Driving the 2.7L EcoBoost F-150 with Start/Stop Technology
Ford Motor Company announced earlier this week that all 2017 Ford F-150 pickups with an EcoBoost engine will have Start/Stop technology. This includes the 2.7L, the high volume 3.5L engine in use today and the upcoming Raptor EcoBoost engine – with the technology in place in the 2.7L EcoBoost. There have been some questions as to just how this technology works and having had the chance to spend a week behind the wheel of a new F-150 with that feature, here are my thoughts on the addition to the lineup.
I think that it is a great idea. While it won’t have a big impact on those folks who don’t spend much time sitting in traffic, I spent hours sitting in traffic with the 2015 F-150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost engine and it worked very well in those situations. When the engine shuts off while sitting in traffic, there is less wasted fuel, less engine wear and less harmful exhaust fumes sent into the environment while idling.
The system in the 2015 Ford F-150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 is pretty simple. When activated, the Start/Stop feature monitors vehicle speed and when you come to a complete stop, the engine shuts off. As soon as you lift your foot on the brake pedal or when you touch the gas pedal (for those two-foot drivers out there), the engine quickly and seamlessly fires back up. The driver doesn’t have to do anything and the system is so quick that it has the engine ready to move the truck as quickly as you can move your foot from the brake to the gas.
While driving the new F-150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost engine, I tried to see if I could “catch” the system in a position where it wasn’t ready to go when it wanted the truck to move, but it starts the engine so quickly that I was unable to find a situation where the engine wasn’t providing power the second that I asked for it. There is no lag or delay when you quickly go from a stop to stomping the pedal anymore than you would get when doing the same thing with the 5.0L V8 – both of which will result is a hard spinning of the rear tires.
Best of all, this system is designed to automatically deactivate when you are in Tow/Haul mode, or when four-wheel drive is engaged, so when the Ford F-150 is doing the hardest work, the engine is always running and ready to go. Also, if you buy a 2017 EcoBoost F-150 or the new Raptor and find that you don’t like the feel of the Start/Stop feature, you can turn it off with the push of a button on the dash.
Adding Start/Stop to the 2017 F-150 EcoBoost lineup won’t have any real negative impact on the truck while helping to gradually improve fuel economy and emission levels and if owners don’t like it – they can just turn it off. However, in driving the new F-150 for a week, I couldn’t find any real reason to disengage the system during normal (non-loaded) driving situations.