Video: Testing the 2011 Ford F-150's V-6 Engines in the Quarter-Mile

Testing the 2011 Ford F-150's V-6 Engines in the Quarter-Mile
Photos by Seung Min Yu and Ian Merritt

We briefly had both of Ford’s all-new six-cylinder engines for the 2011 F-150 together during testing for our V-6 Work Truck Shootout, so we ran them in the quarter-mile at Milan Dragway in Michigan.

Even though both engines are sixes, they occupy opposite ends of the Ford F-150's powertrain spectrum. The naturally aspirated Duratec 3.7-liter V-6 is the F-150's standard engine, rated at 302 horsepower and 278 pounds-feet of torque. It features composite upper and lower intake manifolds to feed air to the engine and 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.

The 3.7 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 improves fuel economy. The 3.7 F-150 4X2 is expected to have an EPA mileage rating of 16/23 mpg city/highway.

The twin-turbo gasoline direct-injection 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is the top-of-the-line engine choice for the 2011 F-150, priced $1,750 more than the 3.7. With power ratings of 365 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque, it can do the work of a V-8 engine with two fewer cylinders. Like the 3.7, the 3.5 also features four valves per cylinder, Ti-VCT and all-aluminum construction. Ford hasn’t released its expected EPA fuel economy figures yet, but we expect around 24 mpg on the highway.

Both engines are paired with Ford’s six-speed automatic transmission.

We wondered how both engines stack up against each other since they share Ford's V-6 core engine architecture.

In the quarter-mile at Milan, the 3.7-liter clocked in a best run of 15.87 seconds at 87.69 mph, while the 3.5-liter EcoBoost ran the stretch in as little as 14.67 seconds at 94.6 mph, according to Milan's timing equipment. That's faster than any of the V-8 half-ton trucks we tested during our 2008 Light-Duty Shootout at the same location.

Check back in a few weeks for our V-6 Work Truck Shootout, which will compare the 3.7-liter V-6 against the competition.



Total failure, they already broke down in the desert. Can you say, "Fix or Repair Daily" without coughing out FORD.

Note - the quarter mile times in comparison to the 2008 light duty shootout don't factor in the differences in weight of the trucks i.e. regular cab short box versus crew cab or extended cab trucks with 4x4.

Ford we are American's let the V6 engines to the Japanese, Napoleon Hill told us about Henry Ford's desire for a V8 why take steps backwards when we know there's abundance in energy.

@Scott: Excellent point.

Great job FORD! Like always you BEST!

14.67 seconds @ 94.6 mph, that's pretty darn quick for a stock fullsize truck. Even for an extended cab truck (as opposed to a crew cab).

By comparison, Edmunds tested a Toyota Tundra Double Cab 4x4 with the 5.7L and got a 14.8 @ 93.7. It wouldn't surprise me if the extended cab F150 ecoboost and Toyota's double cab 5.7L would run neck and neck if they were both either 4x4 or 4x2.

It didn't break down in the desert. You lie.

Settle down Ford guys, these numbers aren't that impressive. My 08 Hemi QC 4x4 was running mid to high 14s with 3 mods: CAI, Exhaust, Tuner.

It really is sad, when Ford finally becomes relivent again in the truck market, how many of you guys loose your minds over numbers other trucks have been puting down for 5 or so years.

Scott, your took the words right out of my mouth !!

"Note - the quarter mile times in comparison to the 2008 light duty shootout don't factor in the differences in weight of the trucks i.e. regular cab short box versus crew cab or extended cab trucks with 4x4. "

I must add what axle ratio's these trucks were running ect...

CAI Exhaust and Tuner...Even more so the (Tuner) can make a pretty big difference in 1/4 mile times. Now I'm not crazy about the idea of a 6cyl F-150. But that's what the 5.0L and 6.2L are for. In the mean time I find these times are in fact quite impressive, and even more considering it was done with 2 less cy . Had this been a Dodge Hemi setting these times in stock configuration you would be all over it.

@ AllAmerican

"Ford we are American's let the V6 engines to the Japanese"

Have you heard of a little thing called CAFE? Rest assured, all manufacturers will be going in this direction. Get used to it.

A Dodge Ram R/T Hemi runs mid 13's right out of the showroom !!

The bigger heavier 4x4 Ram QuadCab's are mid 14's at 93-95 mph...

What cab/drive configurations?
What axle ratios?
What tire sizes?

Without those, this video is without context.

@protected Ummm....the fact that you are comparing your mildly modded larger displacement V8 to an un-modded V6 just shows how un-educated you are.

I think alot of you Ford haters are missing the point here. This is exciting news no matter who you are...unless you completely despise V6's. The fact that we now have V6's that can produce V8 horsepower without power adders is amazing. The future of trucks is changing and we could see the end of the large displacement V8 pretty soon so you better get used to the sound of a V6.


