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.



"My bad. I don't know anything." - TROLL

You got that right.

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

This is an automated message." - TROLL

Good grief!!!!

That new E boost is running close to my HD F150 Supercharged that only gets 13 -16 mpg.
Technology rules!

I can't wait to get one of these, probably an FX2 like the one pictured above.

I've been an aouto enthusiast since my early teens and thirty is knocking on my door. This is the first time I've ever seen a Ford truck setting the bar for accelleration. I'm curious to see how it compares to the V8s with a little weight behind it.

The trolls are out.

Fake posters trying to stir things up.

Bob Chandler - that is the name of BigFoot's creator.

@ synergy

The "mighty" EB was equaled by a 7 year old engine with $500 worth of engine mods. Go educate yourself.

@ Mike:

See above. 7 years and Ford still can't out perform the Hemi. This shows the last gen F-150 and first 2 years of this gen have been irrelevant. Now it is finally relevant again.

@mike would you quicker get the ecoboost or 6.2? also, why would you choose that one?

@Jonathan: I'd probably opt for the EcoBoost because I don't tow very often, unless I'm testing. Although, I really need a Raptor in my driveway, so maybe the 6.2...


@ Protected

Wow I guess you told me...who knew a V8 would "equal" a V6 with less displacement. I mean gosh a V6 that can run with a Big Manly 5.7L Hemi!!! thats just crazy...WAIT! its not cause it CAN, that V6 could quite possibly spank your truck with $400 of mods. Heh you know if you love your dearest Hemi so much than why are you on here reading about the latest and greatest Ford V6 Huh? I think your just a TROLL who just gets his kicks off by running his mouth.

@mike one more thing do they offer a regular cab ecoboost?

@jason and anyone else that wants to compare the 4x2 3.7 to the full sizes-No, it's not quicker, close, and certainly not faster, than the Hemi. I would venture a guess this 4x2 single cab might be 4650 pound truck, vs. a crew cab 4x4 that weighs 5700 pounds, and the Rams tires are 2.5" taller, more loss to turning them and all the 4x4 related drivetrain. That's even with the rams wrong for drag racing/real heavy towing gear ratios! Not apples to apples! BUT, it is very fast, they have come along way with V-6s. I've had two Ford 300s, one in an 77 4x2 LWB and then an 83 LWB, both had 4 speeds, but the 83 was way too (numerically) low geared...couldn't move much in 4th gear. The 77 was an acceleration joke as well, I can remember leaving the dirt track in Hawaii just my friend and I and an engine block in the back, and my friend and his wife with a 92 or so Chevy 1/2 ton with a 77 Monte Carlo racecar in tow, and he blew past us like we were standing still! However, those engines took very low maintanance, very affordable. Who knows if they'd messed with the heads and cams on them before the emmisions choked them out! Wish Dodge had made a bigger slant six, as they were very dependable, just worthless for hauling with only 225 CI. Waiting for Dodge to fire up things in the V-6 class with the Pentastar! You Ford folks ought to remember who made Chevy get serious about the last of the 350s in the Z28s! It was Ford's 5.0 kicking their 5.0 around and running their 350s hard. Competition.

I've got one of those F250s with the 300 CID 6, 4 speed, single cab, 8 ft bed. It's slow but will pull stumps if you need it. Trucks are meant for work, not racing. At least they used to be...

Wanna go fast? Get yourself a sports car or motorcycle.

These new engines seem to offer an improvement in performance on many levels. But, here is the thing...have you guys seen the mileage requirements that the us government is proposing just down the road? pretty unbelievable compared to what is available to us today.

now think about the hybrid or electric platform modified for a truck. we already have a bed right? seems to me that those types of drivetrains may be the future for pickup trucks.

I didn't think people really cared about 0-60 in a truck...Thought they cared about 0-10 trying to pull something.

Over rated and under delivering.'s a new Ford appliance.

I am convinced these silly V6 engines that drink fuel like a PROPER V8 will be reliability nightmares. Remember what happened when Ford insisted on winning the HP wars with the 6.0 diesel?

It was junk. If I am going to buy an engine that drinks fuel like a's going to be a V8...not a high-strung V6 that will cost more to maintain and repair.

