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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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RE: Ram 1500 still wins...
By Manch on 4/2/2013 3:44:13 AM , Rating: 2
The Ramtrucks ahvent seen a chassis update in a long time. Of the three, it is definitely the inferior one. Coil springs and their latest gimmick...airbags put the nail in the coffin for anyone that wants a truck with decent capabilities. Tundras don't compete either. There chassis is just as bad if not worse than the dodge.


RE: Ram 1500 still wins...
By djc208 on 4/2/2013 11:53:07 AM , Rating: 2
This comment makes no sense. Ford and Chevy both still use leaf springs in the rear, that tech has been around since the horse and buggy. Front suspension has evolved but mostly by incorporating more car-like attributes (coil springs, torsion bars, A-arms, all old school car tech).

The ladder frame might be built with different technologies but other then to loose weight or increase strength it's the same basic concept since the beginning.

Tractor trailers use air bag suspension all the time, so there doesn't have to be any reduction in capabilities with air. Coil springs underpin trains and many military vehicles. It's not in what it uses, it's in how it's used. Last I checked Dodge was one of the few actually trying something different.


RE: Ram 1500 still wins...
By Manch on 4/3/2013 2:27:12 AM , Rating: 2
and leaf springs are used for good reason. Dodge sacrificed towing capability when it switch to coils in the rear. All ladder frames are not created equal. The newer Ford and Chevy Chassis are much stiffer and stronger than the Dodges.

Tractor Trailer airbag systems are also a lot more stout. You're right, there doesn't have to be, but with Dodges record I'll bet money there is.

How they are using these things, it's giving them less towing and hauling capacity.


RE: Ram 1500 still wins...
By Bad-Karma on 4/2/2013 4:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
Air bags are highly useful in maintaining load control. A lot of people who actually tow heavy loads and campers on a regular basis tend to have aftermarket airbags installed. Many of these systems offer left & right as well as front to back balancing.

I have bags on both my F550 & F450 for moving cattle/horses supplies or my 36' fifth wheel camper. Even with dual rear wheels, without those bags the trailer tends to push and roll the truck when going through turns. The truck is attempting to turn while the trailer's momentum still wants to go straight. This gets eally noticeable at highway speeds in a turn. Those bags help keep the weight more distributed evenly across the chassis & suspension.

I don't know how good of quality Dodge's system is, but the fact that they've included something that can sometimes cost a few grand is nice. Besides, ever look at a big rig? They use a combined bag and air shock system that has been integrated into a single unit to help maintain load control.


RE: Ram 1500 still wins...
By Manch on 4/3/2013 2:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
I think airbags are great, but I do not see the setup Dodge is using as any good. When they started talking about the airbag system in tere truck, it wasn't about towing capacity, load balancing, it was about having a comfortable ride, fuel efficiency, and entry/egress.

I'm not skeptical of airbags, I'm skeptical of Dodge's in General.


RE: Ram 1500 still wins...
By BRB29 on 4/2/2013 7:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
Air bags can be electronically controlled on the fly. If a good system is implemented it can adjust according with load to keep your truck balanced and drive better.
When you are driving your truck at high speed on the highway, the air bags can lower your suspension so that you get better mpg also.
The problem with air bags is that it's not widely used so it tends to cost more. Leaf springs may be ancient but it's light and easy to implement. It's also pretty cheap. Coil springs with shocks are costly and can suffer from fatigue quicker. It's slow progress but if you replace your springs and shocks at around 100k, you'll feel the difference in how much it degraded over time.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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