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First Look: 2011 Ford Super Duty and F-150

Under the Hood: Changes Bring New Powerplants, Mightier Towing, and Better Fuel Economy

Allyson Harwood –
Dec 2, 2010
Ford made several big announcements over the past couple of months. On the crossover side, the Ford Edge receives a new 3.7-liter V-6 engine. Also, as you can read about in the story on page 48, the all-new Explorer arrives later this year -- and both the V-8 and body-on-frame construction are gone. There is plenty of news on the truck side, too, with the Super Duty and the F-150.
When the new Super Duty made its debut earlier this year, the engine choices were either a 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 that puts out 385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque or the new, internally designed and built Power Stroke V-8, which meets the tough 2010 emissions standards and is said to offer 20-percent better fuel economy than the outgoing model. At launch, the 6.7-liter turbodiesel put out 390 horsepower at 2800 rpm and 735 pound-feet of torque at 1600 and provided a maximum towing capacity of 24,400 pounds (F-450, fifth wheel). While those are impressive numbers, when comparing apples to apples, the Silverado/Sierra HD still dominated in the one-ton category. The Silverado 3500HD can tow up to 21,700 pounds with a fifth wheel, and the F-350 could tow up to 21,600. Those numbers have changed, though, with Ford's announcement that the turbodiesel will receive more horsepower and torque, effective as of August of this year.
Photo 2/20   |   2011 Ford Lariat Super Duty Front Three Quarters View
The change returns the Super Duty to the head of its class. The new numbers -- 400 horsepower at 2800 rpm and 800 pound-feet of torque at 1600 rpm (increases of 10 and 65) -- top the Duramax's 397 horses and 765 pound-feet. The Fords also benefit from higher-strength steel in the frame. That combination means the dualie F-350 will have a maximum towing capacity of 22,600 pounds and a max payload capacity of 7070 (versus the GM's 6635).
Photo 3/20   |   2011 Ford Lariat Super Duty Front View
What's also nice about this upgrade is that anyone who owns a 2011 Super Duty can benefit. The change was made through an adjustment to the Powertrain Control Module, so, for trucks that didn't come with the new horsepower and torque levels, all it takes is a trip to the dealer and the software change will be made free of charge.
Photo 4/20   |   2011 Ford F450 Lariat Super Duty Front View
When it goes on sale later this year, the newest Harley-Davidson pickup becomes the most powerful ever in an F-150. It receives a version of the SOHC 6.2-liter V-8 found in the Super Duty and the SVT Raptor. Like the Raptor's 6.2, the one in the Harley-Davidson F-150 will put out 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque and will be backed by a six-speed automatic. The 6.2 has variable cam timing and two spark plugs per cylinder. This F-150 can tow up to 7300 pounds in the Harley-Davidson edition; with other 6.2-liter-equipped F-150s, the 6.2 is capable of towing up to 11,300 pounds. The truck comes with rear- or four-wheel drive.
Photo 5/20   |   2011 Ford Harley Davidson F 150 Front View
The Harley edition comes in two colors, Tuxedo Black and Ingot Silver, and the hood and sides feature new orange graphics. Other styling cues include a six-bar billet satin chrome grille, Harley-Davidson satin chrome badging inside and out, and 22-inch forged wheels. The special edition also comes with power running boards standard. Also standard are voice-activated navigation with an 8-inch touch screen, a 4.2-inch LCD "productivity screen" (like the one on the new Super Duty) between the tachometer and speedometer, rearview camera, remote start, power moonroof, and heated seats in the second row. Pricing hasn't been announced.
Photo 6/20   |   2011 Ford Harley Davidson F 150 Rear View
In addition to the new 6.2-liter, several other powerplants are coming. The 2011 model-year F-150 will offer four new engines. The smallest, a Duratec 3.7-liter V-6, has also been seen in the 2011 Edge. Its estimated 300 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque are higher than those of both the Ram 1500 and Silverado/Sierra 1500 sixes and comes backed by a six-speed automatic, where the competitors have four-speeds. At that horsepower level, the Ford 3.7's power approaches what the base V-8 Rams and Chevrolets offer. It also has 52 more horsepower than the two-valve 4.6-liter V-8 and 6 more pound-feet. The engine has variable timing control of the intake and exhaust camshafts (Ti-VCT), piston-cooling jets, and forged-steel crankshaft, and is E85 compatible. Ford expects this will have best-in-class fuel economy. F-150s equipped with this engine can tow up to 6100 pounds.
Photo 16/20   |   Anyone whose 2011 Super Duty didn't come with the horsepower and torque increases can get a free software upgrade at their dealership.
The 5.0-liter V-8, which is very close to the 5.0-liter engine of the 2011 Mustang GT, is also equipped with Ti-VCT. This DOHC eight has a power output of 360 horses and 380 pound-feet of torque. That's 68 more horses than the three-valve 4.6-liter, available 200 rpm sooner, and 60 pound-feet more torque with a peak rpm that's now 250 higher. Even though this engine is a lot like the one in the Mustang, the F-150 application comes with another oil cooler and cast exhaust manifolds. Other features include a forged-steel crank and E85 capability, and its compression ratio goes from 11:01 in Mustang to 10.5:1 in the 5.0-liter F-150 to reduce knock at lower speeds while towing. These numbers are higher than those of the Ram's 4.7-liter V-8, Chevrolet's 4.8-liter, and Chevrolet's 5.3-liter. The 5.0-liter can tow as much as 9800 pounds and is also backed by a six-speed automatic.
The EcoBoost engine that's coming to the line will have a later on-sale date than the 3.7, 5.0, and 6.2, and you can expect it to be priced as the premium engine. It also will have Ti-VCT and is expected to have 20-percent better fuel economy than the 5.4-liter V-8 (rated at 14 mpg city and 18-20 mpg on the highway), which could mean fuel economy of 17 city and 21-24 mpg highway. Ford claims the 3.5-liter will have the power of a naturally aspirated V-8, with much better fuel economy. The twin-turbo engine has cast exhaust manifolds, direct injection, a die-cast aluminum deep sump oil pan, forged steel crankshaft, and a valvetrain designed with friction reduction in mind for improved fuel economy.
3.7-Liter V-6:
The smallest engine in the line puts out 300 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque.
Photo 17/20   |   2011 Ford F Series 3 7 Liter V 6

5.0-Liter V-8:
This is similar to the 5.0-liter engine of the 2011 Mustang GT. It has 360 horses and 380 pound-feet of torque, 68 more horsepower than the three-valve 4.6-liter.
Photo 18/20   |   2011 Ford F Series 5 0 Liter V 8

6.2-Liter V-8:
First seen in the Raptor and Super Duty, this engine has 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. It's the sole powerplant in the Harley edition and will also feature in other F-150s.
Photo 19/20   |   2011 Ford F Series 6 2 Liter V 8

3.5-Liter Ecoboost:
We don't know much about this engine, but it's expected that this twin-turbo direct injection V-6 will be the premium engine in the line, with V-8 horsepower and better fuel economy.
Photo 20/20   |   2011 Ford F Series 3 5 Liter Ecoboost



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