The "3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6"......... has "420 pounds-feet of torque". For me, that's all that matters. It's a work truck - speed and acceleration does not figure in my trucks. A better comparison is a standard tow load up a gradient. For real life applications, that's more typical of what I would do with these trucks. As for EPA fuel con numbers, in practical terms, I am also interested in the mileage per tank. It's great to spend less on fuel with better numbers. But what I really want to know is how often do I have to fuel that beast up - because time is more important to me than any marginal fuel saving.

Yeah, that same old slow 77 Ford 300 would proly barely make it up an ozark mountain in third, yeah with 4,000-5,000 pounds trailered, if I want to go really fast I have a 3200 pound car with a smallblock, and then a turbo'd 4 banger, but going third gear at max rpm up a hill in an old 2wd drive, glad that was hawaii, as hills arent to steep or long, truck woulda taken forever in a day to get up a hill. like 45 mph ish, with a trailer. if you think a bonestock ford 300 has enough power, you must live in the flatlands

@ synergy

Don't act like this is just a V6 engine, there is two methods of forced induction on it. Last time I checked it is suppose to be Fords saving grace. So far it isn't impressive either. Remember, it is equaled by a 7 year old engine design and $500 worth of mods.

Why am I reading about this, because this technology is suppose to replace the V8. Problem with that is, it has yet to show it can replace it.

If I really were a "TROLL" more then one person would have there panties in a bunch from my statement. You are the only one who really seems to have a problem with it.

I would take a high strung V6 EcoBOOST as I don't tow everyday just on weekends.

Even if it did get V8 mileage, it is still letting out less emission as your regular V8.

Ever thought about that?

That 3.5L V6 stomps GM 5.3L V8

Now that there is funny.

@Protected- You comment was on the troll side. The 3.5 EB is not equal, it gets better mpg than a V8, while hanging with V8s in towing and payload of now and then. I think its great that a V6 from the factory can hang with a "7 year old engine with $500 worth of engine mods" and get better mpg's doing it and better towing and payload.

"P" is the TROLL. "Must be snack time in moms basement."

@x007 - that was a funny post. I couldn't find it. Great for a re-post.
"P"rick is back.

"Over rated and under delivering.'s a new Ford appliance.

I am convinced these silly V6 engines that drink fuel like a PROPER V8 will be reliability nightmares. Remember what happened when Ford insisted on winning the HP wars with the 6.0 diesel?

It was junk. If I am going to buy an engine that drinks fuel like a's going to be a V8...not a high-strung V6 that will cost more to maintain and repair." - TROLL

"P" is not troll. He's a friggin goblin. Head on over to Left Lane News and this person is "THE REALIST".

This goblin is always crappin on FORD. He's a GM Fanboi.

I would disregard.

@ Frank - Goblins and trolls must come out of their momma's basements once and a while.
Trick or treat.

Trolls and Goblins remind me of the new Chevy Slogan.

Trolls and Goblins run deep.

Can you believe that cheesy slogan from GM?


@Frank- The new Chevy slogan should be
Chevy Runs Deep in debt to taxpayers or The Heartburn of America!! The new ads sucks.


I'm not saying it won't get better mileage then V8s, but the EB has yet to produce mileage much better then V8s, when looked at in comparable vehicles.

Towing and payload is also, so far, complete speculation, as no one has done a comparison with a real competitor, back to back.

Don't look at me as a troll, I like the idea of this tech, a form of it will probably power my next family vehicle. I just don't see it taking the place of a V8 any time soon. I see this as a great idea for vehicles that want efficiency of a small engine and have the power option, when needed. I just see trucks needing the power all of the time, making the turbos work all of the time, which kind of kills the idea of it being efficient.

@Protected- Its not all about the turbo, its also direct injected and the harder you work the turbo is not going to hurt effieintcy. This is not going to replace V8's any time soon but it might. Just heating the fuel to the correct temp could add 30% in mpg's and that techology is here: and add that to the 3.5EB, and also make it Opposed-Piston Opposed-Cylinder Engine:, The V8's days are numbered!!!! Its all in time. I don't look at you like a troll its was just the way your comment sounded. Oh and we might see axles going away too!!!!!

Are thses new motors going into the Expedition too? I havn't heard anything about it, but I would hope so.

