By on May 5, 2014

ford f-150_r

For five decades, the powerplant of choice for Truck Mountain has been the venerable V8. With powerful V6 engines from Ford, General Motors and Ram being favored for more and more consumers of full-size pickups, however, the V8 could soon find itself occupying a smaller niche along the mountain.

The New York Times reports Ford is leading the way toward a V6 future, with 57 percent of all 2014 F-150s possessing an EcoBoost V6 under the bonnet, 47 percent of which have the 3.5-liter twin-turbo delivering the goods with 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque; the remainder opt for the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter, capable of 302 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. The shift toward the V6 — which began upon increased EcoBoost production last autumn — is in stark contrast to 2013, when over 50 percent of F-150s sold had V8 power.

Further, Ford expects the 2015 all-aluminium F-150 to have a V6 in over 70 percent of trucks sold. To prepare for this sea change, the Blue Oval is dropping the 6.2-liter V8 while adding a 2.7-liter EcoBoost in its stead, leaving only the 5-liter V8 for those who tow heavy loads frequently.

Meanwhile, General Motors and Ram are unleashing their own V6 offerings to customers clamouring for the right balance of fuel economy and power. In particular, Ram’s EcoDiesel 3-liter holds a class-leading 28 mpg on the highway, while the 1500 HFE’s 3.6-liter — once outfitted with stop-start and an eight-speed automatic — holds the top spot for fuel economy in its class with 25 mpg on the highway. As for sales, GM’s new 4.3-liter V6 accounts for 20 percent in 2014, while Ram’s lineup may approach 30 percent by year-end.

In regards to the future, the Detroit Three are forging a path toward the 30-mpg full-size truck through nine- and 10-speed automatic transmissions and four-cylinder engines — such as the 2.5-liter I4 found powering the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon mid-size twins — in addition to the V6 strategy.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

85 Comments on “Detroit Three Forging V6 Future Atop Truck Mountain...”


  • avatar

    Ford doesn’t understand the mentality of someone who’s buying a truck anymore. People buying a truck to do work demand the V8 or a diesel. People buying a full-size SUV demand a V8 or a diesel.

    There are some people by trucks just to be seeing driving around in a truck without ever actually doing work with it. They can probably get by without having a V8 or diesel.
    A recent survey of women claim that women from men who drive trucks sexier.

    https://autos.yahoo.com/news/study–women-most-attracted-to-guys-in-trucks-222507614.html;_ylt=A0LEVzsuaGdTRBQA3JVx.9w4;_ylu=X3oDMTBybnV2cXQwBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMgRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–

    The V-8 in the 2010 Lincoln navigator was a great engine and it allowed you to use regular unleaded. One of my uncles uses his to tow his family and a trailer with a car on the trailer to car shows.

    While Ford may claim that the new Lincoln Navigator’s EGOboost engine get better miles per gallon and offers more power than the old V-8:

    #1 you’ll have to use premium fuel
    #2 i’d want to see the EGOboost model put up against the V8 and have both tow a trailer with 4000 pounds while carrying a 4 man crew weighing about 200lbs a piece.

    Then show me which engine gets better fuel economy under load, which engine feels better to drive, and which engine lasts longer before maintenance is needed.

    I think the best solution is:

    #1. Adding Start/Stop technology to save fuel in traffic.
    #2. Cylinder deactivation technology.
    #3. Transmissions that offer higher fuel economy
    #4. A V8 that takes regular unleaded with no-knocks.
    #5. Mild-hybrid battery technology to run accessories without using gasoline.

    I’m very anxious to see TESLA build a truck. I want to see how well instant torque allows an EV-truck to haul loads silently when put up against a Super Duty truck. Toi bad it’ll cost a shtload of money, but it would be interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      For understands its customers well. Most of the F-150s already come with a V6. Old habits are hard to break, but naturally aspirated engines are on the way out IMO. We have seen a transition in large sedans from V8 to V6, and from V8 to i4 in midsize, even though a lot of people were not convinced 10 years ago that a 2.0L turbo engine can be better than a large V6. Something like this will happen with truck customers IMHO.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        bigruckeriesreview @ Youtube –

        I disagree.

