By on January 28, 2016

That’s clearly a diesel gurgle coming out of that F-150’s lightly camo’d buttock.

If our ears are to be believed, that would be the pending fulfillment of a prophecy made here two years ago: Ford is preparing a light-duty diesel to sell by 2018.

I have so many questions to ask: What about EcoBoost? Where does that oil burner come from?

The latter question may be our first answer. Ford developed a 3-liter diesel V-6 with Land Rover that is now used in a bevy of JLR and Citroen products — dubbed Lion — so the parts are in the corporate pantry, so to speak. (There’s even a 3.8-liter V-8 block used in Range Rovers.)

It’s likely that the diesel would be mated to Ford’s new 10-speed transmission for extra long legs.

Is this a play at the top-end truck market for the truck buyer who needs to have every option ticked? Or is Ford’s coming diesel the work truck that seems to be forgotten in today’s Hauling Class™ luxury truck market?

I thought EcoBoost was supposed to be the mileage king. Judging by the video, we’ll have our answer soon enough.

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97 Comments on “SPIED: 2017 Ford F-150 Diesel; Have Your Hybrid and Burn Oil, Too...”


  • avatar

    Seems to me that TESLA should put out a Truck “Model T?” that has all that instantaneous torque – designed to two entire SPACE SHUTTLES worth of mass.

    That would be a game changer…

    0 – 60 in 3 seconds.

    Model T P90D LUDICROUS

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Question for the combustion experts: Is this sound actually from an engine that runs on diesel fuel, or is it possible that this is a gas engine that is ‘dieseling’, i.e., causing combustion without needing sparkplugs. The reason I ask is that I have read that gas engines can be more efficient in some modes by dieseling on purpose.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    I guess Ford now have plenty of these engines to spare now that JLR has started making it’s own diesel power units.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      They should be able to make these engines in Lima or Cleveland if needed.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        If that Lion derivative ends up in a U22X, they’re brushing off the design I worked next to in the Pilot plant in 2007. It’s like I’m stuck in a circle.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        bball40dtw,
        Or Mexico, as they already make Lion diesels in Mexico.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Yes, they make the 4.4L V8 down there. If they are going to build the engine in the NAFTA zone, I would assume Cleveland or Lima because they both make (or will be making) V6 engines with CGI blocks. Also, Cleveland was going to make the Expedition/Navigator engine last time.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            bball40dtw,
            I say Mexico because of the financial advantage over the US.

            The Mexican plant and equipment will manufacture V6’s as well as V8’s.

            The 3.2 Duratorq’s or Baby PowerStrokes in your Transits are from Sth Africa.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      The JLR Ingenium is only a 4 cylinder diesel, this old Lion V6 engine is used in the big Range Rovers as the TD6, and Jags. Seems to have a lot more bark than bite. Every review I’ve read talks of slow and tentative acceleration while not being close to the VW 3.0 TDi in any way.

      Here’s a Canadian test:

      http://www.autos.ca/first-drives/first-drive-2016-land-range-over-td6-lineup/

      “There’s 440 lb-ft of torque lurking inside the 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine outfitted to the Range Rover TD6 and its Sport equivalent (along with 254 horsepower), but summoning them with your right foot elicits more of a shrug than a slam-dunk in terms of forward momentum. The effect is most noticeable when pulling away from a stop, for despite maximum torque being available at as low as 1,750 rpm, the TD6 presents a surprising reluctance to hustle …”

      Autocar says much the same. JLR calls this 3.0 TD6 a “new” engine but it’s just because it was enlarged from 2.7l. Same old Ford underneath.

  • avatar
    Mike N.

    Seems like with EcoBoost engines, you have have “Eco” or “Boost”. Just not at the same time.

    Let’s hope they price it sanely, I think that they’d sell a ton if the diesel engine price premium was not much higher than for the top end V8s. Apparently Ram sells every EcoDiesel they can make even if the price premium for the engine makes it uneconomical.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Mike N.
      How can the Ram EcoDiesel be uneconomical if they are selling whatever they can manufacture?

      • 0 avatar
        Mike N.

        Sorry, wasn’t clear. Uneconomical for the buyer in terms of the fact that you’ll never make your money back on the improved fuel economy over the V6 or the V8. On most trims, it’s a $4,270 premium over the Pentastar V6, and a $3,120 premium over the 5.7L V8.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Mike N,
          You could state buying a V8 over a Pentastar.

          Or, better still you could state the same when most could buy a CUV instead of a pickup.

          In our countries most vehicles are wants. We only need some form of transport.

          The premium we spend on a vehicle is mostly “waste”. Because we can.

          • 0 avatar
            Mike N.

