Ford Brings 2018 F-150 Power Stroke Diesel to Detroit Auto Show
Officially Confirmed Pickup Brings Light-Duty Diesel Fight to Ram’s Doorstep
In a somewhat surprising move, Ford brought its full lineup of 2018 F-150 pickups to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, including an all-new, light-duty diesel offering. The 3.0L V-6 diesel will be branded “Power Stroke,” giving the company its first 1/2-ton oil-burner in decades.
The company says the diesel was designed and engineered in-house, leading us to believe the Power Stroke shares bones with the Jaguar Land Rover Lion 3.0L V-6. Ford didn’t release official power and torque figures, but in JLR products, the Lion produces 254 hp and 440 lb-ft. Those numbers compare very favorably to the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which makes 240 hp and 420 lb-ft.
Helping the F-150 Power Stroke in its mission is a 10-speed automatic transmission, a gearbox that spreads across the F-150 lineup to the 5.0L V-8 and 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 (the transmission already sits behind the 2017 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost). We’ve experienced the transmission before and found it to be quick-shifting and smooth, and we think it will be a good match for the Power Stroke’s likely excellent low-end torque.
In addition to the new diesel, the F-150’s engine lineup is comprehensively revamped, with a naturally aspirated, direct-injected 3.3L V-6 replacing the outgoing 3.5 as the truck’s base engine. Thanks to modernized engine technology, Ford says the new motor will match the old 3.5L unit’s horsepower and torque (282 hp and 253 lb-ft). Ford did not say what gearbox will mate to the new 3.3L V-6, so we assume it will be a carryover six-speed auto.
Furthermore, Ford will offer the 2018 F-150 with a second-generation 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 that features both port and direct fuel injection to optimize power, efficiency, and emissions. Using lessons learned on the second-generation 3.5L EcoBoost, the 2.7 will also offer reduced internal friction and improved durability. We also presume more power will be on offer, giving the new EcoBoost at least 325 hp and 375 lb-ft. Those numbers should offer lifestyle consumers enough capability without asking them to step into either the 3.5L EcoBoost or naturally aspirated 5.0L V-8.
Speaking of, we learned a bit more about Ford's sole V-8 engine in the F-150 lineup in our interview with Jerry Farrell, chief program engineer for the 2018 F-150 (watch below). Thanks to direct and port injection, the company promised significantly more power, torque, and efficiency, elevating it above the 385 hp and 387 lb-ft currently offered in the 2017 F-150. As with the EcoBoost and Power Stroke engines, the 5.0L V-8 receives a 10-speed automatic transmission for 2018.
In addition to the hardware updates, Ford will give the 2018 F-150 all-new front and rear styling. New grilles and headlights give the illusion of a wider stance, and certain F-150s will get wide-mouth grilles without center crossbars. It’s a unique new look that helps the F-150 stay current, although some of us are eyeing those nostrils on some models with the same trepidation as the Ram 1500 Limited.
Rear and interior styling are likewise updated. Deeper tailgate sculpting and a stamped “F-150” logo recall the muscular Raptor. (Curiously, the F-150’s hyphen reappears on the tailgate, while side badges continue without.) Inside, Ford will offer high-trim F-150s with two new color schemes. The F-150 Platinum offers Dark Marsala interior appointments, featuring deep-red leather on the seats and dashboard accents. Top-spec F-150 Limited pickups can be ordered with Navy Pier seating (we presume it’s dark blue). Carbon-fiber appliques get added to the F-150 XLT Sport and Lariat Sport for some added visual verve.
Giving the interior more function will be expanded safety systems, including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, a system to help mitigate or avoid collisions with obstacles or pedestrians. The available adaptive cruise control now offers stop-and-go capability, curing one of our complaints about luxury versions of the pickup.
Overall, we think Ford’s modifications to its bread-and-butter offering should help the company maintain its bestselling-vehicle status. And obviously, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of that diesel. The 2018 F-150 will go on sale this fall, sourced from Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant and Kansas City Assembly Plant.