Rumor has it that the all-new 2015 F-150 may not be worthy of being revolutionary, but is nevertheless supposed to be a substantial evolutionary improvement over the current model as well as competitive offerings. And one of the changes rumored to make the next-gen F-150, which will used the Atlas concept as inspiration, substantially more advanced than today’s model is the focus on improved fuel economy. In turn, this has resulted in heavy speculation about a new six-cylinder turbocharged (ahem, EcoBoost) engine smaller than 3 liters in displacement. As it stands, the web is rampant about a new 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost engine that will be offered alongside the base 3.7-liter Duratec V6.
To note, Ford has seen notable improvements in fuel economy by combining a smaller-displacement motor with turbocharging and direct fuel injection while maintaining impressive power output. The Blue Oval calls the engine line featuring the technology EcoBoost, and has seen significant gains in public image with the brand and its association to Ford vehicles. As such, balancing both — high fuel economy with decent power — is the name of the game.
The NHTSA as well as the EPA are requiring that all automakers achieve an average of 34.1 MPG across their lineups by 2016, thereby putting an indirect requirement on trucks to average 28.8 MPG. For its part, Ford is expecting to gain 3 MPG with the next-gen F-150, according to Automotive News. Facilitating this advance and associated regulatory requirements is a reported (and quite astounding) 700-pound weight reduction through the utilization of aluminum, along with a highly fuel-efficient model. It’s this model that is expected to cradle the new 2.7-liter V6 that’s part of Ford’s new six-cylinder engine range codenamed “Nano”. Think of it as the equivalent of the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-banger for the 2015 Mustang to be sold alongside the base 3.7-liter V6. Sure, both engines might have similar outputs, with the boosted four having a slight power advantage, but one will be more economical.
When it’s announced, the new purported 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 could make a rumored 320 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque, therefore slotting above the base 3.7 liter V6 that makes roughly 300 horses and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 will remain the flagship engine offering, slotting above the slightly less powerful and less fuel-efficient 5.0 liter Coyote V8 — which we expect to get the same upgrades as the revised unit for the 2015 Stang.
To note, PickupTrucks.com editor and now Ford Truck Communications Manager Mike Levine posted on the popular website in 2011 that Ford was working on prototypes of the six-cylinder engines. He added that the engines carried the “Nano” code name and displaced “approximately 2.6 or 2.7 liters and 3.0 liters”, with plans to be used in the 2015 Mustang and F-150. Unlike the twin-snail 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the Nano line will make use of a two-stage (dual-scroll) turbo setup where the smaller turbo would work at low speeds, thereby contributing towards fuel economy, and the larger one would deliver additional power.
Are you looking forward to seeing a boosted small-displacement six-banger in the 2015 F-150? Talk to us in the comments.