2011 Ford F-150 5.0-liter V-8 Gains Power Burning E85 Ethanol

2011 Ford F-150 5.0-liter V-8 Gains Power Burning E85 Ethanol

Want to add power to Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 for the 2011 F-150 without making a single hardware or software change? Just burn E85 ethanol fuel.

The 5.0 is rated at 360 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) and 380 pounds-feet of torque (at 4,250 rpm) running on regular unleaded gasoline. It's positioned as the midrange, high-volume engine choice for the F-150, below the more powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 (365 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque) and conventional large-displacement 6.2-liter V-8 (411 hp and 434 pounds-feet of torque).

But the 5.0 is also flex-fuel capable. Flexible-fuel vehicles are designed to run on gasoline or a blend of up to 85 percent ethanol (E85).

Burning E85 fuel boosts 5.0 engine power to 375 hp and 390 pounds-feet of torque, said Mike Harrison, Ford's program manager for V-8 engines.

Ethanol has a higher octane and heat-of-vaporization point than gasoline, meaning it combusts at a higher temperature and with greater force (higher compression) than gasoline, while also having a greater capacity to cool the fuel/air mix in the cylinder before combustion. This inherent efficiency is what enables the 5.0 to produce more power while burning E85 instead of regular unleaded fuel.

There's a trade-off, though. Even though E85 combusts with greater force, it has less energy per gallon than regular unleaded gasoline, so fuel economy is worse when burning E85.


What about running premium fuel? After all, that has a greater octane than the regular grade fuel that the initial 5.0L's numbers were generated on. Not as high as ethonal, but enough that there could be a gain without the poorer fuel economy and availability of ethanol.

E85 actually contains less energy per gallon than gasoline, you must burn more of it to release the same energy as gasoline but the increased efficiency from the added ignition timing gives you the boost in power.

E85 = 81,000 BTU/gal
Regular Unleaded Gasoline = 114,000 BTU/gal

And in comparison #2 diesel contains around 129,000 BTU/gal so you can burn less of it to do the same amount of work.

Seems like ford is the only truck maker with any news to report. The last 5 or so article have been all Ford.

This is a little off topic but my friend recently bought a new mustang with the 5.0. I have been for a ride in it and boy was it awesome. The motor winds up so quick and sounds so good doing it. I was amazed when we looked under the hood. The engine is absolutely gorgeous in detail and construction. It is really not like any I have seen in a car. It almost reminds me of two inline fours from a motorcycle. It really is a thing of beauty. And effortless power. I bet many mustang aftermarket parts will work on the f150. I cant wait to see what the fuel mileage rating comes in at.

@ Roberto
GM is to busy sucking the government tit and trying to get China to buy its stock .

@Taylor - ouch

I'm surprised that the EcoBoost engines aren't doing the same thing with E85. E85 can run at higher compression ratios, and you should be able to "simulate" a higher compression ratio with the turbo, provided that the ECU and the turbo work well together.

I don't see any mention of a turbo on this engine, so I wonder how they achieve the power gain in this V8?

Did they just make this a high-compression engine and make it run lean when it's on gasoline?

These Ford marketing guys got the game all figured out. They bombard you with all the news of the latest goodies and gadgets, NO pricing and availability. I need a truck and heck, I may have to contend with the competition.

@skifast - The 5.0 is supposed to be out around December or January. Its been all over the news and this website...

Baloney, that E-85 can't get as good or better mileage than gasoline. With higher compression engines you can get 40%-50% engine efficiency. While with gasoline, because of lower flashpoint it only has an effieciency of 25%. As proof positive, diesel has only 10% higher btu's than gasoline but gets 40% better gas mileage. For the life of me I don't understand why the automotive companies don't jump on higher compression engine technology. Ethanol is clean diesel.

Its easy. Fill your flex fuel tank and drive till its empty. Now fill it up with e85 and see if you can get back home. Me thinks you'll lbe @ 33% short.

@ Francis

When E85 is actually available at more than 2% of the nation's filling stations, the automakers might consider building cars specifically designed to run on it. E85 is a pipe dream, it will never take over as the fuel of choice.

sorry but i see a raptor,last week at a truck pull,beat by a hummer ,,this truck is only to play in sand..

@Miath - you must of missed the press release.
Raptors weren't built for heavy pulling.
The idiot who took his Raptor to a truck pull didn't know that either.

all this computered to the ying yang, different fuels, and only 23 mpg, whats that? pityfull.

Can the new 5.0 be put in a older 2001 f-150 in place of the 5.4?

Here iis what Ford should have tried DUH!!! I don't know why their big brain engineers did not even try the following. A modulat Ecoboost family. A V4 ,V6 even dare I say it a V 8!!!

Here is another shocker they could have tried but failed to have the imagination for a diesel Ecoboost. The same direct injection, and the dual turbos.

I am thinking somewhere around 4 liters somewhere around 400 HP if not more and no TURBO LAG. Hell,They could do a modualar Diesel Ecooboost family of engines.

Iy would certainly help a lot with their CAFE MPGS.


