MIKE HARRISON: TEAM LEADER OF FORD SUPER DUTY NEW GAS ENGINE ALSO IS FOND OF SMALLER VEHICLES
The new 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine for the 2011 Ford Super Duty taps into Ford’s rich racing heritage to produce best-in-class torque of 405 ft.-lb. and 385 horsepower – as well as class-leading fuel economy – from a large-bore, short-stroke powerplant.
Racing is something Mike Harrison, Ford V-8 engine programs manager, is particularly enthusiastic about. The native of Lancashire County, England, says his favorite Ford vehicle is the Mk1 Ford Escort RS1600 (European version). “Just a wonderful rally car. Great heritage,” Harrison said.
Indeed. The Mk1 dominated the 1973 World Rally Championship’s Rally of Great Britain, sweeping the top three places.
A regular Escort – his father’s bright-red 1973 model, to be exact – sparked Harrison’s interest in all things automotive. He joined Ford in 1983 as an undergraduate intern, then advanced to engine calibration engineer for his first full-time job.
The new engine Harrison’s team developed already is earning accolades in – you guessed it – racing applications. A specially calibrated production-based engine displacing 6.2 liters achieved 500 horsepower and ran flawlessly in the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R race truck in the 2008 Baja 1000. The 6.2-liter V-8 is now available in the production Raptor.
Taking it to the limits
To see just how far they could push it, Harrison’s team also developed a 7.0-liter drag racing version of the engine producing 800 horsepower burning E85 fuel, and a 7.5-liter off-road Trophy Truck concept engine delivering 850 horsepower on gasoline.
Such efforts complement the stringent laboratory and software-based testing program to ensure Super Duty customers get the most durable, reliable and capable engine possible.
“Racing programs help put our new 6.2-liter engine through the toughest challenges,” Harrison said. “We want to make sure our new engine can handle everything our most demanding customers can dish out.”
In his spare time, Harrison enjoys heading to the northern part of Michigan with his wife Sharon and four children, who range in age from 15 to 7. He also plays golf and is restoring a Harley-Davidson™ Heritage motorcycle along with the 1972 British Racing Green MGB he has owned for 20 years. Harrison has been an active SCCA member participating in road racing events with a variety of cars including an ITC Ford Fiesta, a GT3 Mazda RX7 and an HP MG Midget.
“Michigan affords many tremendous outdoor options,” Harrison said. “We really enjoy getting outside and having fun as a family.”
# # #
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Feb. 25, 2010