Is Ford Replacing All Their Gasoline V8s with EcoBoost?
What is more American than a big V8 engine? I can’t think of much. But in an era where automakers are trying to reduce fuel consumption, lower emissions, and still provide more power, we are seeing fewer and fewer V8s.
Ford, for the past few years, has been focusing on their EcoBoost engines. During their NAIAS press conference, they said that every vehicle they sell will have an EcoBoost engine as an option. With the commitment to EcoBoost, is the V8 going the way of the dinosaur?
Let’s take a look at EcoBoost Exhibit 1:
The Ford GT has a 600+ horsepower engine mated to a 7-speed dual clutch, fully automated transmission. That 600+ horsepower is going to come from a 3.5L EcoBoost V6. That’s right, a turbo V6. While it’s a new design for Ford, 3.5L is the same displacement as the engine in the 2015 F-150… just cranked to 11.
Now, I’d like to introduce EcoBoost Exhibit 2:
The 2017 Raptor will have more horsepower and torque than the outgoing 6.2L V8. According to some of the folks I talked to, it might even be “significantly” more. I just hope the price isn’t significantly more.
But that power is also coming from a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine. Again, it’s not the same motor that’s in the GT or the regular F-150, but it should be noted that they are dumping the V8 in their performance truck.
Finally, EcoBoost Exhibit 3:
The 2015 Ford F-150’s most powerful engine is not the 5.0L V8, but the 3.5L EcoBoost V6. On the EPA testing cycle, it gets better fuel economy than the V8 as well.
I don’t believe that the V8 gasoline engine in Ford products is long for this world. The last holdout won’t be the F-150, but the Ford Mustang.
Monday they announced the Ford Shelby GT350R that uses the flat-plane crank V8 to get even better performance than the engine in the regular GT350. I honestly can’t imagine a Mustang without a V8 option, but I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually that goes away.
But for trucks (and other performance Fords), why use a big V8 when they can use a smaller turbo V6? I was surprised when the new Ford GT was announced with a V6 engine. Seeing a halo performance car with a turbo V6, and no hybridization, was a bit shocking to me. I’m sure it’ll be an excellent performer, and I think a good barometer of where Ford is going in the future.
But there is a silver lining, everyone. Ford now has a 3.5L EcoBoost running in various configurations and states of tune in upwards to over 600 horsepower. That should re-assure the aftermarket tuning crowd that these engines can handle a lot more power than what they’re rated at, and should be a boon to tuners and people who want even more power.
Naturally aspirated V8 engines are fun, but Ford believes that turbocharged engines can be fun too! If you’ve ever driven some of Ford’s latest EcoBoost offerings, you know that to be true.
Do you think the V8 engine is going away? Sound off in the forums!