So long as some truck customers insist on a V8, the F-150 will offer one.
By any objective measure, Ford's twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine has rendered the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 obsolete. It's both more fuel-efficient and, generally speaking, more potent, putting out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque in the F-150 Raptor, and mustering as much as 660 horsepower in the Ford GT supercar.
So why does the 5.0L stick around, especially in the Ford F-150 - a truck that was just completely redesigned for the 2021 model year? The short answer: customer demand. Speaking to Muscle Cars & Trucks recently, F-150 Chief Engineer Craig Schmatz said that as widely accepted as the EcoBoost V6 has become, there are still those who would just rather have eight cylinders under the hood.
"The EcoBoost has done so well," Schmatz told the outlet. "Almost 60 percent of our lineup is the 2.7L or 3.5L EcoBoost, so it's widely accepted now. But there's still a customer that wants the V8."
Whether it's the soundtrack, the relative simplicity of a naturally aspirated engine, or simply an old-school mentality that "there's no replacement for displacement," Ford F-150 customers are keeping the Coyote option alive. Of course, the Coyote is a far more advanced animal than the pushrod Ford V8s of yesteryear, with dual overhead camshafts and a lightweight spray-in cylinder bore liner. This year, it gains cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy.
Asked whether the Coyote V8 was in danger of hitting its practical limits with regard to output and fuel economy, Schmatz told MC&T "we're always able to get a little bit more out." For 2021, the 5.0L delivers 400 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, which is 5 horsepower and 10 lb-ft better than last year, along with up to 20 mpg on the EPA combined cycle - 19 mpg in the case of 4WD. That matches the best the Chevrolet Silverado's 5.3L can do with regard to efficiency, with significantly more power and torque.
With stats like that, we don't expect the F-150's 5.0L V8 to be going anywhere for a good long while, despite any rumors to the contrary.