Ford adds diesel engine to F-150 for the first time

Adjust Comment Print

Photo of 3.0L Power Stroke turbo-diesel V-6 courtesy of Ford. Ford refrained from a specific on-sale date for the new diesel, other than "spring".

Ford already boasts some of the best fuel economy numbers in the half-ton pickup segment, a critical payoff from its decision to switch from steel to an "aluminum intensive" body.

The 3.0-liter Power Stroke is available with either in both 4×2 and 4×4 and buyers can choose this engine option for 2018 F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum edition SuperCrew trucks with either a 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configuration, and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5-foot bed configuration.

Despite its impressive capabilities, Ford is bullish with the engine's fuel economy ratings.

Ford has built millions of F-Series trucks over the years, but never one like this.

In more moderate driving and towing conditions, the F-150 engine control system backs off the fan load through a viscous coupler, closing down the two radiator shutters for improved aerodynamic efficiency and reduced parasitic engine loss. Best of all for those who use their trucks to do characteristically "trucky" things, it delivers up to 440 lb-ft of torque, according to Ford, for a best-in-class tow rating of 11,400 pounds, along with 2,020 pounds of payload capacity. Powering the diesel model is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that will be offering about 250hp and 440lb ft of torque. GM (Chevrolet and GMC) offers a diesel (the 6.6-liter Duramax V8) in its HD trucks, while the Toyota Tundra range is limited to gasoline engines, and does not include a heavy-duty model.

Ford tested the F-150 Power Stroke at Arizona's Davis Dam, where it maintained consistent power output while climbing 13 miles at a 6% grade in temperatures greater than 100 degrees. That shaved as much as 700 pounds off the weight of prior-generation F-150 models. The OEM called the 2018 F-150 with this latest engine "the most efficient F-150 towing machine ever". The engine also features standard auto start-stop tech.

Ford Motor Company has been coy with details regarding its new light-duty diesel bound for the F-150, until now.

Engine components such as the crankshafts and rod bearings were upgraded for additional strength and durability.

"The towing customer wants refinement too, especially in this segment", said David Ives, diesel technical specialist for Ford.

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.