Ford F-150 EcoBoost V-6 Beats V-8 Competition in Dam Challenge

Ford F-150 EcoBoost V-6 Beats V-8 Competition in Dam Challenge

The Baja 1000 wasn’t the only head-to-head competition that Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine faced during its multiple-month torture test. Before it raced 1,000 miles off-road in the harsh Mexican desert, the all-new six also beat V-8-powered pickups from Chevrolet and Ram on the steep Davis Dam hill climb in Arizona.

Ford has been pushing its revolutionary V-6 to the extremes to prove to truck buyers that its twin-turbo gasoline direct-injection 3.5-liter EcoBoost mill is every bit the equal of a conventional V-8.

The same engine also endured the equivalent of 150,000 harsh-user miles on the dynamometer, then was installed into a new 2011 F-150 to work as a log skidder in Oregon, and towed a trailer (loaded to near the F-150’s maximum 11,300-pound tow rating at high speed around a NASCAR track for 24 hours.


The Davis Dam test was arranged and managed by Ford using a 2011 Ford F-150 XLT. It was joined by a Chevy Silverado 1500 with a 5.3-liter Vortec V-8 and a Ram 1500 with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Each crew-cab truck towed a 9,000-pound trailer up the grade.

Davis Dam, which has a 5 percent average grade, is one of the toughest grades in the U.S. The Society of Automotive Engineers and a cooperative group of truck manufacturers chose it as the climb site to create standardized tow rating tests for new pickups by 2013.

Ford measured how long it took the trucks to perform in two tests: The first challenge was a zero-to-60 mph test, and the second was time over 3.5 miles of the grade, which is about 12 miles long.


In both tests, run at wide open throttle, Ford’s EcoBoost V-6 beat the Chevy and Ram V-8s.

In the zero-to-60 test, the Ford was faster by 12.6 seconds than the Chevy and 11.9 seconds faster than the Ram.

Over 3.5 miles, the F-150 outperformed the Silverado 1500 by 42.9 seconds and 3.2 seconds faster than the Ram 1500.

Results of the fastest run for each truck are shown above

For each test, three runs were made using independent professional drivers. The trucks switched drivers and lanes to reduce the chance for variances during the runs.

Besides the engines, the biggest differences among the similarly configured trucks were the rear axles. The Ram had a work-optimized 3.92 rear axle; the Chevy had a 3.42 rear axle optimized toward fuel economy; and the EcoBoost truck split the difference with a 3.73 rear axle.

“We took care to ensure the constancy, accuracy and integrity of the tests, and to have the results verified independently,” said Eric Kuehn, 2011 F-150 chief engineer.

The EcoBoost V-6 will be available in the 2011 Ford F-150 early next year. With up to 90 percent of peak torque available between 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm, we’re looking forward to putting its diesel-like performance through a rigorous road test as soon as we can.

In the meantime, you can also see how it performed in our quarter-mile test a few weeks back or check out the Davis Dam video on Ford's website.


[Source: Ford]


It should be expected since the peak of the EcoBoost's torque is available at least 1,500 RPM earlier than the Hemi and 1,900 RPM earlier than the Vortech. That's diesel like torque availability from a gas engine!!

Why no Tundra 5.7? Oh thats right, the ecoboost is supposed to win these shootouts.

Very interesting tests although i think should conduct some of the same test so the result may be further proved. That and people (rightfully) tend to trust independent sources over the company sources.

I am a Ford man but that was the wrong Chevy motor to test, it's nearly 100 ft lbs short on torque ,no wonder it couldn't keep up

Just wondering....... does the Ford have to run on Premium fuel?

And ya nut busters Tundra comment is spot on

While I won't argue the results, I do have one question: What kind of gas mileage did the three trucks get during the tests? Considering twin-turbo, the six is going to be at least as gas-hungry as the eights--only the direct injection ameliorating that figure somewhat.

That chart 0-60 is saying the Chevy was faster than the Ram? I feel something is suspect. 12 secs faster than Chevy, 14 secs faster than Ram would mean the Chevy is faster by 2 secs 0-60? With the lower torque and lower economy rear this just doesn't add up.


