STONEHAM, Mass. – Pickup truck buyers are grabbing V6-equipped Ford F-150s at an impressive clip, thanks to the speedy adoption of Ford’s EcoBoost technology and increased fuel economy on all six-cylinder F-Series models. July marked the third consecutive month that U.S. Ford dealerships sold more V6 models of the Ford F-Series than V8-powered F-Series models. Meanwhile, the Ford F-150 EcoBoost V6 sold more on its own than all of its V6 pickup competitors combined during the month.
Spurring the sales boom are Ford’s two new V6 powerplants, a 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine and a 3.7-liter naturally aspirated unit, both of which provide power without penalties at the pumps. According to J.D. Power and Associates, the two Ford V6 engines made up 79.5 percent of all full-sized V6 truck sales on the market in July. Even in the shadow of the EcoBoost, the 3.7-liter 2011 Ford F-150 V6 managed to top the combined sales of all other competing full-size V6 pickups during the month.
“In the past, you could have either good power or good fuel economy, but Ford’s new V6 engines are bringing the two together in an appealing way, even for the most die-hard V8 fans,” said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Massachusetts Ford dealership Stoneham Ford. “The EcoBoost is getting all the attention, but even the new naturally aspirated V6 produces more horsepower than the V8 F-150 available a couple years ago. And, it still gets 23 mpg on the highway.”
Ford dealerships sold 49,104 F-Series trucks in July, of which 56 percent came from V6 sales. EcoBoost V6 sales comprised 40 percent of all F-Series sales, while the naturally aspirated V6 contributed 16 percent.
No other pickup truck producing more than 350 horsepower is as fuel efficient as the Ford F-150 EcoBoost V6, which combines 22-mpg highway fuel economy with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That torque, which is available at a low 2,500 rpm, enables the F-150 V6 EcoBoost to tow up to 11,300 pounds, more than the V8-equipped Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the V8 HEMI-equipped Ram 1500.
“Ford is refining its engine designs to produce greater power and fuel economy in light of increasing federal mandates and driver demand,” Melkonian noted. “While the EcoBoost technology is already making a name for itself in the F-150, the Ford Taurus SHO and the Ford Flex, it will be spreading through the Ford lineup to increase fuel economy and drivability in a number of Ford vehicles.”
The debuts of the Ford Explorer EcoBoost and Ford Edge EcoBoost are expected this fall for the 2012 model year. Both SUVs will feature the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which will act as a companion to the V6 engines currently powering the Edge and Explorer for 2011 model year. The Edge EcoBoost returned 30 mpg on the highway during EPA testing, becoming Ford’s 13th variation of a model and a drivetrain that combine to achieve at least 30 mpg. The Explorer EcoBoost will get 28 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.