        If you were correct Ford sales would of taken a huge nosedive with the introduction of the EB3.5. People still want big power and that is what they focus on. The engine configuration and number of cylinders does not matter if the power is there.

        Have you ever driven an EB3.5???

        I’ve always said that the 6.2 was Ford’s plan B if the EB3.5 didn’t catch on with truck buyers. It is going away (in 1/2 tons)and that is fine with me.

        Ford’s 3.7 V6 is only 10% of sales and that is expected. It is the bottom rung fleet queen special.

        I can see GM’s new 4.3 selling well because it offers the same power as a V8 did 20 years ago.

        I’ll repeat myself on this point:
        The problem with the VM Motori diesel in the Ram is not so much the engine but the piss poor capabilities of the 1500 pickup. Ram is pushing the 1500 as a light duty truck and they are being honest but diesel pickup buyers expect some capability with that mpg gain. The best that one can get with a Ram crewcab 4×4 VM diesel is 1,234 lb. The same truck with a 5.7 is 1,452. At face value that may sound respectable but options kill the capacity. The same truck with all of the Laramie LongHorn fluff is down to 859 lb.
        If one considers that this truck has 5 seats and us North Americans are a portly bunch, you and your golf buddies are going to overload the luxury pickup even before your golf bags go in the box.
        Emissions and MPG rules will push the need for smaller engines and lighter trucks. We will not see a shrinkage in size since CAFE favours larger footprints.

        If Tariffs are eliminated we may see “globals” enter the truck market but they will be niche players keeping small truck fans happy. The rest of us will buy big as long as we can get the financing.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lou_BC
          I have to agree with you on the Ram load capacity.

          But, I think what is occurring not just in the US, but globally is the pickup is becoming a SUV, like DiM mentions.

          If you rarely use a pickup for work and maybe tow a few thousand pounds then a Ram will fulfill your needs.

          I read many articles on pickup truck sites with people trying to justify a 200lb difference in tow capacity and yet I would say after reading some of the comments that most of these guys would have trouble towing 3 000lbs.

          I think a lot of marketing from the Big 2 and Fiat on the ‘best in class’ is over done.

          Generally is a vehicle excels in one area it takes away from another.

          Ram is catering to the SUV set. Most of the capability sold with a pickup is never utilized by most.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The 2.0 turbo on “does better” than the V6 because expectations have changed, and purchasing decisions are now based more on EPA mpgs than driving pleasure and long term reliability/low service cost. The market have changed iow, at least as much as engine technology.

        The truck market is somewhat different, as trucks are more likely t be bought for a specific functional requirement. And truck guys are much more likely to calculate their actual total cost of ownership than most passenger car buyers; hence are less likely to be swayed by unrealistic EPA optimizations. And while not all mpg gains from turboed mini engines are a mirage in the real world, a portion of them sure are. And small turbo engines are not nearly as long term / high mileage / rough life proven as larger NA motors.

        That being said, for light duty use (motorbike hauling, Home depot runs, furniture moving and bro-trucking), the finest vehicle I have so far driven, is the Ram 1500 with the V6/8speed combo. No turbos, no crazy torque or tow rating, no two ton engine up front…. not even bouncy leafs i the rear. Just 300+ intermittent HP and imperceptible shifts. And 23mpg/650 miles between fillups in cruise at 10 over when lightly loaded.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Somehow over half of the actual Ford truck buyers in the country have decided on their own free will that the EcoBoost is the right engine for their needs. Most pickup owners are relatively practical people, and if the EcoBoost gives them the combination of fuel economy and power they need good for them.

      EGOBoost may better describe NYC area critics who have a “my engine is bigger than your engine” complex.

      Most pickup trucks had 6 cylinder engines for decades and owners were perfectly happy with that configuration. History is just repeating itself.