The Tundra is not here because it is not even part of the discussion. This is real test for real trucks, not a fantasy scenario full of half truths and clever omissions designed to fool the masses and make for a dramatic commercial. Even with it's ridiculous 4.3:1 rear axle ratio, the Tundra's maximum towing capacity is 10,400 lbs. Plus, you only get that capacity in a regular cab. The F150 ECOBOOST can tow 11,300 lbs in SuperCrew configuration with only a 3.73:1 axle ratio and still get better fuel economy than the regular cab Tundra.

Surprised that the Ram came as close as it did by the end of the run. Geared too tall to even match the 5.3 off the line, great canyons between gears, and it's so strong that it almost caught up anyway. If Dodge had a real 6 speed like everybody else they'd be the truck to beat.

@eagleXYZ I agree

@Mike levine
Are you going to verify this? It would be awesome if you could do the same test at the same place. It would say a lot about these tests ford does and whether or not they are credible. That would be some extremely useful information. I'm a ford guy but I don't completely trust these tests.
Yeah it would be interesting to see how it did compared to the tundra. I don't think the tundra would be faster than the dodge. I have driven both the tundra and ram hemi extensively and the hemi seems to have more power. I'm not positive though. I haven't really towed much with the tundra. I'm glad the dodge was so close. I might take the ecoboost if I could now, but my dodge is a pretty dang good truck. My guess is ford doesn't want to acknowledge the Tundra as a relevant truck even though it very much is.

Well it could also be asked, why didn't they bring out the Titan to test against? Im sure the ecoboost could beat that. Its just domestic vs domestic. I would like to see that Chevy 6.2 out there tho. Maybe on regular octane fuel ;)

We're going to do something similar. Remember, EcoBoost won't be on sale until probably late Q1 of 2011. Stay tuned.

EcoBoost runs on regular unleaded.

The reason that the 0-60 times loaded with 9000lb trailer is so slow for the Ram is because of its ineffient gear spacing on take off. The Ram's 1st gear is almost as tall as Fords 2nd gear. This needs to be addressed by the folks at Ram. The reason that they only did 3.5 miles out of the 12 mile stretch was because ( Ford sponsored event ) the extra mileage would have seen the Ford get passed by the Ram once it was making up the difference. Either way you have to be impressed with what advances Ford has made to their engine / tranny depart. Will just make the competion better and we all win with that!!!

Way to go Ford...AGAIN!!!

It looks like some of you ("Why no Tundra 5.7L"/"that was the wrong Chevy motor to test") are STILL missing the point. Ford IS showing that a V6 is a viable alternative to a V8. The EcoBoost may not beat EVERY V8 out there but it will sure give even the best, a run for its money!

General Motors Corporation, Chrysler Corporation, and Ford Motor Company...UNITED THEY STAND!!!

A test by FORD engineers,wonder if it was a tweaked version !!

No wonder the Ford beat everybody Fomoco did the testing !

Does this engine beat the other ford V-8's..we want to see that !

But the truth, Ford makes power and torque way down low..

The Ram runs mid 14's in the 1/4 and low 6 second 0-60's,why was it slower up the hill ? Transmission shift points ?
Oh well Dodge fans,next year the Ram will have a 6 spd and hopefully a 392 c.i !!

Why is it wrong for a smaller V6 to be compared to a bigger V8? It's GM's fault their V8 is outdone by a V6.

Okay, looks like Ford has all thier ducks in a row, maybe. They chest thump that the eco-6 has V8 power with V6 gas mileage, I do not see the gas mileage on here. I have not really seen any real world gas mileage posted. If it beats the others up the hill and gets the least gas mileage, who cares? Now if it got the same or better gas mileage then the other 2 trucks then that would be something to brag about.

@Matt in NH: Ford just sent over updated times for the tests. I've updated the story. The gap narrowed between the EB and Hemi.

I already drove the Eco Boost at a Ford tour of it when they were in Orlando, FL. Let me say this doesn't surprise me. This truck has balls. They had all 3 makes and every Ford model with the new engines.

To whoever said they tested this against the wrong Chevy engine you have to realize the 5.3L is the biggest engine in the Chevy 1500, so it wasn't the wrong engine to test. I wondered why they didn't have a Chevy with the 6.0 in it and it's because it only is on the 2500/3500 trucks.

@eddie, biggest engine in the silvy 1500 is the 6.2. u're a little behind the times..

