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GM bests Ford's EcoBoost V6 fuel efficiency without complex, expensive turbochargers

Ford has spent a great deal of time and money developing and marketing its EcoBoost family. The company makes a wide variety of EcoBoost engines (which is basically a fancy name for turbocharging plus direct injection) ranging from a 1.0-liter three-cylinder to a 3.5-liter V6.
 
Ford's efforts have paid off, as sales of the naturally aspirated V6- and EcoBoost V6-equipped F-150s have outpaced those of the V8 models. And all along the way, Ford has thumbed its nose at the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, stating how its EcoBoost V6 gets V8 performance and V6 fuel economy.
 
GM, however, is hitting back today with the announcement that its new 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engines manages to produce 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. While the horsepower number compares favorably with the EcoBoost V6 in the F-150, it's down quite a bit in torque. GM says that in 4x2 trim, the EcoTec3 will be good for 23 mpg highway; checking off the 4x4 option box will result in 22 mpg on the highway.


2014 Chevrolet Silverado
 
Both of these numbers are 1 mpg better than the EcoBoost F-150. In fact, it matches the fuel economy of Ford’s naturally aspirated, 3.7-liter V6.
 
“Silverado’s available 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 gives customers the best of both worlds,” bragged Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for the Silverado. “Customers get the proven power and dependability of a V-8 truck engine, with better fuel economy than a leading competitor’s smaller turbocharged V-6.”


5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine
 
GM's decision to go the "tried and true" route may pay off in the end. Recent reports have suggested that while many manufacturers seem to ace the EPA's tests with turbocharged gasoline engines, most consumers aren't able to match the sticker numbers in the real world.

The Ford Atlas Concept previews the nexxt generation F-150
 
GM’s fun in the mpg sun, however, likely won’t last long. Ford is reportedly looking to trim up to 700 pounds from the next generation F-150, which will go a long way towards improving fuel efficiency. Ford showcased the use of active aero technology on its Atlas truck concept (which no doubt is a precursor to the next generation F-150), which boost highway fuel efficiency by 2 mpg.

Sources: General Motors [1], [2]



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By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/1/2013 10:02:50 PM , Rating: 3
So are you saying that you should just piss your money away on gas when you buy a truck? Just because someone buys a truck doesn't mean they can't also pay attention to how much money they're spending on fuel as well.


RE: If you want fuel economy why buy a truck?
By Apone on 4/1/2013 11:28:01 PM , Rating: 2
@ Brandon

I think what tayb is saying is that in the past, customers buying a truck knew it was inherently fuel inefficient but needed the towing power and off-road capability. Also, in terms of utility, tayb is saying it doesn't make sense to buy a big truck if you're not going to tow/haul anything or don't need the extra room. I would have to agree as my neighbor's commuter vehicle is a 4X4 Ford F-250 and he doesn't haul anything so I can imagine his fuel and maintenance costs are unnecessarily high.


RE: If you want fuel economy why buy a truck?
By Spuke on 4/2/2013 12:20:34 AM , Rating: 3
Truck buyers still know they're not fuel efficient but like Brandon said, why piss away your money if you don't have to? My truck gets 16 mpg on a commute. We knew that beforehand (most truck buyers do) but got the diesel because it gets better fuel economy than the gas engine. Again why piss away your money?


RE: If you want fuel economy why buy a truck?
By Apone on 4/2/2013 3:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
I might be misunderstanding yours and Brandon's posts here but if you don't want to "piss away your money" unnecessarily, then why even consider buying a pick up truck when you don't need the towing power and off-road capability for a commuter vehicle?


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/2/2013 8:41:44 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, you're totally misunderstanding us here. Someone who buys a truck normally does it for a specific purpose, be it towing, hauling, whatever.

Trucks are a big part of American business as well. Businesses use trucks for service calls, deliveries, etc. Fuel costs are a big part of any business where a fleet of vehicles is used. When it comes time to replace an older vehicle in the fleet, saving 2 to 3 mpg per vehicle adds up over time.

Same goes for regular consumers. If I am to the point where I'm going to need a dedicated vehicle to handle my towing/hauling needs, fuel costs would definitely be a big factor for me. If it were down to a vehicle that got 12/18 versus one that got 17/23, all other things being equal, I'd go with the latter.


RE: If you want fuel economy why buy a truck?
By Spuke on 4/2/2013 1:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks Brandon.

quote:
then why even consider buying a pick up truck when you don't need the towing power and off-road capability for a commuter vehicle
Who said I didn't need the towing or hauling capabilities?


By Apone on 4/2/2013 4:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
I never said you didn't need towing or hauling capabilities; just saying for the folks who don't require it for personal or work reasons, it just doesn't make sense financially. If you need it, more power to you!


RE: If you want fuel economy why buy a truck?
By Apone on 4/2/2013 4:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
Sure I get that and call me pessimistic here but it just seems like these new numbers that advertise 17/23 MPG, etc. sound a bit exaggerated for a workhorse truck; I'd like to see real life MPG numbers when the auto maker also factors in realistic mild-to-consistent cargo/trailer towing and hauling in addition to stop & go city and freeway cruising.


RE: If you want fuel economy why buy a truck?
By Spuke on 4/2/2013 4:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
My stepson's and a friends Ecoboost F150's do get about the rated mpg on the freeway. My stepson gets 24 and my friend gets 23. Don't know their city or commuter mileage.


By Kazinji on 4/3/2013 6:19:56 AM , Rating: 2
Actually tow anything with the ecoboost, heard it was horribad. 6 mpg... guy was pissed ford wouldn't take it back.


By SAN-Man on 4/3/2013 10:18:13 AM , Rating: 3
I agree.

What about all the craftsman and trade workers who use these trucks day in and day out? They're just supposed to suck it up and pay?

Just this morning at the gas station I saw an F250 4 door with six guys in it and the truck was pulling a concrete mixer. In the truck bed were the gear and concrete finishing tools for all six guys. Yeah, it's not going to get 50 MPG but why should they have to settle for 10 MPG?

These guys have costs - whoever runs that crew has costs. Companies aren't made of money. Going from 10 MPG towing/hauling to 20 MPG towing hauling is an enormous fuel bill reduction. Maybe enough to: Hire another guy - give another guy a job. Invest in new equipment or better equipment. Expand the capabilities of the crew and in turn, make more money and provide MORE jobs.


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