      • 0 avatar

        The night is young…

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The 3.5EB Navigator will have a higher tow rating than the outgoing 5.4L. It’s a better engine. There isn’t much of an arguement to be made for the 5.4L. If I haven’t had an issue towing a 3000-4000 lbs boat with five people in a Flex, I doubt it will be an issue in a Navigator/Expedition.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @bball40dtw – I got to drive an EB3.5 F150 SuperCrew for 9 days while my 2010 5.4 Supercrew was in the body shop. THe only difference between the 2 trucks was the engine and 3.55(5.4) versus 3.73(EB).

            The EB3.5 felt a lot like the 5.4 only much stronger. Both engines don’t like to be revved sky high. The torque band on the EB3.5 is impressive.

            The MPG with the EB wasn’t any better than my 5.4 but I had it post monster snow storm and -25C (-13F) weather. I don’t know anyone who gets good mpg under those conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Sorry Big Truck, but check out the knuckleheads at TheFastLaneTruck.com. They used a Ford 150 Ecoboost, a Titan V-8 and the new Silverado with the 6.2 liter V-8 to haul a 10,000 lb. trailer plus three fairly large guys up the eight mile “Ike Gauntlet,” the mostly 7% grade going up to the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 in central Colorado. They attempted to maintain 60 mph or better and chose runs where they were not forced to slow down for traffic. The Ecoboost beat the socks off both the Chevy and the Nissan, by about a minute over the Chevy; and about a minute and a half over the Nissan. The Ecoboost did use more fuel than the Chevy but less than the Titan.

      Admittedly, the Chevy was held back by some poor transmission software mapping (the drivers just let the transmissions — in tow/haul mode — shift for themselves; they did not intervene to force a downshift or hold a gear). When the Chevy hit about 4300 rpm (which was the target road speed), it would shift up to a higher gear which could not hold that speed. The truck would slow down until engine speed fell to about 2800 rpm, then it would downshift and speed up to a little over 60 mph and repeat the cycle all over again. Driver intervention to force the transmission to stay in the lower gear would easily have allowed the Chevy to maintain the speed limit of 60 or above.

      But the real point is that the F-150 Ecoboost is a very capable towing truck. Since most states require a commercial license to tow more than 10,000 lbs., that’s going to meet most “civilian” towing needs. The exceptions are the folks hauling big horse trainers, big fifth wheel travel trailers and small construction equipment: they’re going to buy 3/4 tons, probably with diesels. Probably the Ecoboost uses a bit more fuel pulling a heavy load than a V-8; but unloaded, doing grocery-getting and the like, it probably uses less.

      And, BTW, the RAM 1500 would be overloaded pulling this load and carrying 600 lbs. of people or cargo in the truck, so it’s not a contender. (The Titan was overloaded, too.)

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        The power loss in normally-aspirated engines at high altitude is a rather large thumb on the scale in that comparison.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          Bingo, 3% power loss per 1000 feet of elevation gain. the Tunnel is somewhere past 11,000 feet. Do the math.
          Based on my turbo car’s example, turbos themselves have to spin much faster at altitude to blow the same amount of air into the motor making for more turbo lag, and the motor itself needs more RPMs to get the positive feedback loop of boost going, but I’ll take a turbo at altitude anytime.

        • 0 avatar
          DC Bruce

          True enough; but my point was — contra Big Truck — that the V-6 Ecoboost is a perfectly competent towing motor for anyone wanting to tow up to the level required by a CDL.

          Actually, my guess is that if the Silverado’s transmission control software wasn’t programmed to so aggressively upshift, even under a high load, that engine would have equaled the boosted Ford V-6. The transmission didn’t upshift because the driver lifted; he was using “full throttle” the entire time.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        The Ike Gauntlet is high-altitude testing. It will augment the performance advantage of any turbocharged vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @DC Bruce – my brother has driven 3 different GM HD crew cab trucks and all of them exhibited the same odd shifting that occurred with the new 6.2 by the TFL crew.
        He found it disconcerting and after a few trips to the GM dealer, they said nothing was wrong. He decided to live with it since the trucks were purchased by the company he works for. The problem was less severe with the newer gen trucks he had. He is currently on his 3rd HD crew 4×4 in 7 years.