3.7-L was Reg Cab, 2WD, 3.73 rear axle, Michelin LTX A/S 265/60R18 tires and 18-inch wheels.

3.5-L EcoBoost was SuperCab, 2WD, unknown rear axle size (3.73 or numerically lower), Michelin LTX A/S 265/60R18 and 18-inch wheels.

One more thing: 2011 F-150 3.7-L Reg Cab curb weight was 4,760 pounds. I don't have curb weight for the EcoBoost truck.

I'll say again that we only had both trucks together for 30 min because the 3.5-L EcoBoost truck was being dropped off for review by USA Today. It was either write down stats and measure or drive. I chose to drive.

Total failure another sad day for FORD.

Heh Heh. Sorry just had to pretend I was a jealous hater there for a second.

And just so it is perefctly clear. Nobody from Chrysler should ever question Fords relavency. Instead you should focus on making your company consistenly profitable. Isnt it about time to start the next bi-annual "the new Dodge / this is the year we shed our past problems/ moving forward/ new models that will turn the company around/ sell ourselves to a foreign entity or take government loans or hire a CEO from Ford/ fall back to into irrelevency" campaign again?

Chrysler has never provided a Ram 1500 R/T to test. I'm game any time.

Mike L the movie star :)

Great report as always.

@Scott: LOL. Yeah, Creature from the Black Lagoon. ;-)

I'd love to see truck manufacturers produce a truck that is both a) available to the public (no special configuration) and b) outfitted with only accessories available upon vehicle purchase to the public (Mopar, TRD, that kinda stuff) and let Mike run them in quarter miles. It'd be kinda fun to see which company can truly produce the fastest truck using only parts approved by the manufacturer and are still covered under warranty. I know we'd likely see a lot of reg cab short box, but I'm not sure if all the most powerful mills are available when you buy that configuration.

Hey, I'm all about V8s too, but let's not forget about a certain Ram diesel we call CUMMINS! 5.9 and 6.7 liter turbo 6 cyl. Heck a lot of medium-duty trucks (Class 5 or higher) run with 6 cyl turbodiesel engines! I like the F150 3.7L because it has hp numbers 260 or greater (Frontier, Tundra, F150). It's time for GM and RAM to put up or shut up...upgrade already!

Looking good. Glad Ford made these available for a quick test. They're obviously proud of the v6's. We'll see how the pickup consumer embraces them.

@Protected - you say "when Ford finally becomes relavent again in the truck market" - that's past pathetically funny straight to being one of the top five dumbest statements I've ever heard in my life.

Are you guys all only 20 years old???
In the old body style, 96 and prior, the Ford base engine was a 300cubic inch inline 6 ! Originally it was a 240 cubic inch. Ford sold millions of trucks with 6 cylindrs so don't say nobody wants them.
Some of you sound like the govt guys saying detroit builds vehicles that no one wants to buy without looking at the real numbers where detroits big 3 combined were selling more vehicles than any others.
There is a market for people who want the capability to tow, haul, whatever and still get decent economy as a daily driver.
Check back in a couple years and see how many are buying this engine some say no one wants.

Amen Bob, Ford even sold a lot of 3/4 tons with the 300-6.

Great job Mike, that was one wicked burnout and the eco sounded high-tech and powerful. Can you hear a nice turbo whine in the cab?

Sme track / Different Day

'11 Ford EB 14.67 / 94.6 (2wd & Super Cab)
'08 Chevy 6.2 15.52 / 94.13
'08 TuRD 5.7 15.68 / 92.63
'08 GMC 6.2 15.72 / 94.31
'08 Ram 5.7 15.80 / 91.83
'08 Nissn 5.6 15.96 / 89.04
'08 Ford 5.4 16.96 / 85.91

I figure while Ford was a Spr cab given they are typically heavier, weight should be close. V Close.

In any case, this is very impressive!

The EcoBoost truck will easily run 13's with an intake, tune, and exhaust. It has plenty of untapped potential.

My bad, while it was the 2008 shootout, those were clearly all 2009's. Oops.

@ Mike Levine- I have never been what you could even remotely call a race fan. Is the reason you tuck the mirrors in to reduce drag?

Never mind EB, Ford's base v6 is faster than the Hemi. lol.

@Gabe: Yes, we were trying to get below 14.6 seconds so we tucked in the mirrors to reduce aero drag. By that point, the turbos were hot and folding the mirrors wasn't going to help.

When fuel prices hit 4 bucks again people will be all over this


Old trucks also use to run solid rubber tires, hand crank start engines, 3 on the tree shifters, spring seats, carburetors, no seat belts, etc but that doesn't mean anyone wants to buy it new today.

solid rubber tires were even before my time...
but Ford was selling a V6 up to 2003, sold a few as gutless as they were.