            Sure, I agree that it’s all about wants rather than needs, but a 5.7L V8 is only a $1,150 premium over the Pentastar, which is a much better deal even if you figure in the poor(er) fuel economy.

            I drive a diesel X5; at the time I bought it, incentives made the price basically identical to the gas 3.0T, and even now it’s only like a $1,500 MSRP upcharge. At that price differential, it’s much more palatable to go with the diesel, than the > $3k premium FCA wants (it’s about the same with the diesel Grand Cherokee).

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    I’ll bet the camo is to hide the enlarged fuel filler door, as they needed to add a DEF tank.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you. I was wondering “why the hell did they put that camo on there, it only draws more attention to it…”

      Still… I think a bigger fuel filler would more difficult to spot that a whole bed covered in black/white camo that screams “LOOK AT ME!!!”

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        I suspect 90% of the time camo works more as a cheap marketing ploy than actually hiding new models. Sure it obscures certain details, but as you point out, it gets the car blogs buzzing without cutting any checks. They know what they’re doing.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    I know it’s cell phone audio but that sounds a little louder that my RAM 1500 EcoDiesel. Could be bigger/different displacement than the 3.0T V6 in the RAM or just the single exhaust (Ford) vs the dual exhaust (RAM).

    Still, I’d welcome additional choices. Hard to go back to gas after you average 22 mpg in mixed driving in your diesel half-ton (even with low gas prices). Even with additional maintenance, DEF and fuel costs of a diesel, you still save enough to buy a new UHD TV each year with the diesel…

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I would just assume what we’re hearing isn’t the final product intended for sale. In terms of noise, the EcoDiesel is currently the benchmark for half-ton diesels, and Ford wouldn’t want to put out a product that doesn’t at least meet Ram’s.

      • 0 avatar
        klossfam

        Agreed – and really, anything bigger than an I6 or V6 diesel isn’t needed with the V8 gas options available…I’m sure they’ll at least try to one-up RAM slightly. The VM Motori in the EcoDiesel is very refined. I can’t say much about it for long term as I’ve had the truck for 10K miles since moving from a RAM 1500 with the HEMI. The diesel is just a lot more relaxed around town and while towing…and gets the EPA ratings or better…BUT the HEMI sounded AWESOME and was fun as hell…

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          diesels have become *too quiet* IMO. At least in a truck, a bit of clatter from up front should be accepted. it doesn’t have to be a ruckus like a 6.0 Powerstroke can kick up, though.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I agree, this is likely out on the road for power train calibration testing. Meanwhile a separate group of engineers are refining the exhaust note, or will be if it is approved for production.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    If anything it will be the same engine in the Transit Van since it is already USA compliant.

    All we have to do now is brace ourselves for the BigAl “I told you so, Ford was wrong” diatribe.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It’s not going to be the 3.2L I5 Powerstroke that is in the Transit.

      • 0 avatar
        greaseyknight

        Any reason for that? It looks like Ford offers it in the Ranger down under. The only thing I can think of that it would be to long for the F-150?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The I5 is too agricultural for the F150. Plus, which engine would be better in the Navigator/Expedition?

          Plus emissions.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Bball,
            No, the engine is not that agricultural. We have both the I5 in the Ranger and a 2.7 litre version of the Lion, in the Territory.
            Lion produces better performance. Most spectacular version of the Lion was in the Dakar Rally, the 3.2 Peogot Vehicles put out 350hp and 560lbs ft of torque

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I think the I5 is a fine engine, but it is not as smooth as the VM in the RAM or the Lion 3.0L.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            bball40dtw,
            Having driven vehicles with both the engines (actually owning a 3.2 Duratorq) I must agree the Lion is quite a smooth engine.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I guess I wasn’t fair to the 3.2L because I wasn’t comparing apples and oranges. I’ve driven a Transit with the 3.2L and a Range Rover with the 3.0L. I assume if you swapped engines in the vehicle, I’d think that the I5 was smoother.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            God I would love the 3.2 duratorq to end up in a US ranger. I would dump my F150 in a heartbeat. Roughly the same towing (close enough), plus 28 mpg highway. A truck wet dream. I’d even pay more than what I paid for my F150 to get it. Make it a Bronco and I found the next car I’m driving the wheels off.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            You will make a lot of people from this part of the world happy, if your dream comes true and a lot of ” I told you so”
            The more US Pickups morph into the Global versions, the better

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I was gonna say…Duratorq I5 Bronco! Make it XLT with rubber floors…good lord I want one now!

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            RoberRyan,
            I associate your ‘I told you so’ more in line with the Subaru Brat sized vehicles. There is a huge difference between a midsized global Ranger and a mini truck or truck-let.