        • 0 avatar
          DC Bruce

          Seems like a simple software fix should remedy this, at least when tow/haul mode is selected by the driver.

          Your brother must drive the heck out of these trucks!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DC Bruce – he works in Northern BC Canada in the logging industry. He was the Road, bridge and logging camp construction and maintenance manager. He racked up 60,000 -80,000 kilometers a year mostly on gravel roads. A truck is completely dead around 160,000 km under those conditions. They made him keep one to 225,000km and it was sold at a “as is where is” auction.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yup Ford doesn’t have a clue. They thought that only about 25% of the F150 customers would want the EcoBoost V6 and in reality almost twice as many people want it. They were right that only about 10% of the people would want a naturally aspirated V6.

      The EcoBoost does not require premium fuel the owner’s manual recommends 87 octane, though you can get a couple more ponies from premium. So for running to the store for a 12 pack of Bud Light regular will do just fine. Then when it is time to hook up that huge trailer and take it to the mountains you can put in premium for a little more kick.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      “One of my uncles uses his to tow his family”.

      That must be a sight to see!

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “Ford doesn’t understand the mentality of someone who’s buying a truck anymore.”

      The consumer doesn’t matter. Cars and trucks are designed to please government bureaucrats.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @MB – that is partially true. Turbo DI engines test better than V8′s.

        Ford or any other company builds a product to make money.

        Pleasing the customer is just a fortunate by-product.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    That last sentence is a doozy.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      “Ford doesn’t understand the mentality of someone who’s buying a truck”

      Maybe, except that for the last 30 years, F-150 has been the best selling truck.

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        Most trucks I see aren’t carry any trailer. Truck buyers seem to understand this. As long as it can tow what they need (I suspect most don’t even have trailers), who cares what the mileage is for those few times.

        Elevation is pretty key as well. I can’t see trucks being designed specifically to operate on the coasts (ok, they probably sell well on the Gulf coast, but still…).

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I always reckoned the pickup bed was for those of us who couldn’t be bothered to drive around with a trailer in tow……

          More seriously, and like you mention, most pickups aren’t used as tow trucks. Instead they are bought to haul stuff in bed. And engine performance is rarely what is limiting payload on pickups. But the tow capacity obsession amongst many in the truck world, still prevents those of us who wants a HD for hauling a camper or a portable gym setup, from getting a HD chassis with a high mpg NA 6.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        Big Truck YouTube guy knows what’s best: The future is big cast iron block push-rod V8s for everyone!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s link of an exploded view of the 2.7 EcoBoost from Popular Mechanics.

    The block design is interesting. I like to see how long before the gudgeon pin bores in the piston walls wear. I wouldn’t recommend buying the first 2.7′s until they prove themselves.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/gas-mileage/engine-of-the-month-ford-2-7-liter-twin-turbo-ecoboost-v-6-16723072

    • 0 avatar
      NeilM

      For the benefit of North American readers, ‘gudgeon pin’ = ‘wrist pin’. And yeah, you have to wonder a bit about that.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Thanks for the heads-up.

      Have you considered offering your brain as consultant to Ford? The several hundred engineers they have employed probably never thought of the possible problem you’ve brought up. Maybe because the wrist- pin is fully floating, say. Or, they never got around to durability testing because they’re all larking around on Facebook instead. Could be a hundred reasons, but it took you to see the flaw.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @wmba
        I’m busy enough dealing with Boeing and GE at the moment.

        Can you get me a job at Ford??? Thanks for the offer.

        Or does the CAW want my skills??

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Every motorcycle engine uses full-floating wristpins that are prevented from contacting the cylinder walls by circlips, and no bushings. No issue.

  • avatar

    The more CAFE looms in the minds of the Big Three truckmakers, the more emphasis on the V6s you’ll see.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Bigtruckreviews
    Can you please translate the meaning of this?? It appear a little ambiguous.