I like the super duty style mirrors on the 150

The Ford Eco-Boost uses Regular gasoline...does not require Premium. In some Ford high performance SHO testing the engine 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine will be thumping 411 horsepower of maximum torque and 434 pound-feet of maximum torque. But the sources have confirmed that the output figures for Raptor R can even be higher.


@ uh huh

Didn't realize the 6.2L was available on the 1500. I checked on their site and seen nothing about it. did a good search and seen it was on the 6.2L. Hmmm, wonder why they wouldn't put it on there then.

did a google search*

they didnt want anyone killed in this thats why they didnt use toyota

so it appears, the eco runs out of breath n the hemi would've been able to catch up n pass the eco. but it's ford's test so they set it up to end b4 the hemi overtakes the eco.

imo, had the tundra 5.7 been there, the eco would've had a head start but would've been overtaken in short time by the tundra 5.7, considering the tundra 5.7 being near equal to the ram in power n had better gearing. no doubt the tundra 5.7 would've overtaken the eco. ford left the tundra 5.7 n the silvy 6.2 out of this test for a reason. the only reason ford used the ram 5.7 is bcuz of it's poor gearing from 1st to 2nd that by the time the ram 5.7 gained enough momentum to have a chance to overtake the ford eco, it's too late.

do u really think ford would say their eco can beat all v8 halftons.... no... of course not.... that's y they don't mention that they can, so peeps can't say they lie. ford eco can certainly beat v8 halftons, that is, the small v8's. ford left out the tundra 5.7 n the gm 6.2 out for a reason...

motor trend has the MPG up on the website for the ecoboost 19/26 if thats true wow thats not amazing but ford would be reinventing the model-T.
or the made a big mistake with numbers

remember the diesel test ford did whit 2010 gm,and dodge, and ford use a 2011 truck remember what append latter the same story whit the gas engine....and is true what about toyo,and wy they did bring a 2010 f150...if the truck so good wy they dont wait whit the order company bring new engine,


No Tundra the frame must have rust through during the trip. Anyway any truck will beat the Tundra which is built for faggets.

at the haters, i dont remember any of you having a problem with the 5.4 going against bigger motors. As far as the 5.3 against the 3.5 its more of a 3.5 against the high volume gm v8. If you want a big v8 comparison they can use the 6.2 ford

the 5.3l is the largest engine in the 1500 only one or two small order of model come with the 6.2l you have to go 2500 in order to get 6.2l the sales were low and with gas going up up and away 2011 they dont have it any more so yes 5.3l is the best comparison.

if you have been looking for a small diesel in the half ton then buy a ecoboost.

diesel- turbo, direct injection (cost $10,000)
ecoboost- turbo, direct injection, Variable valve timing (1,700 over the base v6)

both have high compression ratios when turbo kick in yes the diesel is higher but for a gas engine its high

when you go above 12-1 compression ratio you have something called predeatination in a gas engine that will damage the engine

but ecoboost can easily do this because they can delay the fuel in to the engine until the last mil. sec. because of direct injection.
19-26 MPG is about right that what a diesel would get so yes i think so

My thought is "Yea Ford did the testing". Do you think for a minute they didn't think independants wouldn't duplicate this test? My guess is the results are good enough in their favor they don't care who double checks it, same results. And yes as someone else said, folks this is all about V6 to V8 comparrison.

19/26 is an estimate. I've heard 24 mpg highway.

everyone knows turbo motors generate a lot of heat. heat is good but too much kills power. this reasons with y the ram 5.7 was catching up to teh f150 eco towards the end. also as stated by mt, ford had ample time to cool off coming down the hill before doing it again. no doubt the eco is a fine motor with great gains. but i'd say it falls right in the middle between the mid level n the high end v8's of halftons. that's y the f150 still has the 6.2 as their top dog.

In the future when you are doing testing at Davis Dam let me know as I live very close.

the 5.7 was holding its own because of hp 390 is more then the 365 in the ford
hp is for highway speed and tq. is for getting off the line
so if you do not know what you are talking about then don't talk "hu huh" it not becasue of heat LOL

The GM V-8 tested should have been either the 6.0 or 6.2 liter, not the 5.3, since they are testing the "top-level" engines from each manufacturer.

if heat kills so much power then why do they some times preheat racing engines the oil so they can get them up to high temp and PS racing engine under so aleast 2 -3 times the temp that a normal engine under go
they must have no power right

I'm a "Ford Fan" and may even buy a EB, but this is disapointing.

