Ford F-150's V8 Market Share Shrinks to Just a Quarter

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

As Ford prepares to launch the refreshed 2018 F-150 with a thoroughly updated engine lineup, Blue Oval product planners expect 2017’s engine selection to continue. That means the 5.0-liter V8, while mildly upgraded for 2018, will be found under the hood of only one in four 2018 F-150s.

The transition has been a rapid one. Twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6s were surprisingly effective when, in early 2011, 35 percent of F-150 buyers made the leap from conventional naturally aspirated powerplants. Three years later, when Ford was planning to expand the F-150’s EcoBoost lineup with a less costly 2.7-liter variant, Ford expected 56 percent of F-150 buyers to choose one of the turbocharged units.

Heading into 2018, Ford’s truck marketing manager Todd Eckert tells Automotive News that the 2.7-liter EcoBoost will be the most popular F-150 engine followed by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Together, they’ll claim 65 percent of all F-150 sales, leaving 10 percent for the new entry-level 3.3-liter, and roughly 25 percent for the five-point-oh.

So how many V8 engines is that?

A bunch.

While far from the leader of Ford’s F-150 pack, the burbly V8 is 10-horses stronger (for 395) in MY2018 and adds 13 lb-ft of torque for an even 400. Thanks to a new 10-speed automatic, fuel economy climbs to 16 mpg city; 22 highway for four-wheel-drive F-150 V8s, up from 15/21 in 2017. By the EPA’s count, that’s an annual reduction in fuel costs of a cool hundy.

But upgrading to the 5.0-liter V8 (from the basic 3.3-liter V6) costs $1,995. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, with equivalent torque figures but 19/24 mpg numbers, is a $995 option.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, meanwhile, costs $2,595. That extra $600 over and above the 5.0-liter V8 adds 1 mpg in both city and highway driving and an extra 70 lb-ft of torque.

The on-paper EcoBoost advantages are noteworthy, and they’ve gradually eaten into the F-150 5.0-liter’s slice of the gigantic F-150 pie. Ford doesn’t break down F-Series sales figures, but if production is matched to demand, we can safely assume 65 percent of F-Series sales so far this year are of the F-150 variety. That should work out to around 578,000 F-150 sales in the 2017 calendar year (if the 2018 refresh doesn’t spur greater demand.) Carry the one, multiply by the square root, move the decimal, hold the mayo…

That’s 144,500 F-150 5.0-liter V8 sales.

The V8’s not dead yet.

[Image: Ford]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • Ajla Ajla on Aug 17, 2017

    Seeing how V8 volume is down, seems like it is time to replace the 5.0L in the Mustang and F-150 with the 6.2L and consolidate to one 8-cylinder offering.

    • See 2 previous
    • Raph Raph on Aug 18, 2017

      @ajla The 5.4 DOHC V8 fits in the S550 car so the 6.2 probably would as well but I suspect its not doable down a production line since engines tend to be loaded from the bottom. Its a cool engine but for the most part people like their 5.0's and Ford has been good about keeping the engine competitive since it was first introduced at 412 horsepower in the Mustang and now sits at 460 horsepower and still has some room to grow in power without too many changes. V8 pony cars live and die with cheap V8 engines though and if V8 production drops too low then I suspect the V8 Mustang will suffer the same fate as the V6 Mustang with Ford intentionally killing it off by making it a car even rental car companies avoid like the plague (seems to me most rental spec Mustangs are EB cars since they could be had with more options) then offering better overall packages for the EB cars. At which point V8's will probably be the province of the special edition cars where the cost of something like the 5.2 in the Shelby is more easily absorbed (speaking of Ford didn't add hybrid injection to the 2018 GT350, probably wouldn't have done much to increase peak power but would have helped bump that average power)

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Aug 20, 2017

    A friend of mine has had endless turbo and engine issues on his Ecoboost F150. Ford has basically told him that he's on his own, even though the problems started very early on. He still wants another F150, but the next one will be a V8. I don't understand his Ford loving after all the problems he's had with them over the 30+ years I've known him.

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys i was only here for torchinsky
  • Tane94 Workhorse probably will be added to the heap of failed EV companies.
  • Freddie Instead of taking the day off, how about an article on the connection between Black Americans and the auto industry and car culture? Having done zero research, two topics pop into my head: Chrysler designer/executive Ralph Gilles, and the famous (infamous?) "Green Book".
  • Tane94 Either Elio Motors or Aptera Motors.
  • Billccm I think we will see history repeat itself. The French acquired AMC in the 1980s, discovered they couldn't make easy money, sold AMC off to Chrysler. Jeep is all that remained. This time the French acquired FCA, and they are discovering no easy profits. Assume an Asian manufacturer will acquire what remains of Chrysler, but this time Jeep and RAM are the only survivors.