The ecoboost high strung? My opinion of high strung is high rpm, which the ecoboost shouldn't need. that would be the 3.7 V-6. I've had few turbo cars, granted they were cars, fact still remains, they don't need revved to make good power. I had an SRT-4 and have a Dodge Daytona 2.2 turbo 2. Lots less shifting. lots more torque. (when comparing them with like naturally aspirated engines) this ecoboost will save the gas at light load cruise on the flatland and in the city idling 6 cylinders will suck less fuel than an 8. That's where it will end, as it will still take the same fuel to get it moving and to pull that long or steep hill. 420 lbs of torque will take some fuel, nothings free. Alot of folks will just end up going faster than before up that big hill, cause they can. Let's see, if you look at all the other ecoboost configurations, as they get heavier and tire size gets bigger, and the bulk of the vehicle gets bigger, the mileage of course suffers. So why do you think it will even do better than the Flex? Or the same? HOW? Worse. But still better at idling then the v-8s. But the biggest issue will be-will it last with that much cylinder pressure? I would guess nothing but 91 octane would work. which will cost you more. Both my turbo cars required 91 oct, and they were only moving a total of 3600 MAX, not 17,000 pounds, or even 12,000, and they had compression ratios in the low 8s for the turbos, this ecoboost is 10 to 1 or so. You can count on your services costing more, and a whole lot more stuff to go wrong, and in a big way. And of course people will try to cheap out and use 87 oct (at places other than the high altitudes where 87 is the mid or higher grade)

The arguments here are pretty pointless, biased by personal preference and reek of ignorance. My 2006 gm 1500 4x4 is under powered, wastes more hydrocarbons than BPs deepeater drilling program and I am constantly worried that the transmission will crap out. Quick break down of 1/2 tons and 3/4 that I drive on a daily basis for work. Fords half tons are currently and always have been reliable. The new technology is causing a stir. Remember the first efi pick ups 20 years ago everyone was nervous they wouldn't work and with this new fangled technology would ruin our beloved American pick up. How many of you still have carbs on your trucks maybe 10% of you who read this site. Ford has had some trouble with their diesels but a large portion of that was due to emissions control. Dodge wow you can pull a house when your transmission and electrical systems work. Gm needs to spend a billion to update their trucks. They are behind minus the frame improvements to the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks, and the updated suspension in the newest of 1500s. The Ecoboost will revolutionize and boost the American truck market be patient ( I know that's a lot to ask) let ford work out the kinks. It is and will be the best update of the modern half ton pickup until someone (aka gm) mans up spends the money and replicates the Allison for a half ton and puts the shelved half ton diesel in front of it

For the thousandth time, EB is runs on regular 87 gas.

For the thousandth time, EB is runs on regular 87 gas."
... and the EB used in the f150 is not the same as the Flex, so stop with all the comparisons.
This new engine sure stirs up a lot of ignorance. People are quick to bad mouth it because it's an easy target. Time will tell, but even if it isn't a homerun it is surely a solid base hit. I very good first step to give us the same power or more, with better mpg. And that's what it's all about.

I was looking at reliability data and for 2010 Ford's Flex with EB engine was their top ranked product for quality and reliability. The Ford Escape was their worse product.

@ Protected

Your very first comment about how Gm is better cause its got Onstar and Locking Diff's has nothing to do with this article...Thats why I am calling you a Troll. Nothing Personnal but I just would like to see people actually talking about the subject matter...NOT "proclaiming" their Love for GM, Dodge, etc...

But I also do not get your point about a 7 year old V8 equaling a fancy new Forced induction V6. A 7 year old V6 doesnt even equal a V8 from 7 years ago. The fact that it has taken 7 years to get a V6 to put as much power to the ground(reliably) as a V8 from 7 years ago has been a long time coming...But look at the mindset of the manufactures back then compaired to now. Just a couple of years ago they finally decided to focus on more efficiency considdering that the Gov is going to start cracking down on Gas guzzlers. I am glad to see that a v6 has come out that can replace a v8 as far as power is concerned but it still needs to be proven in the real world.

