2018 F-150 Power Stroke Diesel Tackles Ike Gauntlet…Again

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After a calibration issue, the F-150 is ready to compete once again in TFL Truck‘s signature towing test.

Every year, the crew at TFL Truck puts pickups through what it calls the Ike Gauntlet. They hook a truck up to a trailer, then make it tow the load up and down a seven-percent grade for eight miles at 11,000 feet of elevation. Each truck is judged according to how many brake applications are needed to keep it going 50 mph downhill, its uphill towing time, its uphill towing fuel economy, and each judge’s subjective criteria. Twenty five points are possible in each category. Ford entered a pre-production version of its 2018 F-150 with the new Power Stroke V6 in the Ike Gauntlet earlier this year, but it wasn’t able to finish the challenge.

During the downhill portion of the first test, the F-150 kept revving high before eventually going into a limp home mode. After that, Ford recalibrated its test truck and sent it back to TFL Truck. In this video, the hosts, Andre, Kent, and Nathan, hook the $68,000 F-150 Lariat 4X4 to an 8,700-pound, 20-foot trailer with a weight-distributing hitch, then head downhill. In Tow/Haul mode, the 10-speed automatic can downshift itself twice, but it still takes Kent seven taps of the brake to keep the F-150 at 50 mph.

ford-trucks.com 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel TFL Truck Ike Gauntlet

As equipped, the F-150 can pull a maximum of 11,000 pounds – more than enough for the trailer behind it. The F-150 needs 9 minutes and 49 seconds to complete the arduous uphill climb. Over that course of time, its baby diesel gets 5.3 mpg.

So how does the 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke fare in the Ike Gauntlet overall? After calculating its performance scores, praising it for its level of equipment, and dinging it for its interior build quality and suspension squat, the guys at TFL Truck give it a score of 64 out of 100. Time will tell if that will be enough for it to beat its competitors from Ram and GM.

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Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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