By Patrick Rall
The Ford F150 has been the best selling truck in the US market for decades and during these troubled times for the auto industry, Ford has remained the strongest of the Big 3. There has been little concrete news about the 2011 F150 but if the rumors and speculation are true the next F150 will continue to build on its previous success.
When the F150 received a facelift in 2009, the sharp styling and amount of technology that went into the truck received rave reviews but compared to the trucks from GMC, Chevy and Dodge all had an advantage in power. The 2011 F150 looks to close that gap with a handful of new engines.
The only engines that we know for a fact will be offered in the 2011 F150 are the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and the new 6.2L V8. The EcoBoost has proven its abilities in the Taurus SHO and based on comments by Ford powertrain engineers the EcoBoost F150 “mules” have been logging miles since sometime in 2008. Those same engineers have stated that the EcoBoost F150 will offer “V8 power with small engine fuel economy” and having spent time behind the wheel of an EcoBoost powered SHO, I expect the twin turbocharged V6 to make itself right at home in the Ford trucks. The 6.2L is slated to be the base level engine for the Ford Super Duty lineup but we know now that this engine will be used in the F150-based Raptor performance truck so it could turn up in the other 2011 F150s. Making 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque, the 6.2 could really help the F150 catch up to the Chevrolet and GMC trucks, as well as surpass the current output of Dodge’s Hemi Rams.
The two engines that are likely to show up for 2011 are the new Duratec 3.7L V6 and the new 5.0L V8. Both of these engines are offered in the 2011 Ford Mustang and there has long been talk of the 5.0 finding its way into the F150s for the 2011 model year. The Duratec 37 offers 305 horsepower and 285 lb-ft of torque and although there has been little mention of that engine working its way into the F150 lineup, it is expected to show up in a variety of Ford vehicles other than the Mustang.
Like the Duratec, the 5.0L Mustang engine has been long rumored to be the entry level V8 for the 2011 F150 but Ford has not confirmed anything along those lines. There is also the rumor that we will see a small displacement PowerStroke diesel arriving in Ford’s light duty pickups sometime during the next year. Ford was originally working on a diesel for the F150 a few years ago but the spike in diesel fuel prices curbed that project but during a meeting with Ford’s powertrain experts last month I was told that the F150 diesel works are back in motion.
Right now, Ford has no set date to release the full information on the 2011 F150 but Ford’s management commented that once they get through showing off the next Super Duty that we can all expect a great deal of exciting news for America’s best selling truck.