            The midsized Ranger is probably bigger than a 1994 F150.

            Plus, I am a niche market: I like diesel, am willing to pay a premium for it and I love low volume, misfit, unloved and unsold vehicles. The Ranger will be a feasible ‘volume’ seller if they can manage to hit the same socioeconomic group they sold the previous Ranger to. I have my doubts about the success of the vehicle. The Ranger didn’t sell that well. Ford may cannibalize other product volume. I hope I’m wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            It would be midsize vehicles. Brat like vehicles never had diesels here.. Anywaythe Ford and previously Nissan are now allowing diesels in 1/2 tons and the ” midsize” Ranger is as big or bigger than early 1/2 tons

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Yes, the Peugot ” Lion” (Companies badge looks like a Lion), 3.litre V6 can be upgraded into Euro 6, the current US Transit, .3.2 engine cannot be.
          In Australia we run Euro 5, so the engine can be used in the Ranger.
          We get the Euro 6 2.2 litre engine in the Transit, rather than the 3.2

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        bball40dtw – thanks

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      As good as the “baby Powerstroke” is, Ford must think it’s too unrefined to compete with the EcoDiesel.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Drzhivago,
        The problem with the 3.2 Duratorq is it’s lack of horsepower and torque in comparison to the Lion series of diesels.

        The Lion is quite a good engine and will suit the F-150 down to a “tee”.

        The 3.2 here is only round 200hp and 350ftlb of torque. It’s a great commercial engine and engine for off roading, towing, etc. But it isn’t no rocket ship diesel. I do think the 3.2 delivers better and more usable torque off idle than the Lion.

        I also suspect the 3.2 will still be slogging along after the Lion has been used up.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          This sounds comparable to a old 300 Six vs. a 302 or 351 V8.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Drzhivago138,
            It comes down to refinement and performance.

            A Lion should give a F-150 a 0-60mph with the 10spd in the 8 second of a little over mark.

            A 3.2 with a 10spd will struggle to give 9 seconds. I have seen some wild flucuations in acceleration times with the Ranger/BT50 with the 3.2 from 9s and 10s to 13s!

            To me and the way I drive whether a vehicle is a six second 0-60 or 10 second 0-60 wouldn’t faze me at all.

            All I want is to sit on 70-80mph up hill and through dale with out losing speed and I have a manual. So it must do this in top. The 3.2 does deliver in this respect and gives relatively good FE, not outstanding.

            Off road the engine is a gem and the same with towing.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            well… the 300 six had less torque and WAY less horsepower than the 302 V8 of the same time.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @JimZ: Exactly. But the 300 was also more widely used in commercial roles and was able to withstand many thousands of heavy abuse.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Lou_BC,
      I was almost correct!

      I told you this “stuff” over 4 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      maybe not, AFAIK all diesel Transits are rated at over 8500 lbs GVWR, so they’re exempt from fuel economy labeling and can be certified to a different EPA emissions tier.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Despite the great financial news Ford posted today as well as this diesel coming to light, the stock tanks again today. Disappointing.

    But as for the diesel, Ford will sell them as fast as they can get them to a dealers lot, provided the markup isn’t outrageous. All I can say to Ford is: It’s about damn time!

  • avatar
    Ion

    Ecoboosts are to replace the v8s as hi-po options. It’s all for cafe and its not just Fords doing. The E400 replaces the E550. Ford just started doing it earlier.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I don’t understand your “The E400 replaces the E550” comment. Vehicles with a GVW of more than 8500lbs are exempt from CAFE. That is the reason that Ford upped the GVW on the E150 to 8520lbs almost a decade ago. Overnight the E150’s MPG numbers were no longer a part of the CAFE calculations.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    This powertrain is going overseas. Enjoy your gasoline snail fail, America.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      [Citation needed].

      And where, exactly, would the F-150 be sold overseas?

      • 0 avatar
        GermanReliabilityMyth

        Aha, I already considered that when I implied that this F-150 is powertrain test mule and not intended for export as shown. I’m just not convinced Ford is convinced they need/want to expand their configuration further.

        Beyond that conjecture, I have no citation whatsoever. :)

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Ford is using the Powerstroke 3.2 I5 in the Transit and Winnebago adds an RV w/ same.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This is a real positive move by Ford, a F-150 that might be actually worth owning. Except I would like to see a 6spd manual version as well.

