Acceleration from a stop is seemingly instant. There's no noticeable turbo lag and power is just as generous throughout the rpm range. It's not just that there is comparable power to a V-8, either -- this engine makes the F-150 really fast. That stays consistent when towing, too. When we tried the EcoBoost with a 6700-pound trailer hooked up, the engine didn't struggle in the least and felt as capable as a traditional V-8. Towing with the EcoBoost was effortless. If you drive it gently, fuel economy is impressive. We used the productivity screen, a feature inherited from the Super Duty, to gauge mpg on a stretch of the drive. There were grades and stops, and some traffic, but the EcoBoost we tested got 22.8 miles per gallon (official EPA numbers haven't been released), and that was without hypermiling or turning off the air conditioning. And this drive was in Texas in summertime. For the most part, it does what Ford claims: When doing hard work, the V-6 has the power of a big V-8. When driving around town and cruising on the highway, it has the fuel economy of a V-6.
There are concerns with the EcoBoost. Some may be resolved by the time the engine becomes available in the first quarter of 2011, and some may be resolved over time. While we were driving the pre-production engine, there was a noticeable whiny whistle, presumably from the turbochargers. It wasn't overly loud, but we have a feeling that may be quieted by the time it goes on sale.
The next concern is pricing. New technology like this often doesn't come cheap. Ford hasn't officially announced pricing, but two of the EcoBoosts we drove had price sheets with estimates inside. One was an XLT SuperCrew, as-tested at an estimated $37,960, the other a fully loaded Platinum model with an eye-watering $51,450 sticker. Ford hasn't yet released a specific breakdown of how much the EcoBoost option will boost the price. It will be available in XL, XLT, FX2/FX4, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims.