• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Ford Puts F-150 EcoBoost to the Test

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION
2010 Ford F-150

author photo

Dan Carney is a veteran auto industry observer who has written for MSNBC.com, Motor Trend, AutoWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Better Homes and Gardens and other publications. He has authored two books, "Dodge Viper" and "Honda S2000" and is a juror for the North American Car of the Year award. Carney covers the industry from the increasingly strategic location of Washington, D.C.


Pickup truck drivers are notoriously conservative, and would probably still be driving trucks with cast-iron flathead engines given their druthers.

The Obama administration and global realities say that it is time for pick 'em ups to start pulling their own weight when it comes to reducing fuel consumption. So while you will have to pry some truck owners' V8s out of their cold, dead hands, Ford is hoping to convince many truck buyers that its twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 is a better solution.

To do that, the company is launching an online campaign to demonstrate the toughness and capability of the new EcoBoost engine by demonstrating it in a torture test. Ford contends that the optional EcoBoost engine available in the 2011 F-150 offers both superior power and fuel economy to the V8 alternative. It hopes to sway curmudgeonly customers who may be reluctant to buy an EcoBoost until the trucks have been out for a while and anecdotal evidence accrues to support the argument.

The abuse Ford plans to heap on its engines to prove its case verges on cartoonish. The first test involves running an EcoBoost engine on a stationary dynamometer for the equivalent of 150,000 miles of driving, including added punishment such as rapid swings in temperature from 20 degrees to 235 degrees.

Only after finishing that test, will the same engine be installed in a truck and dispatched to an Oregon logging company where it will drag logs that weigh thousands of pounds each up steep hills.

Once the timber is tamed, the EcoBoost engine will retire to a life of leisure in sunny south Florida. Or that is probably what the Ford engineers are telling the engine anyway. Instead of relaxing with a game of shuffleboard among retirees though, the EcoBoost is headed to Homestead Miami Speedway, where it will be installed in a truck that will tow an 11,300-pound trailer containing two NASCAR Sprint Cup cars around the track. At full throttle. For 24 hours.

In the infamous words of Ginsu knife commercials, "but wait, there's more." After the track test the EcoBoost engine will be installed into an off-road desert race truck for a shot at the Baja 1000 race, an event that 40 percent of entrants failed to finish last year.

Once the race is done, Ford engineers will tear down the engine and examine the internal parts for wear, and every step of the way the company will document the engine's progress in a series of web videos narrated by Ford pitchman and Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe.

The series starts with coverage of the engine's assembly and its performance on the dyno run, and next month Ford will post the segment showing the logging work. You can watch the first video above, then go to ford.com/2011F150 for new installments.

The idea is to show that the EcoBoost can withstand a beating the likes of which no dyed-in-the-nomex truck nut would ever administer to his pickup. And if the unthinkable happens and the engine fails under the strain? "If it does, we'll talk about what happened," said F-150 marketing manager Mark Grueber. "Then we'll make improvements."

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2014 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback
Used 2014 Ford Fiesta
$Unlisted
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2010 Ford Edge 2WD SEL
Used 2010 Ford Edge
$14,845
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE
Used 2013 Ford C-MAX
$15,545
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2013 Ford Explorer 2WD XLT
Used 2013 Ford Explorer
$27,806
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
Ford Puts F-150 EcoBoost to the Test