Under the hood, though, things are surprisingly low-key. As associate editor Mike Febbo observed, "One of the big disappointments on this Harley edition is heaving open the giant hood and finding such a boring-looking engine. Did the designer at least look at some photos of Harleys? If any truck engine needs a chrome package, it's this one. Harleys are big shiny engines and two wheels held together by chrome and leather. Where are the chrome valve covers, the braided hoses?"
On paper, the 6.2-liter engine in the Harley-Davison F-150 is the big dog of the new engine lineup the half-ton line received for 2011. After all, it has the largest displacement of the quartet, as well as the most horsepower (411) and the most torque (434 pound-feet). But it isn't a volume engine like the rest; it's seen as a specialty engine, standard only in the Lariat Limited, Raptor, and Harley-Davidson models. Other than that, you can buy it as an option on the King Ranch and Lariat, or you can step up to a Super Duty (although there, it only has 385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet).
But the reality is more complicated. The EcoBoost-equipped F-150 we also tested reached 60 mph 0.2 seconds faster. Some of the lag can be attributed to the Harley's all-wheel-drive system and 22-inch wheels, which do add some weight. The Harley truck weighed 600 pounds more than the EcoBoost Lariat. The Harley went through the quarter mile in 15.0 seconds at 94.8 mph, and braking was a fantastic 117-foot 60-0, thanks in part to its Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires. Its fuel economy isn't exactly stellar; EPA estimates put it at 12 mpg city, 16 highway, and the number we got, 13.5 mpg combined, falls within that range. Towing capacity is 7200 pounds and payload capacity as tested is 1221.