Ford’s EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 has been one of the best light truck engines on the market since it was introduced in 2011. For 2017, it promises to get better.
That’s because the Ford is not only installing the second-generation of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost in the 2017 F-150, but also pairing it with an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. Today, Ford released more detailed information about both. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Gen 2 EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6
This isn’t some minor update for Ford’s turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6. Every component is new. The new engine shares only its bore centers and deck height with the outgoing engine.
The new version gets quite a bit of new technology, headlined by a standard stop/start features and the addition of port fuel injection to the carryover direct injection.
Adding port injection gives the engine two injectors per cylinder, with the port injectors in the intake ports and the direct injectors in the cylinders. Ford says the two can work together to improve power output and efficiency, and reduce emissions. For instance, port injection can be used during cold start up to reduce emissions. It can also be added on top of direct injection to improve power. In its own right, direct injection is known for improving both power and fuel efficiency and reducing turbo lag.
The second-generation engine uses new turbochargers with lighter turbine wheels and electrically actuated wastegates. Boost pressure increases from about 14.5 to 16 psi.
Ford has also employed some light-weighting strategies. New hollow camshafts save about a pound each for four pounds of total savings. Ford says the new engine weighs a couple pounds less than the outgoing engine despite the added equipment.
Other new components include roller-finger followers in the valvetrain, revised intake and exhaust valves, and hydraulic valve-lash adjusters meant to improve durability. New pistons help increase compression from 10:1 to 10.5:1.
All of those changes add up to more torque. While horsepower remains constant at 365, torque increases from 420 to 450 pound-feet with better low-end performance as well. Ford says noise, vibration, and harshness; fuel economy; durability; and emissions will all be improved. Fuel economy numbers are not yet available and Ford is not quoting a percentage of fuel economy improvement.
A version of this engine will also be used in the next F-150 SVT Raptor. Power numbers are not yet available, but Ford is promising figures higher than the 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque of the 6.2-liter V-8 used in the last Raptor.