Ford revealed details Tuesday on both its second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and a new 10-speed transmission slated for release with the 2017 F-150.
The updated powerplant sheds some weight, gets matched with a new transmission and, according to Ford, lays down 30 lb.-ft. more torque than first-generation models.
That’s a best-in-class 450 lb.-ft. for a V6—including gasoline and diesel powerplants—for those of you keeping score at home.
“The powertrain is the heart of every F-150, and together our all-new 3.5L EcoBoost and 10-speed transmission will give our customers better power, efficiency and confidence,” says Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer.
Ford engineers say the new 3.5L EcoBoost engine—whose power rating is unchanged from 365 horsepower—was designed for hauling heavy payloads and towing heavy trailers with better low-end and peak engine performance.
Featuring an all-new dual-direct and port fuel-injection system, the new engine gets two injectors per cylinder—one mounted in the intake port where air enters the cylinder and one positioned inside the cylinder—working together to improve power output, efficiency and emissions.
All-new turbochargers, with improved twin turbos and a lighter turbine wheel, deliver more boost and work with electrically activated wastegates, enhancing operating efficiency. Light-weighting the turbine wheel—by making it out of high-temperature super alloy Mar-M-247 developed by the aerospace industry—improves responsiveness, Ford adds.
Hollow camshafts in the roller-finger follower valvetrain help save up to 4 pounds of weight, while the valvetrain also features more durable intake and exhaust valves, and hydraulic valve-lash adjusters that optimize engine durability over the life of the truck.
The new 3.5L EcoBoost engine comes with fuel-saving anti-idle feature Auto Start-Stop as a standard feature, contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions due to decreased idle times. Auto Start-Stop is specially tuned for truck customers, shutting off the engine when the vehicle is at a stop – except when towing or in four-wheel-drive mode.
Ford expects to turn the corner on sales of 1 million F-150 EcoBoost engines this summer, with the 2.7L and first-generation 3.5L accounting for approximately 60 percent of F-150 sales to-date.
All-new 10-speed transmission
The new 3.5L EcoBoost engine will be paired with a new 10-speed transmission across the F-150 lineup for 2017, with the 2.7L EcoBoost and Ford’s V8 offering other gearboxes.
Ford says the new 10 speed delivers improved acceleration and performance compared to previous six-speed automatic transmissions thanks to optimized wide-span gear spacing, coupled with drag-reduction actions.
Three overdrive gears and a wider ratio span enable lower-numerical rear-axle ratios to help improve fuel efficiency at highway speeds, while maintaining best-in-class towing. The 10-speed transmission uses advanced materials and alloys—and zero cast iron, a first for a Ford transmission—to save weight.
An integrated torque converter/turbine clutch also helps shed more than two pounds, while also reducing the packaging footprint.
Smarter shift logic helps 2017 F-150 customers tow with improved confidence using tow/haul mode. All-new real-time-adaptive shift-scheduling algorithms monitor more than a dozen powertrain- and driver-control signals to ensure the right gear at the right time for an engaging driving experience, including in sport mode.
An integrated electric pump works with the standard Auto Start-Stop system for seamless restarts and improved driving efficiency.