Ford’s new F-150 2.7L EcoBoost Engine – Gimmicky or Good Idea?
Recently at a Ford media event, I was able to talk with a representative who drove the new F-150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost. While, he was short on specifics, the engine has created a lot of questions for truck fans. Is the engine simply a fuel-economy gimmick? Let’s discuss.
If you ask Ford or Ram, you will hear how they both feel customer’s have placed fuel economy as their top priority. These companies are both trying new innovations to push full-size trucks to get unheard of fuel economy. While Ram has invested in diesel, Ford has gone all in with aluminum and now a tiny 2.7L EcoBoost engine.
This tiny engine might be able to hit high fuel economy numbers on highways, but is it really what customers want? Has the line between fuel efficient and still a towing-capable truck swung too far? Or is something else at play?
Ford’s CAFE Future
Like, we told you Monday about Ram, Ford also doesn’t have a great CAFE future. They, like Ram, sell a lot of trucks and very few smaller fuel-efficient cars. While, it isn’t as drastic as the FCA, it is a concern.
For reference, Ford offers several compact cars, sedans, a few plug-in and electric models. Their Energi SE just had a great month with nearly 2k units sold. However, these sales dwarf the 60-70k trucks Ford sells on a monthly basis.
In June, 2014 Ford reported the following sales by type:
- Cars – 81,198
- Utilities – 62,785 (Escape, Edge, Flex, Explorer, Police Interceptor, Expedition)
- Trucks – 78,081
The car sales were mainly made up of Focus and Fusion models (53,870). Of note, Ford is working to make these cars even more fuel efficient and has been eliminating the large displacement and gas guzzling models.
While customers may be clamoring for better fuel economy, Ford also needs to sell more fuel efficient trucks. Let’s be frank, the surge of EcoBoost engine offerings is partly due to customers and also, a big part, due to future CAFE regulations.
Fuel Economy Vs. Capability
Ford is pretty keen on making sure they still produce capable trucks as was evident throughout my conversation. Yet, how capable can a 2.7L EcoBoost F-150 really be? As of this writing, the HP and torque numbers aren’t yet available. Ford does say the engine will compete with mid-range V-8 engines.
Let’s assume that statement applies to engines like Toyota’s 4.6L V-8. That engine puts out 310 HP with 327 lb-ft of torque. And knowing, the V6 EcoBoost puts out 365HP and 420 lb-ft of torque, we can safely assume the new 2.7L will be around the Toyota engine and below the V6 EcoBoost.
This truck, then, will likely have better fuel economy than the V6 EcoBoost (16 city/22 hwy/18 combined mpg). With the weight loss of the aluminum, our wild guess is the 2.7L Ford will have an EPA fuel economy number of 18 city/26hwy/24 combined.
Two notes on these fuel economy numbers:
- Publications like Car and Driver have had trouble hitting Ford’s EPA numbers
- When towing, the fuel economy numbers drop drastically according to numerous owners
While the 2.7L EcoBoost may push Ford’s truck fuel economy numbers to new heights, it may fall short of the industry-leading EcoDiesel at 28 MPG – a pretty expensive option for Ram 1500 customers.
In the end, this engine seems more gimmicky to us. While Ford has made a lot of fans of its EcoBoost engine, it seems like a lot of work and expense to midly improve fuel economy while trading towing fuel economy.
What do you think? Is a 2.7L EcoBoost a gimmick engine or a good offering?
Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com