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:
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:
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.