Ford Dishes Specs on New 3.0-liter Diesel F-150

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Not willing to cede any pickup ground to its rivals, Ford Motor Company will soon open orders for a light-duty diesel pickup. Under the hood of its F-150, the Blue Oval’s new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V6 promises class-leading fuel economy (in a very small class) and greater towing capacity than its Fiat Chrysler competitor.

The model’s trailer-yanking potential is the result of the latest battle in the great, ongoing Torque War.

With 250 horsepower on tap and 440 lb-ft of torque delivered at 1,750 rpm, Ford’s light-duty diesel tops the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel (currently available as a 2017 model) by 10 hp and 20 lb-ft. Its towing capacity — 11,400 pounds — beats the Ram by 2,110 lbs, while a payload capacity of 2,020 lbs is some 380 lbs greater than the EcoDiesel.

Power and hauling prowess is one half of the diesel equation, but it isn’t as marketable if fuel economy isn’t up to snuff. Ford claims an EPA-estimated 30 mile-per-gallon highway figure — presumably for a rear-drive variant. That earns it the title of most fuel efficient F-150, as well as leader in the light-duty class.

Ram’s EcoDiesel took a fuel economy haircut after the EPA revamped its testing regimen, meaning the model currently rates a 27 mph highway figure. Earlier models carried a rating of 28 mpg highway, with the HFE model aero’d out for a 29 mpg figure.

Helping Ford’s quest for the efficiency crown is the model’s recent weight loss and the addition of a 10-speed automatic transmission. A start/stop system comes standard.

Yes, it’s the stuff “that dreams are made of,” claims Dave Filipe, Ford’s vice president of global powertrain engineering. The crew tasked with finessing the continually improved 6.7-liter Power Stroke put their skills to use in crafting this engine, with plenty of technology carryover between the two. A variable-geometry Honeywell turbocharger aims to reduce lag, while the engine’s compacted-graphite iron block material and forged steel crank come straight from the 2.7-liter EcoBoost bin.

While Ford gets in on the aero game with dual radiator shutters, it doesn’t let the drag-reducing feature sacrifice performance. The shutters stay closed at moderate loads but pop open during hard uphill climbs to aid the engine-driven fan.

“We know that competing diesels with electric cooling fans have to dial back on power under extreme heat and altitude, so we decided on a viscous-controlled mechanical fan that has the capacity to move much more air across the radiator and intercooler in extreme conditions,” said David Ives, Ford diesel engine technical specialist. “This gives F-150 Power Stroke owners more power and more passing capability in harsh conditions.”

You’ll have to wait for official pricing. Certainly, there’ll be a premium attached — no doubt the greatest of the model’s six-engine lineup. Orders open in a couple of weeks, with the first F-150 diesels arriving on dealer lots this spring.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • OzCop OzCop on Jan 08, 2018

    I just purchased a new 2017 Laramie Ram EcoDiesel last week in Fort Worth. I have friends who have them and have been extremely satisfied with their reliability and the fuel mileage. Theirs are rear drives, mine is 4 Wheel with 2 wheel button. I left Dallas with it yesterday afternoon, and am currently sitting in a motel in Hopkinsville, KY on a business trip. I averaged 24 mpg and only had to fill up once before I got here. Truck now has just under 1200 miles. I fought a head wind, and rain for more than half the distance to get here, so I'm thinking the mileage will improve on the way home Wednesday. So far, loving the torque feel, although the fuel mileage was only marginally better than on the Hemi Longhorn I traded in. Loving the quiet diesel as well. I didn't realize how many creature comforts I was giving up going from a Longhorn Laramie to a Laramie...missing the odor of real leather...The deal on this thing was fantastic, with a list of 57 plus K, discounted to 42,150...tough to turn that down even though it IS a leftover 17...

    • Spamvw Spamvw on Jan 09, 2018

      OzCop, Not sure of the range on your tank. but don't forget to add some winter fuel, KY is going to get cold this weekend...

  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Jan 08, 2018

    Perhaps I don't read numbers so well but my 2010 F-150 makes 320hp and 390lb/ft. More than enough to tow my boat, which weighs more than what I see 99.9% of F-150 drivers towing - which is nothing at all. Again, without resorting too much to numbers ( English Major here ), for the anticipated pricing of both the new truck and the Diesel option I'd think one could buy three 2010 XLT SCabs with the 5.4L and burn them out on the cheaper gasoline and still be ahead of the curve that introduces EV trucks.

    • DenverMike DenverMike on Jan 08, 2018

      Since when does anything regarding all but a basic pickup, have to make sense? A huge reason for picking a diesel pickup involves engine braking, and the piece of mind knowing you're better equipped to handle a strong headwind with a high-profile trailer or whatever gets thrown at you. Engine specs don't tell the whole story, although I feel right at home pushing gas V8s to the breaking point (the don't) and love a lot of things about diesels, as long as the truck payment is in someone else's name.

  • AMcA My theory is that that when the Big 3 gave away the store to the UAW in the last contract, there was a side deal in which the UAW promised to go after the non-organized transplant plants. Even the UAW understands that if the wage differential gets too high it's gonna kill the golden goose.
  • MKizzy Why else does range matter? Because in the EV advocate's dream scenario of a post-ICE future, the average multi-car household will find itself with more EVs in their garages and driveways than places to plug them in or the capacity to charge then all at once without significant electrical upgrades. Unless each vehicle has enough range to allow for multiple days without plugging in, fighting over charging access in multi-EV households will be right up there with finances for causes of domestic strife.
  • 28-Cars-Later WSJ blurb in Think or Swim:Workers at Volkswagen's Tennessee factory voted to join the United Auto Workers, marking a historic win for the 89- year-old union that is seeking to expand where it has struggled before, with foreign-owned factories in the South.The vote is a breakthrough for the UAW, whose membership has shrunk by about three-quarters since the 1970s, to less than 400,000 workers last year.UAW leaders have hitched their growth ambitions to organizing nonunion auto factories, many of which are in southern states where the Detroit-based labor group has failed several times and antiunion sentiment abounds."People are ready for change," said Kelcey Smith, 48, who has worked in the VW plant's paint shop for about a year, after leaving his job at an warehouse in town. "We look forward to making history and bringing change throughout the entire South."   ...Start the clock on a Chattanooga shutdown.
  • 1995 SC Didn't Chrysler actually offer something with a rearward facing seat and a desk with a typewriter back in the 60s?
  • The Oracle Happy Trails Tadge