01/06/2002 – Mighty F-350 Tonka Concept Leads Ford Trucks Into Future

Source: Ford Motor Company

MIGHTY F-350 TONKA CONCEPT LEADS FORD TRUCKS INTO FUTURE


DETROIT, Mich., Jan. 6, 2002 – It’s big. It’s bold. It showcases an advanced new powertrain. DETROIT, Jan. 6, 2002 – It’s bold. It’s strong. It’s a hint of what’s to come for the next generation Ford F-Series pickup – America’s best-selling vehicle for 20 years running and best-selling truck for the past 25 years.


It’s the Ford Mighty F-350 TONKA, a vibrant yellow and chrome concept pickup showcasing an advanced new powertrain and a fresh design approach from the world’s truck authority. It’s the Ford Mighty F-350 Tonka concept, a vibrant yellow truck that pairs a distinctive design with innovative technologies worthy of the Built Ford Tough badge.


"Ford has long been and will continue to be the leading truck brand – not just in sales figures, but in ingenious ideas, bold design and customer satisfaction," says James Padilla, group vice president, Ford North America, who helped pull the wraps off the new concept at the 2002 North American International Auto Show. "With the Mighty F-350 TONKA, we’ve created a truck that’s worthy of the ‘Built Ford Tough’ badge. It’s as spirited as it is rugged, a blend you’re likely to see on Ford trucks down the road."


The smooth-running and economical Power Stroke® Super-600 diesel engine and five-speed PowerTorq™ automatic transmission combine to make an estimated 350 horsepower and 600 foot-pounds of torque. Additionally, the engine is significantly quieter than today’s diesel truck engines.


"Truck customers are demanding more power, better NVH, performance and increased fuel economy," said Dave Szczupak, vice president, Powertrain Operations, Ford Motor Company. "The Power Stroke/PowerTorq driveline delivers a well integrated package, representing the future of diesel powertrains."


"Our diesel technology continues to meet more stringent emissions while improving performance and fuel economy for customers," said Dan Ustian, president of International Engine Group, a division of Navistar International Corporation and developer of the Power Stroke Super-600 concept.


Power Stroke Super-600 concept: 32-valve V-8 diesel


The 6.0-liter Power Stroke V-8 concept engine is a direct injection, 32-valve diesel with an all-new cast-iron block and cylinder heads. The engine employs a single, block-mounted camshaft in a compact overhead valve (OHV) design. This proven configuration provides a low-friction and durable valvetrain system and is ideal for engines with a normal operating range of less than 4,000 rpm. Hydraulic lash adjusters, which assist the valve operation, further maintenance-free longevity and provide quiet operation and optimized performance over the life of the engine.


The Super-600 concept incorporates a number of diesel engine innovations. They include:



  • Electronic Variable Response Turbocharging (EVRT™): A system that helps ensure exceptional turbo boost over a wide range of engine revolutions for impressive grade climbing capability, high-altitude performance and towing capability. EVRT employs a set of vanes that automatically adjust to optimize the airflow within the turbo.


  • Hydraulic Rail Fuel Injection: Fuel injectors in the Super-600 concept are actuated by a high-pressure hydraulic rail system that generates injection pressures of up to 24,000 psi. The high-pressure fuel is quickly atomized as it is released into the combustion chamber, generating a clean and efficient combustion event.


  • Pilot Injection: By delivering small quantities of fuel into the combustion chamber prior to the main injection event, the combustion process is both smoother and quieter. Other benefits are faster starting, excellent cold weather operation and improved drivability.


  • Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR): Cooled exhaust gases are recirculated back into the combustion chamber, lowering the burning temperature of the combustion event and, as a result, reducing oxides of nitrogen (NOx).


  • Serviceability: The oil filter on the Super-600 concept is located on top of the engine, providing easy access. An innovatively designed oil cartridge, similar in concept to a printer cartridge, keeps oil self-contained during a filter change and the engine free of dripping oil during routine maintenance.


Diesel market leadership


"The diesel truck market is very important for us," said Tim Stoehr, F-Series Super Duty marketing manager. "In fact, the Power Stroke Diesel is the best-selling engine, gas or diesel, in the over-8,500 pound segment. Nearly three out of every four F-Series Super Duty trucks we build have a Power Stroke Diesel engine. It is a well-proven combination: 98.9 percent of all trucks with Power Stroke Diesel engines built since 1994 are still on the road."


The package continues to improve. Beginning this month, Ford will offer a new best-in-class torque Power Stroke 525, which delivers 525 foot-pounds of torque at just 1,600 rpm on automatic transmission-equipped Super Duty models. The updated powertrain is rated at 250 hp.


PowerTorq automatic transmission


The Power Stroke Super-600 concept is mated to a five-speed automatic called PowerTorq, a transmission currently being developed by Ford. With a newly designed gearbox, the PowerTorq features short first- and second-gear ratios to more quickly and smoothly launch a truck loaded with cargo.


"We are listening carefully to our current customers," said Barb Samardzich, chief engineer, Automatic Transmissions, Ford Motor Company. "They expect quick and consistent shifts, and that is exactly what we are targeting as we develop the new PowerTorq control system.”


The PowerTorq control system monitors the engine, transmission, vehicle speed and driver inputs to help optimize shift performance. A selectable tow-haul feature further enhances control by providing optimized shift schedules and engine braking in extreme conditions.


The control body employs solenoids to manage the transmission’s clutch elements, eliminating the variability experienced with more conventional hydraulic spring/valve systems. The solenoids are placed close to the clutches, thereby minimizing response time. A filter screen is employed to help prevent contamination impacting the solenoids.


Additional PowerTorq highlights include:



  • Improved torque converter: The torque converter is designed to maximize the low-speed torque capability of the powertrain. Needle bearings are used to help improve efficiency and parasitic losses are reduced through improvements made to the rotating clutches and the use of a lower viscosity synthetic transmission fluid.


  • More torque capability: The internal components are designed to handle the 600 foot-pounds of Power Stroke Super-600 diesel concept and deliver on durability targets of up to 250,000 miles.


  • Improved cooling, lubrication and filtration systems: At the heart of the PowerTorq is a larger pump to promote better lubrication and cooling. Contamination removal is accomplished by an external filter with an environmentally conscious replaceable cartridge, which cleans the oil to the IS0-18/15 standard for improved life.


  • Power takeoff (PTO): The PTO allows operation in all gears. This functionality allows the PowerTorq to power auxiliary equipment over a wide range of vehicle operating conditions.



Better ideas on display


The Power Stroke Super-600 diesel engine and PowerTorq transmission are part the Ford Mighty F-350 TONKA concept truck’s powertrain, which also includes an experimental system called Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA). The HLA system, currently under research, is designed to significantly improve fuel economy in large trucks by recovering energy normally lost during vehicle deceleration, storing it in the form of hydraulic pressure, and then reusing it during acceleration. Show goers can see the Ford Mighty F-350 TONKA and its diesel powertrain concept with HLA at the 2002 North American International Auto Show Jan. 12-21, 2002.

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