Ford F-150 Diesel Is Actually Good On Gas

Ford F-150 with diesel engine

Ford sees a growing market for the diesel-powered F-150 as demand for pickup trucks increases.

Ford says it's first F-150 diesel should get 30 mpg on the highway, making the heavy hauling truck the most fuel efficient full-size pickup in the USA.

Dave Filipe, Ford's Vice President of Global Powertrain Engineering, calls the 2018 Ford F-150's new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel the sort of engine "that dreams are made of". It's the first time the F-150 has ever had a diesel engine.

Fleet customers can choose the 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine on all F-150 trim levels with SuperCrew 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configurations and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5 foot bed.

"We know that competing diesels with electric cooling fans have to dial back on power under extreme heat and altitude, so we decided on a viscous-controlled mechanical fan that has the capacity to move much more air across the radiator and intercooler in extreme conditions", David Ives, Ford diesel engine technical specialist, said in the announcement. Another reason why the 3.0-liter V6 ticks all the right boxes is the transmission it's paired with, the 10-speed automatic co-developed with General Motors.

Ford F-150 Diesel
Ford F-150

For the diesel engine itself, Ford's engineers have been cherry-picking components from the Super Duty's 6.7-liter version. The Ram diesel produces 240 horsepower, 420 pound-feet of torque and is rated at 27 mpg in highway driving.

Ford describes the diesel F-150 as a "best-in-class" vehicle, offering up to 11,400 pounds of towing capacity and 2,020 pounds of payload capacity, in addition to its 3.0 litre, 250 horsepower diesel engine. Ford tested this with a F-150 along the Davis Dam in Arizona. It costs $4,000 more than a similarly equipped 2.7-liter V-6 Lariat, or $2,400 over a similar 3.5-liter V-6 version. It closes down the two radiator shutters to improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce parasitic engine loss.

Considering that Ford sold almost 900,000 F-150s in 2017, about 300,000 more than the Chevrolet Silverado, its nearest competitor, that would be no small feat.

For its part, Ford had been focusing on turbocharged alternatives, such as the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that matched the towing capacity of its classic, naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8. That represents a 9.3 percent increase compared with 2016 figures, according to industry research firm Autodata Corp. Not bad at all for a full-sized truck.

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