Ford To Offer Diesel in 1500 F-truck Next Year

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Ford Motor Co. appears to be gearing up to launch a diesel-powered version of the F-150, possibly as early as next year, and wrest the fuel efficiency crown from the hot-selling Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

Diesel-powered F-150 test trucks have been spotted running around Ford’s product development center in Dearborn, Mich.

Land Rover’s decision to equip its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs with a Ford-built, 3.0-liter diesel engine also bodes well for a diesel-powered F-150.

Ford spokesman Mike Levine declined to comment on Ford’s future products, but Dave Sullivan, an analyst for consulting firm AutoPacific, says Ford’s product plans call for a diesel-powered F-150 teamed with a new 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed by Ford and General Motors. It could launch as a 2017 model, he says.

“A diesel F-150, with its lightweight body and 10-speed automatic, would have all of the necessary hardware to win the fuel economy race,” said Sullivan.

When the redesigned, aluminum-bodied F-150 arrived in late 2014, the fuel economy ratings disappointed many consumers and analysts who expected the lightweight truck to be the most fuel efficient in the segment.

The most fuel-efficient F-150 is powered by a 2.7-liter V-6 that carries a 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway EPA fuel economy rating. Ram’s EcoDiesel 1500 carries a 29 mpg highway rating.

The Ram EcoDiesel has been a big success for Fiat Chrysler, accounting for 15 percent of Ram 1500 sales in the U.S.

The diesel engine likely to go in the F-150 is a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6 made in Ford’s Dagenham, England, plant. It traces its roots to 1999 and a deal Ford made with French manufacturer Peugeot. Part of the Lion engine family co-developed by Peugeot and Ford, the V-6 diesel, originally 2.7 liters, has been used in Peugeots, Jaguars, Land Rovers and the Ford Territory, an off-road vehicle made in Australia.

The newest diesel-powered Range Rovers offer a good indication of the power, performance and fuel economy an F-150 with the same engine would offer.

In its current state of tune in the Range Rover Sport, the 3.0-liter V-6 develops 254 hp and delivers 440 pounds-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. The 4,727-pound Range Rover Sport carries an EPA fuel economy rating of 22 city/29 highway. It uses an eight-speed automatic.

The 2016 F-150 Lariat Crew Cab weighs 4,942 pounds, and its aerodynamic performance would be comparable to the Range Rover’s.

The Ram EcoDiesel is rated at 240 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm, suggesting the Ford 3.0-liter diesel could be installed in the F-150 with little modification.

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Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I’m gonna buy me a new Ford Truck as soon as the one I have now wears out. It probably won’t be any time soon. Mine’s only 49 model years old.

  2. Rifle Colorado is in the middle of a price war thanks to the grocery store fuel station. Just paid $1.69/gal for diesel. Thanks Mr Putin!

    Let the good times roll…

  3. Ford could be on the right path but a twin turbo engine is twin turbo trouble sometimes. It was supposed to be a decade ago that GM was going to use a smaller Duramax in it’s half ton and mid-size pickups. No doubt it was a govt. thing. I think they were going to use 3/4 of the Duramax just like they did the gasoline engine.

    This has been more than a decade ago that I bought an aftermarket waste gate controller for my 6.5 Turbo Diesel. Speaking with the counter guy he said he had ordered a Duramax but didn’t need a 3/4 T pickup and was counting the days. One day the transporter shows up and the dealership calls him. He went down to pick up his pickup and low and behold they had some 1/2 T ext cab pickups with the Duramax engine in them, one of those things GM does now and then. He looked the half ton over, nixed his order for the 3/4 ton and had what was close to a one off 1/2 ton Duramax pickup. He’d been driving it for a few months and said he loved it. I’ve heard many people call the Duramax a beast but he said it was a rocket. I’d bet they could have sold all they could have made. But they probably only made a hundred or so. Long ago I happened to be at a Sam’s where they were unloading GM vehicles due to some NASCAR deal Sam’s was sponsoring, a GM car or two and a driver. I saw a Denali roll off that truck, turn all 4 wheels and go park in a way I’d never seen. I’m surprised they didn’t sell more but everybody was afraid of the 4 wheel steering but I think the main thing that put them off was the sticker price.

  4. Hopefully, this doesn’t turn into an outside the US only option. Ford does sell plenty of 150’s outside the states, and with the war on diesels they may not want the hassle.

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