    “A recent survey of women claim that women from men who drive trucks sexier.”

    How do you drive a vehicle in a sexier fashion??

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I wonder how long before 1/2 ton pickups become a no show.

    I do believe that the US government should use the UNECE model for FE and emission regulation.

    Then use fuel tax as well to reduce the use of fuel and to collect money to fix the aging road transport infrastructure.

    Then you guys can continue having your trucks. It’s a pity about CAFE.

    It isn’t just the V6 engines. Aluminium trucks and turbo technology all will make the US 1/2 pickup a SUV.

    As DenverMike once famously stated;

    “THE 1/2 TON PICKUP IS NOTHING BUT A SUV WITH A BALCONY” quote-unquote.

    For once I actually agree with him.

    Transit’s, Fiat Ram Ducato’s, Sprinter’s, etc will slowly become the choice light work truck and 1/2 pickups will be gradually relegated into family trucksters. Oh, that’s already occurring.

    The next few years will see which manufacturer has the best laid plan for the future of all pickups in the US.

    I see Ford relying completely on the aluminium F-150. But if the Colorado is a success (which is highly probable) Ford can import the Ranger from Sth Africa where it is sourcing it’s 3.2 Duratorques from.

    GM with aluminum half ton trucks and a diesel midsize offering.

    Fiat Ram with a diesel and a ULSAB lightweight steel constructed truck from Metalsa.

    http://www.worldautosteel.org/projects/ulsab-avc-2/ulsab-avc/

    http://www.metalsa.com/

    Nissan and Toyota with the wannabe Class 3, 5 litre Cummins 1/2 ton pickups. These are very interesting, I bet they are made of steel to keep costs down to be competitive with the aluminium Ford and Chev.

    Nissan and Toyota with the next Frontier and Hilux/Taco will be interesting. So far Nissan has indicated it is interested in having the Frontier with the little ISF 2.8 Cummins.

    Something has to give.

    I bet in the future Nissan and Toyota will pickup quite a significant amount of the US pickup market.

    A little diesel Frontier and a Titan that can replace much of what an HD can do sounds like a large enough spread between vehicle types and capabilities.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      It’s called a Redneck Sundeck.

      Many folks who buy a truck for grunt work on their own dime are buying used anyways… 20 year old trucks still hold their value quite well west of the Rockies.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @TEXN3 – in my part of the world…. no.

        I am amazed by the number of 80K diesel crewcab trucks used in the logging industry by workers let alone the bosses.
        A 36 month tax amortization sells a lot of fully loaded trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Anything’s possible, but before Euro style vans take over the domain of work pickups, the Moped will dominate the motorcycle scene. Just silly…

      One reason is, trucks are becoming the Swiss Army Knives of cars. Until recent history, you had your work pickup and separate family/luxury/muscle/offroad/play vehicles, etc, for when work was done. The work truck simply gathered dust when not at work. This is exactly what happens to work vans in Europe and other places, after work hours. One-trick-ponies is all.

      But like that farmer that inspired the 1st “ute” (pickup) in Australia, that needed a truck for hauling pigs, but still drive his wife to church in reasonable style/comfort, Americans are downsizing their personal fleets, and need a vehicle that can do it all.

      You’re seeing a boom in luxury/muscle/Raptor full-size crew cab trucks, because “downsizing” consumers have lots more money free’d up (at the end of the month), by having one vehicle that replaces and satisfies the need for 2 or more vehicle.

      The aluminum Ford/Chevy trucks will help make the mid-size truck redundant and obsolete. What’s the point of the mid-size unless you specifically need a narrow truck??? Skinny mid-size truck are getting so long and stretched out, that they’re starting to look like fish. Funny looking is right!

      For those consumers that insist on a narrow, but long truck, it’d be easier to shave 6″ off the sides of a 1/2 ton, call it the Slim Ram 1500, Skinny Silverado 1500 or Fishy Tundra 1500. And use the exact same 1/2 ton chassis.

