reported in September of last year that Ford was doing a top-to-bottom
revamp of its powertrain lineup for its popular F-150 pickup truck. That new
engine lineup included a new 3.7-liter V6, 5.0-liter V8, 6.2-liter V8, and an
EcoBoost (turbocharged) 3.5-liter V6.
According to a new
report from Automotive News, the
EcoBoost engine is proving to be quite popular with buyers and bucks the trends
that are normally seen in the full-size pickup market. In fact, the EcoBoost
engine option is now accounting for 36 percent of F-150 sales. The EcoBoost
engine also now has a 40 percent take rate when it comes to new dealer orders.
Ford Consumer Marketing Manager Marc Lapine thought that
there would be a little more lag time before consumers became aware of the engine
option and started taking advantage of it, but higher gas prices have made the
EcoBoost a popular choice.
"We had a sales forecast but it has jumped up a little
faster than we thought," said Lapine. "We thought there would be a
little more time between the early adopters and the other people who said,
'Hey, now I am ready to buy it.'"
"As soon as this fuel thing started, probably two
months ago, all of a sudden people are coming in, asking, 'Do you have an
EcoBoost?'", added Wayne Seidel, a general manager for a Ford dealership
in Wisconsin. "I've sold every one that I can get my hands on."
The EcoBoost V6 makes a healthy 365hp at 5,000 rpm and 420
lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm while running on regular unleaded gas. Tow
capacity (11,300 pounds) for the boosted six matches that of the top rung
6.2-liter V8 engine option.
The EcoBoost F-150 is EPA rated at 16 mpg in the city and 22
mpg on the highway.
Many manufacturers are now looking to turbocharging to match
the power of an engine with more cylinders while achieving better fuel economy.
Ford uses EcoBoost engines in its Taurus SHO (V6), Flex (V6), Explorer (I4),
and upcoming C-MAX
Other companies that are jumping on the turbocharging
bandwagon for mainstream vehicles include Hyundai with its Sonata
Turbo and Buick with its Regal. Chevrolet is also expected to add a
turbocharged four-cylinder engine to its all-new
2012 Malibu to replace
the V6 engine option.