The octane ratings of gasoline aren't actually "purity" ratings as common thinking would indicate, but actually ratings of how much pressure/spark is needed to ignite the fuel. If a vehicle only requires 87 octane, putting 93 octane in it does nothing for either fuel economy or power.

However, going the other way (putting 87 octane in a vehicle that requires 93 octane) will hurt the motor. The 87 octane won't always ignite in a higher-compression engine, thus the reason many performance cars and turbocharged cars will "knock" if they're run with lower-octane gas.

The easiest way to gain better fuel economy is to let your engine breathe easier. A lower-restriction exhaust system and high-flow air filter should gain you roughly 5%-10% in fuel economy. But be careful with how much you spend. Always remember that it'll take a few years to recoup your investment in an exhaust sytem, even longer to benefit from it.

Good luck!

To Mr. Levine,

What are the corresponding engine revolutions for the power and toqure values for the E85 test, where did you get the information, and what was the fuel economy for the E85 test?

Thank you for your response,

rustysmith, Your comments about 93oct not making any performance improvement may have been true with old tech engines. That is NOT the case with the new Ford 5.0 Coyote. The Mustang version is FACTORY rated at 402hp on 87 and 420hp on 93. I own the car and truck versions of this engine. The reason the engine makes more power on high oct fuel is the variable cam and ignition timing, the new wide band sensors and knock sensors allow the engine produce more power. I run 93 in both vehicles and not only is there a power improvement they get better fuel economy because of the increased torque at low rpms. Now that American V8s have this technology we are entering a new era of engine efficiency as far as power and economy.

I drive every week from San Antonio to Midland on IH-10 where the speed limit is 80MPH (2-lanes are 75MPH), in my 2013 F-150 5 liter company truck. At those speeds, E-85 gives me slightly better mileage. When driving on 75MPH two lanes roads and passing, sometimes I hit 85 or 90 for a few seconds. Passing at those speeds, you can feel the E-85 advantage. I am assuming the 105 octane of E-85 is offsetting the lower BTU when running at those high speeds for 4 hours or more at time.

I have an F150 with the 5.0 engine.
I will tell you that the E-85 is worthless as to mileage!
With E-85 my truck will only squeeze 18 MPG out of it at highway speeds between Charleston SC and Atlanta GA.
With 0% ethanol on the same trip it ran 23 MPG.
I did not notice any power change with either product.
Let's leave the corn for the cattle!

Will a 5.0 motor out of a F150 2011 work in a 2006 GT 4.6 Without any major work ? Looking for some easy H.P.

Nobody posted here in over a year, so likely almost no one will see this. Besides which, I have said this over and over again, in articles and in my blog. However, here I go again:

The primary reason e-85 doesn't show up much is because almost all the fuel ethanol made in the U.S. is made for the petroleum companies to splash blend with gasoline. They have a hundred years of vested interest in petroleum, including their tax perks and infrastructure, therefore, no interest in pursuing better technologies for ethanol. They have passed their preferences along to the automakers, so the research that Ford and others have done on ethanol blends is shelved, because there will not be widespread e-85 availability or even consistent formulation and quality of e-85.

Contrary to those who believe the automakers killed the electric, or steam, or diesel automobile for the U.S. market, the fact is that the oil companies control that market, and, combined with our fuel tax structure, the automakers are left with little choice. Most of the conspiracy theories come from the fact that GM was once run by DuPont, a chemical company, and it was one of the DuPonts who asked GM's Delco division to find an octane booster that made gasoline competitive with ethanol in high compression engines. The development of tetraethyl leaded gasoline killed Henry Ford's agricuturally-based "chemurgy" idea of using farm surpluses to produce fuel.

If you study the history, you will find many attempts by the automakers to make use of ethanol, other than as a means of working around the CAFE standards, including the ethanol-injected power boost that preceded development of the Ecoboost system.

Furthermore, engines designated as able to run on both gasoline and e-85 are really gasoline vehicles with some alterations for e-85. Dedicated engines for alcohol tend to run compression ratios approaching that of diesel engines, or much higher boost pressures than engines run on pump gas. These kinds of engines are usually reserved for higher performance applications, like racing engines.

The best promise that ethanol delivers for the future is not, indeed, for internal combustion engines, but for direct-ethanol fuel cells, where the liquid fuel can be easily stored, pumped into vehicles, and converted directly to electricity, without the infrastructure and fueling problems associated with refining hydrogen from natural gas and containing it within an automotive fueling system.

Feed corn is a poor base stock for ethanol, but due to occasional overproduction of feed corn relative to demand, the political and market systems of the U.S. adapted ethanol from feed corn as a high-value use for a product. Were ethanol production ever needed in serious quantity, everything from the algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico to municipal solid waste could be used as feedstocks for alcohol.

While many point to the high water use of such production as a problem, in comparison to the water contaminated in fracking and oil shale and tar sand production methods, ethanol breaks down in water rapidly compared to petroleum and bitumen.

I own both a Mercury Grand Marquis with a 4.6 and an Econoline with a 5.4. I would gladly transplant a DOHC 5.0 and 6 speed automatic into either vehicle if you find you need to get rid of yours.

Are all 2012 Ford F-150 5.0 coyote motors,or are There different 5.0 engines in the f150 class

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