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  • Torture Test: Ford Heads to Baja 1000 With EcoBoosted F-150 Racer

Torture Test: Ford Heads to Baja 1000 With EcoBoosted F-150 Racer

Andrew Peterson
Sep 23, 2010
Ford's no stranger to the idea of using the desert as a proving ground. Years ago, the company sent its SVT Raptor R into the Baja 1000 to prove it's mettle, but this year, Ford's using the off-road race to showcase the power and durability of its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, which is offered in the 2011 F-150.
Photo 2/7   |   2011 Ford F 150 Ecoboost Racer Rear Three Quarter View
Held each November, the Tecate Baja 1000 is an off-road race through Mexico's Baja Peninsula, which forces vehicles through some of the most challenging conditions known to man. Race vehicles encounter extreme heat, long periods of running at wide-open throttle, and extensive chassis and suspension abuse. These hellish conditions can make or break an engine -- and Ford's counting on the former.
Ford revealed earlier this morning that it installed an EcoBoost V-6 into a Baja-spec F-150 racer, but unlike the truck itself, the V-6 is bone stock. Ford swears the engine has received absolutely no revisions for the race; in fact, the engine selected was randomly chosen from the assembly plant in Cleveland, Ohio. We're told the engine will be fed nothing other than standard 87-octane gasoline, meaning it'll be pumping out roughly around 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
Photo 3/7   |   2011 Ford F 150 Ecoboost Racer Engine
"We are fully confident that because of the strict testing the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engines underwent before we started manufacturing, it will take anything the desert can dish out," said Eric Kuehn, chief engineer of the 2011 F-150.
Although Ford is confident the EcoBoost engine will stand up to the race, the truck itself has some fierce competition, as other trucks in the F-150's class feature significantly more powerful V-8s. Despite the odds, Ford hopes to prove the EcoBoost F-150 in the race as its Raptor R captured third-in-class two years ago. This combination of EcoBoost and Baja race is simply adding fuel to the ignition chamber of the rumored EcoBoosted Raptor R.
Photo 4/7   |   2011 Ford F 150 Ecoboost Racer Interior
The Baja race isn't the only torture test Ford has lined up for the EcoBoost. A F-150 EcoBoost is heading to Oregon to work as a log skidder, where it will replace the standard heavy-duty machinery tasked with lugging heavy logs up steep grades. After that, the same truck will make its way to Miami, Florida, where it will tow a trailer with two Nascar Sprint Cup cars inside around a track for 24 hours straight. Following that, the EcoBoost engine will be torn apart to see how the internals held up to these grueling tasks.
Source: Ford

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