Beating a torqueless 5.3L proves NOTHING. You only shame yourself even having it in the test.

The margin with the Ram is too close (is that why they're adding 4.10s to the EB????? Mike any word?)

IF they had also lined up a GM 6.2 (on regular) and a TuRD and it still won, then I'd be impressed. But this actually made me start to doubt getting a EB. :(

Really need to see a 5.0 & a 6.2L as well.

Maybe I'll hold off now?


this is a uphill climb with 9k in tow, this is where tq excels. hp don't move weight, tq does. the f150's monstrous 420lbtq should have no trouble continuing to pull away from the ram's 407lbtq. so u're saying the f150's 13lbtq advantage was no match for the rams 25hp advantage? the f150's early tq pk gave it a good head start but as the peddle is floored n the turbo's glow red, the 420lbtq is no longer. the 420lbtq that the f150 eco is rated at is acheived on a dyno with short rpm cycles where the turbo isn't subjected to prolong heat generation such as this hill climb with 9k in tow. if u've ever driven any turbo unleaded gas motors, u'll know without sufficient cooling, the motor does not make it's rated power. u see, the f150 did indeed make it's pk power during this test. but it did not maintain that power all the way like a n/a gas motor would've. so the f150 "could've lost some power, giving the ram time to catch up.

not sure why everyone cant get it thru there heads, this test is simply showing that the ford v6 can run with the competitions v8's thats it people!!!!!!!! its not to run against there top v8 models just the most common v8's in the competition. I say Kudo's to Ford i've been watching this v6 ecoboost engine for awhile now and i'm of mind that a v6 cannot do the work of a v8 with out falling on its face when put to real work, but Mike Levine keep showing me different with all his articles, im more and more impressed every day.

get ur heat facts straight. a turbo motor ingest hot air bcuz of the turbo. an n/a motor ingest whatever temp the ambient air temp is. a motor needs to be at operating temp(whatever that may be depending on motor designation) to maximize it's efficiency. i said heat is good but too much isn't. in a turbo gas motor(any gas motor for a fact), ingesting heat is bad. the more load u put on a turbo gas motor, the hotter the air n u're motor gets, the less the power the motor makes. n/a motors get hot too but no where near what a turbo gas.

I'm puzzled as to why the Tundra with the 5.7 and Chevy with 6.2 wasn't in the shootout.
The GM 5.3 is their best seller but it is never the engine provided for 3rd party shootouts.

If Ford is pushing the EB 3.5 as the premier pulling engine it should be compared to the copetition's premier pulling engines.

Does Ford engineers know something that we don't?

I am impressed with the EB 3.5 engine.

Good for Ford, but I still won't ever buy an EB.





the tt eco is a fine motor no doubt. but these test r starting to it's not as potent as ford makes it out to be.

i've said it b4 n i'll say it again, ford has always gave higher ratings, be it power or capacity, but every test continues to show the end results is still just on par with its competitors.

The top most expensive engine is the 6.2 from Ford. That's not what this test is about.

Testing the 6.2's is irrelevant to the point Ford is making, The test was meant to show the EB V6 in the best possible light against a volume selling competitor, the 5.3 Silverado and Hemi.

There will be other demonstrations for sure so why should Ford put EB up against larger 6.2 V8s that equal its towing performance?

That would then relegate the Ecoboost to a purely econo engine alternative to the other brands, definitely not how Ford wants to present the Ecoboost.

@ Floor it

You meen it spins like this

My buddy has a 2010 Dodge 1500 and the first race we had I beat him in my SS it is awd so I hook up,the second,third and forth time he smoked me ! I no longer race him,I agree the Ram was a spinning,or a 4.7 with hemi badges.

Helll I am a chevy guy,but those rams are tough to beat !

You people are completely missing the point. The EcoBoost engine in this test had over 160,000 torturous mile put on it before this head to head test. The Ram and Chevy were factory new trucks with 3000 break-in miles. Ford was trying to show that the EcoBoost engine still makes amazing power and torque after getting the snot beat out of it. The reason they used only a 3.5 mile section of the road was because they had only a 6 hour window with the highway patrol to film the testing, and there were turn-arounds strategically located to allow for fast resets. It had nothing to do with giving the EcoBoost an advantage. They did full runs the day before the filming from top to bottom. Although the Ram was able to close the gap, It never passed the F150.

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