@Ford850, no, it's not the same. This one has what 60 more foot pounds of torque? That just magically appears, not harder on the engine, and it won't use more fuel? What kool aid you drinking? And it runs of 87 and makes the same torque per inch as the new Powerstroke? Where did you get that it runs of 87? Just asking. Ford put it out? You fill one up? You read the owners manual? I'd be surprised.

@jaronb, my dad bought one of the early 5.4s, left his house with a travel trailer, said he new it was a mistake within 3 miles, couldn't get up a steep hill too well, traded it in on a 5.9 Ram with 4 speed, the trans before the current one, 98 model?, never a trans problem, it's hauled hay trailers, horse trailers, and a travel trailer. 75,000 or so miles of mostly towing in steep hills. No electrical issues, cept for a mouse chewed up an injector wire. But thats one of many trucks.


You left out one fact, 5.9 gas or Cummins. If you say gas, i'm raising the BS Flag.


These V6 engines have no motor-sound...

@ synergy
I never said anything about GM, onstar and locking diffs. Go re-read that post it wasn't me.

My point is tying to prove that if this is such an advanced engine tech, why is that an old engine can equal this super advanced tech with just $500.

If this was as revolutionary as Ford is trying to make it, it should take $1000s to get an older design to equal it. I'm not knocking its performance, I'm knocking Ford, by trying to make this more, then it really is.

@ protected

Ah you got were not the one that said that...sorry dude I must have thought you were sombody else. My apologies.

@frank, get to raising that flag! 5.9 gas, mostly used for towing. why drive it everywhere that you don't need a truck?

@ tomtrx4 - You refering to Dodge's old 360 ci engine

@ Tom

•The 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine delivers 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm, with up to 90 percent of the peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm – all on regular fuel

Why is everyone hung up on 1/4 mile times? Most are missing the point of a pick up truck. Somebody made a comment about all the 20 year olds on here, it certainly appears that way. Most of the 20 year olds spewing verbal diarrhea can't afford a new truck anyhow and should start surfing the classifieds.

For the rest of the mature truckers on here I think Ford has a great line up for 2011 - the best truck lineup among all manufacturers.

That is not solely based on the 4 great motors available but the rest of the truck. Huge cab, huge boxed frame, great ride, great gadgets (electronic tool inventory feature), wireless keyboard/printer. This vehicle is a workin' mans truck. It can work all day and then take the wife and kids to the lake with the Ski Nautique hooked up and the bed loaded. Not to mention the Ford always finishes at the top of the charts when it comes to safety and crash protection which is far more important than horsepower. I would never put my family in a chevy, nissan or dodge truck - they have consistently failed or finished poorly in the side impact crash tests. So to me that quickly makes the Ford the top pick. It also proves how much stronger the Ford really is. Go watch the crash tests NHSTA or IIHS. You'll see the Ford stand up and the others crumple like pop cans!

I will be buying a 2012 F150 ecoboost XLT CrewCab in one year and I can't wait.

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.

Ummm, what about the everyday Tundra? Toyota are the ONLY ones to offer their best powertrain in ALL cab/bed configurations, even the 8' box (hello big 3???). You're not limited to a few configurations to get the juice. In the '08 test, Tundra hangs with the more powerful 6.2 Chevy unloaded, and bests it when hauling/towing. No special ordering this gear or that, no $40-60k special editions... you want it, it's probably sitting on the lot waiting to go. So you want factory-warranted giddy-up? Pull that new Tundra around the service bay and have them drop in the factory supercharger for 500hp/505tq. Factory parts, factory warranty... any cab/bed config. Your choice. Add the blower to a Reg. Cab short bed 2wd and you're easily under $30k.

@Lou, yeah, the 5.9 gasser and 360 one in the same, I believe it actually officially became the "5.9 magnum" in 92 or so when the heads were changed and it went to a roller cam, and differant bolt angle for the intake to heads,

@power kid, I stand corrected...still skeptical though. We will see.

To AllAmerican;
Clearly you need to learn to read, the information about the desert test never stated it "broke down" The driver chose to quit the race because he was going up against 800HP race prep engines, and knew he could not win the race and was afraid of tearing up his truck going through the soft sand with an motor that was alot less horsepower than the others in the race. Nothing Broke, learn to read, because it's very clear that you must be a Chevy Fan that realizes that it is out class by FORD. Oh and out HORSEPOWERED.

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