What's Up With Ford's V6 Engines?

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
what s up with ford s v6 engines

For all of eternity, or at least modern eternity (since the birth of 8-Bit Nintendo), Ford has sold various iterations of the Duratec V6 engine. For the past umpteen years, the company used a 3.0-liter engine making about 200 horsepower. Using premium go-juice and variable valve timing, the six-pot produced in the realm of 227 horses in the Jag X-Type or 220 in the Mazda6 (the latter on 87 octane). This engine was supposed to be retired with the introduction of Ford's excellent new Duratec 35 engine. That mill currently motivates the new Ford Edge. In bored-out form– to 3.7 liters– it provides power for the Mazda CX-9 and upcoming Lincoln MKS. So far, so good. Old engine (Duratec 30) out, new engine (Duratec 35/37) in. But Ford has announced a major overhaul of the older 3.0-liter engine for duty in the coming years. The new 3.0-liter mill will now make some 240 horsepower in the 2009 Ford Escape (previously, it was rated at 200 ponies). Now the 35 is a truly modern engine, can accept direct injection and turbocharging. But even in naturally aspirated form, it makes 250+ horses. So it really begs the question: why is the 3.0-liter engine still on the table? And if I can beg a little more even, why isn't the 3.5/3.7 liter V6 available in the Mustang instead of the crotchety old 4.0 liter V6? Oh, you forgot that one, didn't you? One more: wasn't CEO Alan Mulally all about eliminating production complexity? I'm sure there are good reasons why this hasn't happened here (and I love to hear 'em), but the Duratec 35 is all you need from this point onward. Let economies of scale bring the costs of the 35 down, and dump the old 3.0 and 4.0-liter engines. KISS, baby.

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4 of 58 comments
  • Nick Nick on May 24, 2008
    first modern 5.0 V6 since the 1960’s Which one was that?
  • John Horner John Horner on May 24, 2008
    first modern 5.0 V6 since the 1960’s Which one was that? The last really big V6 engine I recall is the old GMC V6 truck engine back from the day when GMC and Chevrolet trucks got their own engines. It was built in sizes ranging from 5.0 to 7.8 litres and even spawned a V-12 counterpart. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMC_V6_engine
  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on May 24, 2008
    carguy622 : In regards to the 4.0 liter being specific to RWD and the 3.0 Duratec not being able to be placed in a RWD application; I thought that the 3.0 Duratec was in the RWD Lincoln LS. You are right, it was. Ditto the S-Type Jaguar. Now I am wondering if PAG insisted the RWD Duratec stick to their platform. (and Lincoln got lucky for a while)
  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on May 24, 2008
    nino : I have a 2002 Cougar with the Duratec 2.5 liter V6. I know that the Duratec 3.0 liter V6 will physically fit, but that the Duratec 3.5 liter V6 will not. I just got a '02 V6 5-speed with a blown motor for FREE. I want to do a 3.0L swap and run low 14s, and its much too nice to be a LeMons car. There is good info on the web, but its hard to figure out what's the easiest way to get a 3.0 in there. Is there a website with Step-By-Step instructions? Email me at my TTAC account if you can help. :) Take a 3000lb hatchback and add a 3.0L V6 = awesome blend of power and efficiency.