There's no doubt that the introduction of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 in the Ford F-150 was a game-changer in the full-size truck market. However you feel about its economy advantage over competitors' V-8s, it succeeded in changing consumers' minds about the viability of a V-6 in a full-size truck. According to Ford, the EcoBoost V-6 accounts for 46 percent of F-150 sales, with the base 3.7-liter V-6 accounting for another 11 percent, bringing V-6s up to 57 percent share of F-150 sales. That percentage is set to grow even further with the availability of three V-6 engines in the 2015 F-150. To that end, Ford is investing $500 million in its Lima, Ohio, engine plant, which currently builds both the 3.5 EcoBoost and 3.7-liter naturally aspirated V-6 for the F-150.

The investment is expected to add 300 jobs to the plant, making Lima the source for all of the F-150's V-6 engines. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost is an all-new design with a block of compacted graphite iron, the same material used in the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. The 2.7-liter engine will also come standard with auto stop/start for optimal fuel economy. Official power figures have not yet been announced for the 2.7-liter engine, but Ford says it will make power comparable to competitor's "mid-range V-8s," which are themselves becoming more rare.

Ram recently discontinued the 4.7-liter V-8 in favor of increased production of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, and General Motors' 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 is positioned as the most direct competitor to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost in terms of power output. That only leaves the Toyota 4.6-liter i-Force V-8, which currently makes 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque. We're predicting output of approximately 330 hp and 350 lb-ft for the new, smaller EcoBoost.

Source: Ford