Ford Motor Company has a resounding success in their 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine. In February 2011 the power plant was made available in the F150 pickup, and by April Ford sold 35% of their F150s with the little engine that could. By September Ford had sold 75,000 EcoBoost F150s and forecasted the take-rate would reach 45 percent. In December 2011 Ford was reporting they’d sold 100,000 EcoBoost F150s…fast-forward to July 2012 and Ford has now exceeded their sales predictions by 100,000 engines!
There were skeptics of this engine and technology, though I was not one of them, being a fan of both turbocharged forced-induction and Ford. The on-paper ratings of 420 lb-ft and 365 hp were, and still are impressive for a little V6; about the same torque one could wring from a similarly sized 4-cylinder diesel yet with more horsepower. The engine is capable of good V6 fuel-economy too. At inception I figured the only thing that could hurt this engine’s success would have been poor engineering or assembly, but it appears The Motor Company knows what they’re doing and I’ve yet to hear any bad press. Real-world high-mileage longevity is another question, and we will have this answer in a couple years after a few early-production trucks surpass the 200k mark with their original turbochargers intact; or not.
I’m not typically an early adopter of new technology or products, wanting things to prove themselves and have a thorough sorting before I spend my money, but I would have made an exception for the 3.5L EcoBoost. When I was shopping for a new half-ton pickup in April 2011, the field was quickly narrowed to the then new EcoBoost F150 and the 5.7L Toyota Tundra. I don’t regret my Tundra purchase (more on that later), but forced-induction would have been a daily pleasure at 5,000-ft.
Good on you Ford!
Now if you guys would just make an attractive mid-sized wagon, with a powerful EcoBoost and fuel-economy close to our VW TDI, maybe you can sell us a new car soon? Oh yeah, and I’d really like a manual transmission…remember those?
Copyright © 2012 James Langan