see it being a good engine.

@Mike Levine. can you get the 3.7L with 4x4?

The only thing that GM can compete with these news is if they take the 4.5L Diesel off the shelve and start production. Come on GM what do u have to say to this.

Shawn - GREAT comment. I caught that myself. How could the outgoing 5.4 be rated at 11,300 and the new, more powerful 5.0 max at 9,800?

The answer, I think, is that the new tow rating is more in line with the upcoming SAE standard. That means of course that Ford has been "generous" in their tow ratings for the last few years...about 1,500 lbs too generous.

@woopud Don't hold your breath for the diesel. Its done, kaput, finished. I asked that question on the Ford Explorer Facebook page and the answer I got back from Ford was basically that the Ecoboost motor is the new diesel even though it uses gas... They said that there would not be enough sales to do a 1/2 ton with a small diesel in it. I think they are full of sh*t but hey what do I know?

@Shawn, I bet the higher tow rating is with the Max tow package, which I think Ford is only going to offer the EcoBoost and 6.2 engines for. I think it's a marketing strategy, not a reflection on the strength of the 5.0 V8. Just my speculation. You will need the Max tow package to tow 11,300 lbs regardless of what engine is in it.

The 5.0 has lower towing because peak torque has also moved up the rpm band, from a low 3,500 rpm in the 5.4-liter V-8, and it probably will not be available with the max towing package or heavy duty payload package. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

@Jason aka TundraHQ Might be the new SAE tow regs and then again it might not be... hard to say. I think its a mix of the upcoming regs and the desire by Ford to push this new Ecoboost to the head of the line. Hey at this point I'm just glad Ford is putting the motor back in Ford Motor Company lol. The motors were the only thing really lacking in their trucks IMHO.

This is great news. Ford is really heading in the right direction lately. I love the all 6 speed transmissions.

I'm kind of curious why does the 5.0 have lower towing numbers? Is it just to get more people to buy the eco boost engine? It can't be a power issue.

11,300 is only for the Max Towing Package on the outgoing engines.

9,800 lbs is about right without the Max Trailer Tow Package. In actuality, the 5.0 has increased towing since it is replacing the 4.6 which could tow at most 8,000 lbs.

@Alex yea your probably hit the nail on the head. Great comment btw. I totally forgot that you had to have the max tow pk to get to the 11,300 max tow weight... The regular 5.4 w/o the max tow pk is around the same number. Good catch.

Why does the 5.0 have lower towing? Torque was moved farther up the band, and there is no max towing package with the 5.0.

6.2 and EcoBoost get the Max Towing Package and highest tow ratings.

The old max towing option wasn't made with a more powerful engine. I believe it included a different rear end and a strengthened frame. Now, it appears that the max towing option will only be available with the max engine options. You could hook a 10k lb trailer to a Corvette and tow it faster than a diesel HD. That doesn't mean it tows better.

Glad to see the v6 improvements, I would have to try one out myself just to see how good they are!

But usually when it comes to trucks, that need torque and low maintence and realibity is king V8s still are the engine of choice!

Just wish they would offer the 6.2 in all models, and then offer a Eco Boost 6.2 that folks would be a homerun!!!!

@Alex and @Shawn - That does make some sense. Still, anyone who thinks that the max tow package on the new 6.2L or EcoBoost should be the same as the max tow rating on the outgoing 5.4L needs their head examined.

It's OBVIOUS the newer engines are more powerful, torque curves be damned. Ford was flat-out lying about that 11,300 tow capacity on a 5.4 (reg. cab only, heavy duty 7,700lbs payload group only). I don't care - towing more than 8k with a half-ton is asking for trouble in my opinion - but I think Ford fans shouldn't drink the kool-aid. Ford's tow ratings were out of whack on the last generation.

@Dan - Great question. Mike said something about a 2011 model getting electric steering at one point a few weeks ago...wonder if this is it?

Hmmm no direct mention of King Ranch either, (never mind FX4)

Your build quality is out of whack on your current generation Tundra. Need we go into all the quality problems with the Tundra? There is more to towing than a motor. Three years in and the Tundra still doesn't offer an integrated trailer brake controller. Finally Trailer sway control for 2011 but will only brake the truck's wheels, not the trailer's too. Now, you won't see an ITBC until 2012 at the earliest. Stop with the Tundra bias while you're behind.

I thought 2011 order guides were out soon too?

@Mark - I thought we were talking about the F150? Since we're not...

Don't waste my time talking about Tundra quality. The only reason you even KNOW about the Tundra's problems is because *we* published them!

If you search my site you'll find out more about the Tundra's problems than you will find on any forum...and that's by design. You can't call yourself an expert on a vehicle if you're not willing to talk about it's shortcomings.

Judging by your reluctance to acknowledge Ford's creative tow ratings, I'm guessing you're not much of an F150 expert...

FX4 and King Ranch are 100% still there for 2011.

So max tow on a FX4 and King Ranch will have EB and NOT 6.2L.

Just added video to the top of the post!!

Can't wait to see the numbers, If I get the ford the EB may be my ticket, I wonder how it will sound though, if the mileage is good enough I can give up the V8 sound as long as it has V8 power.

@Bill: Correct. According to Ford, 6.2 will only be for Raptor, Harley, Platinum (with max tow) and Lariat (with max tow)

Let's see just how well these engines do in the real world. Afterall, their still made by Ford. I also don't think it'll help the F150 at the stoplight when it pulls up to a new Ram.

The order bank for the 2011 F-150 should be open by the end of the month.

End this debate. Which will be better for towing, EcoBoost with max trailer tow or 6.2 with max trailer tow?

@Lucas We will still be waiting at the stop light when you have to stop at the gas station with your RAM... Don't get me wrong, Ram makes the prettiest truck, ah well that's all I can really say about the Ram... A truck is a freaking truck, and it should be reliable. Something that only Ford and Chevy know how to do.

Well most people don't really tow over 9k with an f150 so I'm sure the lower numbers for the 5.0 won't really hurt, there's always the premium engines for those that need a little extra. This does really show how good the 5.4L was, even with its lower power numbers. My first truck was a 5.0L f150, think they could only tow like 6k back then.

@Mark: I think it depends where you live. I can see EB being phenomenal towing over the Rockies compared to the 6.2. Shootout will have full deets of towing with 6.2 in Super Duty on Monday.

Ford finally becomes relevant in the engine department, it has only been about a decade.

@ Shawn,

Your talking big for a person who, doesnt no anything but power numbers yet.


Where is my LD diesel I asked for?

"Well most people don't really tow over 9k with an f150 so I'm sure the lower numbers for the 5.0 won't really hurt, there's always the premium engines for those that need a little extra." - The Tone

"@Mark: I think it depends where you live. I can see EB being phenomenal towing over the Rockies compared to the 6.2."
Thank you, Mike.

Yeah, maybe Ford will start selling more trucks now. Maybe take over the top sales spot. Maybe start winning awards. Oh wait never mind.

not impressed by the 5.0 in fact kinda dissapointed leave the good v8s to mopar but those v6s on the other hand hot damn if I owned any sort of company id have to break allegiance and get some (gasp) v6 full size fords how im going to miss the ranger imagine a ranger gt w/ a twin turbo v6

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