    Ford needs the diesel to offset it’s EcoThirst engines. I do know the advocates of those socialised forms of motive traction, ie, hybrid and EV will not like this. But with all of the additional hurdles diesel engines face in the US diesel is the best and cheapest option to meet current and mid term CAFE/EPA requirements.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      There are a number of people that would like to see a six speed manual. Unfortunately, Ford wouldn’t sell enough for it to be worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        That’s not the reason. Consider that there are about 2 million full sized pickups sold a year. Nobody is offering a manual, although the take rate for them would probably be at least 3%. Whoever takes the time to pair their best V8 with a manual would be looking at 60,000 sales, many of them conquests. How many Raptors will Ford sell? How many Ram Rebels? Certifying another engine/transmission combo wouldn’t cost as much as launching a variant that needs to be advertised. They aren’t doing it because of CAFE, or because of warranty claims, or because they don’t want people to special order trucks. There’s some reason, but it isn’t because they wouldn’t recoup their investment in six months.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          I thought you could still get a Ram HD with manual. Of course, those are too big for CAFE.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Since 1997, there’s also not been a manual transmission that can take the power of the top engine option (then the 5.4, now the 5.0) while also fitting into an F-150.

          Also since 1997, the automatic has been as good or better when it comes to towing.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Automatics are usually rated to tow more. I towed with a stick for 11 years, give me an automatic all day long in a truck. For towing it’s a much better tool for the job.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Drzhivago138,
            Ford does have the Getrag MT82, 6spd manual that is used in the Mustangs.

            I have one behind my diesel and I believe Land Rover uses them as well.

            The problem with a manual gearbox with these relatively new diesels is the ability of these boxes to handle the torque in top gear.

            An auto would tend to shift down, whereas the manual you just leave in top and the diesel will pull you up some ridiculously steep roads.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          extraordinarily optimistic numbers there, sir.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          They don’t offer manuals in full size trucks because dealers don’t want to have to stock yet another configuration, and especially one they can’t reliably move in X number of weeks.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It’s not worth it because the dealers want nothing to do with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The EcoBoost engines are exactly why Ford is doing well in Truck CAFE.

      This is a test mule that means nothing. Ford has said they will bring a hybrid F150 to market and when it will reach market. They have said nothing about a diesel F150 nor a timeline for it.

      A six speed will never make it to market it just doesn’t make sense unless they can convince people to pay at least the same if not more for it than they do for the auto box. Otherwise the they can’t recoup the tooling and certification costs, which are high and then they have to fit it into the production line system and the stocking issues for something that would account for less than 2% or their sales. At this point not only would they have the costs associated with the transmission itself you have to think about the cab and interior modifications required. The current cab and all the under dash items were not designed with a clutch pedal in mind. The floor pan stamping is also not designed with a MT shifter in mind.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Scoutdude,
        The EcoBoost is the “legit” engine Ford has that VW couldn’t emulate with their diesels.

        The EcoBoost is a fuel sponge in real life.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          Big Al, I agree on the Ecoboost assessment. Great little engines for sports cars and light bodied hot rod grocery getter pick ups. I’ve rode shotgun in a few long haul fishing and hunting trips pulling loads that equate to 60-70% of the trucks published ratings and quickly came to the conclusion that these are over rated engines per Fords numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        “This is a test mule that means nothing”.

        Your right, they’re going to bring a “mule” to the US where diesel emissions are tighter than anywhere else in the world, iron out the technology on the back end and ship it overseas someplace where they could have gotten away with much less.

        Your theory makes even less sense if this is indeed an already existing platform that is already in production elsewhere in the world. Whether or not a diesel makes it into production in the US remains to be seen. But to think they are testing in America for any other country than America is short sighted at best.

  • avatar
    mason

    I’m curious where the “Diesel is dead in NA” crowd is right now. It wasn’t too long ago there was a pretty strong cult on TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I was shaking change out of thrift shop pants to pay for the ungodly costs of my Lincoln diesel. Diesel is only dead if you put it in the crusher.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        “Diesel is only dead if you put it in the crusher.”

        Even then its not dead. The crusher is without a doubt powered by diesel. No wimpy gas power gonna make it happen.

        I have come to the realization that the only people that “hate” on diesel are the ones that have never used them to their true potential. (And there’s ALOT of keyboard warriors on this forum that fall into that category).

        Haters gonna hate but diesel WILL be around til the last ICE.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Just because Ford has a test mule on the street doesn’t mean that it is going to make it to production or even if the engine in that truck is being tested for that application.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        What does it mean, then? If they wanted to test the engine in any old vehicle, it wouldn’t have camo.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        “Just because Ford has a test mule on the street doesn’t mean that it is going to make it to production or even if the engine in that truck is being tested for that application.”

        You guys said the same thing about the Ram Eco Diesel. And the GC Eco Diesel. And the Colorado D Max.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    I would like to see the duratorq in a pickup, there’s just something so right about an inline engine in a truck. I miss my 95 straight six dearly


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