      That’s what the Frontier already is! It’s just a Titan with a narrow body and narrow track.

      You’d get all the advantages of a 1/2 ton, like real crew cabs, luxury, tremendously more trim levels and engine choices, V8, full-size payload/towing, but with a lot less girth, if that’s what you’re not into…

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        It is a lot harder to make a vehicle narrower than is to change the length. The cab, dash, console, axles, etc. are not easily narrowed; changing those assemblies would require major retooling and many completely different parts. Taking the existing cab and adding or subtracting bed or even hood length is a LOT easier.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          You’re right. It’d be no picnic ‘narrowing’ a truck. But it still beats designing, R&D and building a separate smaller truck from ‘scratch”, and OEMs having 2 trucks that share very little parts. Especially when drivetrains can be shared, along with the chassis and assembly line.

          You do know the Titan and Frontier share the same chassis, right? I talking about taking it a step further and maximizing parts sharing, etc. And while giving the mid-size truck consumer most of the capabilities and tech of 1/2 tons.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Hmmm………..

            The Titan and Frontier share the same chassis.

            So, what is there outside your front door??

            You haven’t a clue, do you. Do you think the US is the only place with full chassis’s available?

            What about the Nissan Patrol??

            Ever heard of American Axle? or Dana?

            How hard is it to make an axle. It must be high tech for you.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Having contemplated a truck for a while, and testdriven the pentastar powered Ram in particular, modern V6s really do beat V8s: The only difference is towing >2 tons, in return for a lot better mileage.

    Remmeber, that engine is pumping out >300 hp and 269 ft*lb of torque, and getting 19-20 MPG combined! (24-25 MPG highway) depending on configuration.

    The 2001 Ram 5.2L V8 was 220hp/295 ft*lb, and the 2004 Hemi was 345hp/375 ft*lb.

    The modern V6s really are an excellent choice, and I would expect them to have a greater acceptance rate in the truck market.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    America will have to change and come in line with the rest of the world. Whatever happened to Toyota’s nano trucks from the late 80′s early 90′s? I am not saying to mini-size everything but like Big Al said “something has to give” and you can only lighten/turbo a full size only so much. We don’t need full size road-stomping trucks to commute with. And Big Trucks, an electric truck? As long as the range is less than 10 miles, sure, go for it. One hill would halve the battery life with a full load. I don’t see electric trucks ever happening.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Big Al is wrong. The same CAFE regulations that put a higher priority on fuel economy also scale the requirement based on the footprint of the truck. Wider track makes the regulation easier to meet. Also, never underestimate the value of >48 inches between the wheel wells in the bed of the truck. A medium sized pickup truck that can’t haul sheetrock flat is much less useful than a full size pickup that can.

      While the pickup truck V6 engine options have been getting better, American consumers have a strong affinity for the 4/4 beat of the 90deg V8 engine. Expect the V8 to be available as an option. American movies and TV shows still use the sound of the V8 as the standard engine sound even though most new cars come with 4 cylinder engines.

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/V8EngineNoises

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I owned a 1980 Dodge full-size pickup, stripped, with a 225 slant 6 and 4 speed, with the 4th gear being an overdrive. For what I used the truck for, it was economical and hauled everything I needed to. Of course, not having the options and bulk of today’s trucks, that’s probably an unrealistic comparison.

    Nevertheless, 6 cylinders is plenty for the average Joe or Jane, but if you are pulling a boat or trailer, 8 cylinders certainly makes a huge difference and is appropriate in those cases. After all, gas isn’t free, and fuel costs have to be considered.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Specs on the Ford engines:

      3.7 turbo 6: HP; 365 @ 5000 Torque: 420 @ 2500
      6.2 normally aspirated V8: HP 411 @ 5500 Torque: 434 @ 4500

      Either of those engines ought to be plenty to tow any boat any of us would care to launch from a trailer, and I’d rather have the torque peak down at the speeds where the turbo 6 provides it.

