Torque bump for Ford's 2017 F-150 engine, which pairs with 10 speed transmission
The 2017 Ford F-150 pickup truck will include the latest-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine as an option, adding 30 lb-ft of torque to its output. This will mate to a new 10-speed automatic transmission to aid performance and capitalize on the now best-in-class torque values of the new engine.
The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is a second-generation version of the twin-turbo, high-compression engine that debuted in the F-150 as a V8-replacing V6 option. The 3.5L engine and its 2.7-liter EcoBoost brother make up 60 percent of the F-150's total sales, which bucks the trend of truck buyers usually demanding an eight-cylinder engine with their pickup.
The 3.5L engine has injectors at the intake port and inside the cylinder, which maximizes fuel spray to better control the engine's burn rate. This prevents misfires and improves fuel efficiency while lowering emissions. Ford also upgraded the turbochargers to add more boost thanks to a lighter turbine wheel with better RPM efficiency and electrically-activated wastegates.
This improves responsiveness, making lower RPM responses better, which lowers the RPM curve for torque output. Other engine improvements include hollow camshafts, a new roller-finger follower valvetrain, and other upgrades to shed engine weight. Auto Start-Stop is now standard in the 3.5L as well, improving city fuel economy and slightly lowering emissions.
The new 3.5L EcoBoost engine with its twin turbochargers now outputs 450 lb-feet (610 Nm) of torque, a best-in-class number for a V6. Aiding the improved output of the new engine is a new 10-speed automatic transmission. This upgrades from the six-speed transmission found in the 2016 model year, giving three overdrive gears and enabling lower rear-end axle ratings without losing towing power and improving fuel efficiency at highway speeds.
The new transmission is also the first gearbox from Ford that doesn't include cast iron components. It sheds weight in several ways, with 2 lb (900 g) being lost just by combining the torque converter and turbine clutch.
The engine is being built in the soon-to-be-revamped Cleveland Engine Plant in Ohio, while the transmission will be made at the Livonia Transmission Plant in Michigan, which is receiving a major overhaul now.
Ford is yet to reveal what fuel economy gains these improvements will bring to the F-150 when it goes on sale this (Northern Hemisphere) autumn.