Ford Bets F-150 Buyers Will Continue to Want V6s Over V8s

Truck

The big turbo V6 gamble has paid off.

Ford’s big gamble has paid off: The idea that a turbocharged V6 with more than sufficient output and drastically improved fuel economy would become more popular than the conventional V8. That proved entirely true with the outgoing F-150 and its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 compared to the 5.0-liter V8. Ford is also betting the newly revealed 13th generation F-150 will follow the same path. The automaker has just announced that it’ll be investing some $500 million to build a new 2.7-liter turbo V6 at a production facility in Lima, Ohio.

This is the same engine that was shown alongside the new truck at Detroit last January. Not only will this new EcoBoost V6 be lighter than the 3.5 V6, it’ll also make the F-150 more competitive against the Ram 1500 and its newly available 3.0-liter diesel V6, which returns 28 mpg highway. Currently the most efficient F-150 returns 23 mpg highway. So far Ford hasn’t announced the new 2.7’s power output and fuel economy, but with a $500 million investment happening, it’s fairly safe to say Ford has full confidence this engine will set a new bar. Ford also knows it’ll sell in huge numbers: 57 percent of buyers in 2014 opted for a V6 over a V8 in their F-150s – the highest take rate for a V6 in a full-size truck since 1967.

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