      If you’re towing something bigger, like a stock trailer or a large fifth wheel trailer, I’m thinking you want the next size truck with a turbo diesel. For some reason Ford and GM build these as V8s, which strikes me odd considering that every medium and heavy truck builder uses an inline 6.

      The only thing I can see the V8 being good for is trucks that will be running on compressed natural gas.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    BTW, let’s not refer to the new Ford F150 as ‘all aluminum,’ as the article does. Only its cab and bed are aluminum. The frame is fully boxed high strength steel.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The Ram diesel gets like 24 MPG in mixed driving. I just can’t believe it.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    V8s haven’t been “the powerplant of choice” for 5 decades. For the first half of that time the straight 6 was considered the workhorse pickup engine. That’s before pickups became “lifestyle accessories,” but the new V6 era still seems like going back to the future.

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    V6 works fine in cars which use full power only occasionally (acceleration etc)

    For heavy use, replacing a moderately stressed v8 with a highly stressed 6 is not good for durability or efficiency.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> For heavy use, replacing a moderately stressed v8 with a highly stressed 6 is not good for durability or efficiency.

      I think the good people at Kenworth/PACCAR disagree with you:

      http://www.paccarengines.com/PDF/2013-MX-Spec-Sheet-082913.pdf

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I dunno. I’m perfectly happy with the V6 in my truck (see avatar), and the I6 in my other one.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Where possible, I’ll always choose a naturally aspirated V8 over a force inducted V6. They have statistically fewer problems, and can net about the same fuel economy all things considered.

    80% of the time I drive my truck, I’m towing or hauling something, so an NA V6 is a bit too weaksauce. Fuel economy also takes a drastic dive when towing something heavy like a car trailer with an NA V6, so the benefit really isn’t there at that point.

    If I were to use my truck as a commuter or just runs to Home Depot as many people do, a modern NA V6 model would probably be fine.

  • avatar
    punkybrewstershubby aka Troy D.

    The only issues I have with the “new” Ecoboost line is one that no one has mentioned, maintenance.

    So many pickups (along with everything else) come in to my shop do so needing everything from ball joints, brake service to simple oil changes. How are these turbo-charged engines going to do when the oil hasn’t been changed for 15,000 miles or when the idiot owner just continually tops the oil off never changing the oil or filter.

    That’s right, they won’t do very well. The thing about the “old school” V8 engines that for the most part they were very forgiving on maintenance. Oil, that’s for sissies!

    Time will tell on this.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I thought about specifically mentioning it, because statistically it’s true, the maintenance costs are higher. Some people get bent out of shape on this issue, though.

      It’s not necessarily because they are less tolerant of neglect than V8s, but simply because there is more to break and the additional components are fairly expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @danio3834 – as much as I liked the EB 3.5 I drove for 9 days, I’m more inclined to stick with a normally aspirated V8. I tend to keep stuff a really long time and I’d rather not have to worry about off warranty problems.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Being dumb has always been expensive. With higher tech vehicles it will be more so. I’m smart enough to take care of my machinery and want the benefits that come with responsible ownership.

      If the automakers have to make all their vehicles completely idiot proof we will all have to drive a Prius while wearing a helmet.

  • avatar
    hurricanehole

    Same here, 6 cyl chevy used for work. I’ve also towed a 23′ heavy sailboat loaded for cruising up and down the east coast with no problems. Admittedly there’s no mountains. The 8 cylinder requirement some on this forum talk about don’t make sense to for most tradesman or the average boat hauler.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      Apples to oranges, but in the same vein as what you are talking about. My father tows a 19′ Flying Scot (shave over 1,000lbs with trailer) with a Honda CR-V. And not a new CR-V, but one of the originals with the little 2.0L bored out Integra engine.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Choice is always a plus. So I can’t fault this there.

    With that said, Everytime a topic like this comes up (v6 vs turbo 4 vs V8 vs diesel) I continually ask myself if we are trading thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in higher purchase prices + maintenance all to save a bit of fuel. That also ignores the energy required to make things like aluminum or turbochargers or battery packs etc.

