In what many in the industry considered a "bold move" by introducing the segment's first twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 engine, there was more than a little uncertainty about what kind of reception fullsize truck buyers would give to Ford's high-tech powerplant in a segment historically dominated by big-inch V-8s.
If Ford's first-quarter sales results for the new F-150 are any indication, the answer is quite warm indeed. The EcoBoost has so far represented 35 percent of F-150 sales in April, and Ford notes that incoming orders are tracking even higher at 40 percent.
Although the 3.5-liter V-6 is unusually small-displacement for the full-size truck segment, its output of 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque matches or surpasses most of its rivals' top V-8 engine offerings. At the same time, the EcoBoost nearly matches the fuel economy of the 302-horsepower normally-aspirated 3.7 liter base V-6, which itself is representing a surprising chunk of 2011 F-150 sales.EcoBoost V 6 Exceeding Sales Expectations in F 150 image
Having proven itself, at least initially, in the bellwether F-150, Ford is aggressively rolling out other versions of the EcoBoost formula in four-cylinder configurations in its other passenger cars and SUVs, including the 2013 Taurus, which will offer the choice of either a four-cylinder or six-cylinder EcoBoost, depending on model. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be positioned as the fuel economy leader and is expected to get 31 miles per gallon on the highway, while the 365-horsepower 3.5 liter V-6 will remain as the high-performance engine in the flagship SHO model.