Do you think its a bad idea to offer a v6 at all?

I don't think the 3.7 will be a big seller but the 3.5 boosted one will sell great I pridict.

I would also bet that if you could ask about 100 farmers , plumbers, whatever if they would buy a basic "new" 1996 F150, 300 six, 4 on the floor , no air, work truck; about 75 of them would go for it at the right price. They were indestructable!

Back in the day, the iron ore mines in the small N W Ont town where I worked at the Ford dealer ran F350 cab & chassis with full mechanics body with 300 I-6, 3 spd auto, converted to propane which cut the power more. They killed the trucks eventually but the powertrain was still going.

i hope they when they test the ford v6 they also run the nissan frontier in there shootout

@bob- The 4.9 inline 6 is a good motor. My 94 has 245,000 on the original motor, transmission was rebuilt at 180,000. I bought from my grandfather in 98 with 60,000 onit and sold it 4 months ago, nothing wrong with it and still run/idled like it did from day one. That truck made me alot of money, and it will be missed!

I think the 3.5 EB will sell good, the extra cost up front can be made up in gas saving alone vs a v8. I would like to see a 4.9 inline 6 EB!

@tj, why would they pit the F150 V6 against the Frontier V6? The Frontier would surely be faster with a bigger engine and smaller body, its not in the 1/2 ton class.

I'm with Bob on this one. (Never thought I'd say that. Must be a different Bob)
We've gotten addicted to big V8 engines. I remember 250 I6 Chevies , and Ford 300 I6 engines. They ran forever. No power, but great engines.
People need to get over the desire to travel down the freeway at 75 MPH while towing 20,000 lbs. (or at least get over the desire to do it).
New MPG rules may be the death nell for big V8's (time will tell).

How in the world is this a failure?? how is a v6 with the same power as a v8, but with significantly better fuel mileage a failure??? Lol I just dont get it.... chevy nor dodge have tried anything like this, why? Because they have always been behind ford. This is way better then a hybrid that fell on its face. I love the idea of the ecoboost and that fx2 looks great. Good job ford


For anyone here that thinks the GM engines isn't as good as fords V6 engine they have no brains. For the record there isn't a better engine and transmission combination in a truck than the Duramax Diesel, 6.2, longlasting 5.3 and the Allison Transmission period! You got that you ford lovers.

If you think the sun set's on Fords new Ecoboost, then buy that truck. I know the GM 6.2 will win any pulloff or drag race and make Ford and the Hemi fight for sloppy seconds.

For the record, GM has reigned supreme in the last 3 shootouts ran by and it will reign supreme over any old v6 and the Hemi.

So let it be written, so let it be done!

Johnathan, people calling it failure have the IQ of 2, their just pissed that a V6 can have more power then thier mighty V8 that they spent thier lifes savings to buy.

@ Bob chandler

Are you saying that the 6.2 and 5.3 V8 gassers come with an Allison transmission...I thought that the Allison only came with the Duramax. Do you know anything about trucks? get the facts straight.

Yeah, you got me on a typo. You get your facts straight. The Ford and Dodge have advantages like chugging more fuel to operate them, with epa ratings of 14 city and 18 highway with the 5.4 try to run and 13 city and 18 highway with the 5.7 liter hemi. compared to the Silverado's 15 city and 21 highway epa ratings. These ratings on found on and are on the window stickers of the trucks at the lots.

Another advantage of Ford and Dodge is no automatic locking differential, no On Star with turn by turn navagation. GM may have the oldest platform for halfton's but it can go toe to toe with Ford and Dodge and is the second best selling truck on the market today.

I want to clear the air that no matter what your retoric or childish GM bashing on a daily baisis, GM is the best.

I prefer the GM trucks over Ford and Dodge. People have preferences and this is the USA. People are constantly trying to tear down the competition and stating false information to make themselves feel better about their brand of choice.

Competition is good for the consumer because it has the benefit of the manufactures constantly improving their product. So buy what you want and stop the constant GM bashing and grow up.

@ Bob C.

Dude I hope you are not trying to argue with me cause I sure as Hell was not bashing Gm but it sure seems like your bashing Ford and Dodge for not having Onstar and Locking Diffs(BTW the FX4 has a electronic locking Diff, and I am sure the Powerwagon has one to). Chill out man, you are entitled to your opinion about who has the best truck...everybody is.

Page 3 lists weights

Too bad the 4.1 axle of the Raptor can not be had with the 3.7 V6 & 4x4.


My bad. I don't know anything.

I thought I was in a GM post. I posted in the wrong post, sorry for any inconvenience.

This is an automated message.

Hey mike, when are you guys going to strap an ecoboost to a dyno? It sounds to me like ford is being a little conservative with those numbers.

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