    I enjoy diesel. Some of the new turbo 4s are great driving engines. But enough fuel savings over a simple V6 or V8 to justify all the other cost?

    Me? Now? I’d still choose the V8,simply for durability reasons.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Hopefully we will see the return of the straight six in a half-ton, to me the simplicity and low end torque make it the ideal truck motor.

    If any additional proof is needed check out this video of an XJ Cherokee winning a tug of war with a much newer V8 equipped Ram, skip to 8:20 for the good stuff:

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/311112?c=483:695

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      I had the same topic in mind, but with a slightly different take (I’ve owned two Wranglers, one XJ, and one ZJ, all with the 4.0, so I know this motor well.)

      Why, with decades of inline-6 history in all the big 3 branded trucks, was it completely abandoned? The AMC-designed Jeep six had 7 main bearings and produced tons of torque. Of course it’s economy was terrible, but that wasn’t it’s original design goal. In my Grand Cherokee, the 4.7 V8 was actually lighter and in the real world got better economy. For the engineers amongst us, could an I6 be made to be both frugal and torquey? If the problem isn’t efficiency, is it just a packaging issue with engine length? Why did Chevy’s recent I5 and I6 fail so badly?

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        The Atlas engines were actually pretty damn good but suffered from being attached to rather crummy vehicles. It would be interesting to see what GM could have done with direct injection and better transmissions.

        My thought is that most inline sixes are too long for use in cars so manufacturers have shied away from developing them, although for something as high-volume as a full size truck it shouldn’t really matter.

        I’m not a mechanical engineer but I can’t think of any fundamental design limitation that would make an inline 6 inherently less efficient than anything else. In fact even if it did require a beefier block and crank for rigidity’s sake I would think that the consolidation of the heads and valve train would make up for for any weight difference.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        As already mentioned, the GM Atlas engines aren’t around anymore because the vehicles they were installed in ceased to be popular. The engines themselves were pretty good, but a V6 can be more easily packaged into a wider range of applications with the same power output. Now that we’ve figured out how to make a well balanced V6, the I6 doesn’t really have much of a purpose anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        I’m amazed that they never put the AMC six into the Ram 1500 as the base/fleet special engine. Since the cab structure was shared with the 2500/3500, it was designed to accommodate an inline six (Cummins), so it would have been an easy fit.

        I was also surprised that GM blew all that money on the Atlas I-6 and didn’t use it in the Silverado/Sierra.

  • avatar
    Ion

    I’d like to know where all the Luddites are buying new trucks with “good old fashioned V8′s”. Direct injection, variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation, Eco-mode any of that stuff ringing any bells?

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    GM, and soon to be Ford, are screwing up. Dodge is raking in truck buyers because Dodge delivers a powerful V8 for a reasonable price. Ford otoh is getting rid of the 6.2 and GM wants $60,000 for their 6.2 motor.

    Despite sales numbers, I see the egobust motor as problematic, the GM 5.3 as a dog, and the Ford 5.0 as too little of a motor.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @canddmeyer – you raise an interesting point but up until recently the rest of the engine lineup in the Ram 1500 sucked. Many have fallen for the “Hemi” advertising. The irony of it all is the current Hemi is based on a Porsche design.
      http://www.automobilemag.com/features/news/0407_hemi_engine/

      Ram has just caught up to their 2005 sales numbers.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    wow, this is amazing. I never knew so many people planned their lives and spent so much money occasionally towing a boat and needing double the power to do so. who says there’s no upper middle class buying expensive trucks and tons of gas, the Colorado WT has as much power as the old 4.3. it should sell like crazy…but probably won’t because of all the porkers and their appetites.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Manufacturers need to forget exhaust turbos, especially for trucks!

    Put a twin screw positive displacement supercharger on the v6s and never look back. Belt driven pos. displacement >>> exhaust driven centrifugal all day every day. If you want an economy mode, put a clutch mechanism on the drive pulley. Look at Kenny bell superchargers if you want to know more.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States