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Feature Spotlight: The 2015 F-150 And Its New 2.7-Liter EcoBoost V6

When the 2015 F-150 begins arriving at dealers across the United States in the fourth quarter of 2014, it will offer two unique properties: a sizable weight reduction made possible by the extensive use of aluminum and a new 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engineHere’s everything we could muster about The Blue Oval’s new boosted mill.

Power Plus Fuel Economy

Internally known as “Nano”, the new boosted six-banger is the result of an all-new engine design that’s meant to be powerful and efficient. According to Ford, the engine “delivers power and performance in a stronger, smarter package” while building on the automaker’s success with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 — the flagship powerplant in the 2015 F-150.

The engine was “engineered specifically” for the new 2015 F-150 and, according to Ford product chief Raj Nair, applies the lessons Ford learned from the larger 3.5-liter EcoBoost unit. Overall, the idea behind the 2.7 is the same as it is with the 3.5-liter: to make a more efficient engine perform like a larger mid-range V8.

Ford hasn’t released official power numbers as of this writing, but that should give us an idea of how much power the new 2.7 should make. Based on some assumptions, we’d wager that power and torque ratings will be in the mid-300 range.

Similarly, Ford hasn’t released any fuel economy figures, but the overarching consensus is that the new mill will allow the 2015 F-150 to either reach or even surpass the 30 MPG mark on the highway.

The Block

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 marks the first time a gasoline engine uses a cylinder block made of Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI). Notably, CGI saves weight while providing strength where it’s needed most for durability. Notably, Ford also uses CGI in its 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel V8 engine.

“Previous engine block design choices were high strength or compact or lightweight,” said Ed Waszczenko, engine systems supervisor. “We wanted to go further with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost and design an engine with compact structure and high strength and light weight.”

Auto Start-Stop

Assisting the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 attain high fuel economy is an Auto Start-Stop system, which was “specifically engineered” for duty in the 2015 F-150. The system automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop, except for when towing or in four-wheel drive mode. As in other Start-Stop systems, releasing the brake instantly brings the engine back to life.

Smart Features Galore

Ford also built all-new engine logic into the new 2.7L EcoBoost. The programing is capable of modifying performance on-the-fly to achieve optimum efficiency and/or performance, based on the environment and workload. Other smart new features of the engine include:

  • First use of fracture split main-bearing caps, which create a superior fit between the cap and engine block for reduced crankshaft friction to help improve efficiency
  • All-new aluminum cylinder heads feature water-cooled integrated exhaust manifolds
  • Variable displacement oil pump reduces internal engine friction to improve fuel economy
  • Intake and exhaust variable cam timing that improves torque while helping lower emissions
  • Lightweight, durable composite intake manifold
  • Cooling jets beneath the pistons that spray oil on the pistons to help lower operating temperatures
  • Piston connecting rods use an offset I-beam that provides strength to manage peak engine power levels while reducing weight for better responsiveness
  • Cartridge-style oil filter integrated into top of the engine for easy service

“No one’s ever built a six-cylinder engine like this,” says Nair about the engine. “It combines a host of advanced technologies found throughout the industry to create one of the most technically advanced and efficient engines ever designed.”

Tested Tough

Ford has also put the engine through its rigorous testing regimen, including:

  • Running in and fully completing the 2013 Baja 1000 race in a 2015 F-150 disguised to look like the outgoing 12th-gen model. The truck and engine combo completed all 883 grueling miles of the challenge — a feat that proved to be too much for some purpose-built vehicles.
  • Running the engine through over 1,000 consecutive extreme temperature loops, which quickly bring the engine from minus 25 degrees to 235 degrees Fahrenheit — the equivalent of driving a vehicle nonstop from Death Valley to the Arctic Circle 350 times.
  • Various fatigue tests, which run the engine at full load for more than 17 straight days — the majority of the time at peak torque and power.
  • Validating the demands placed on the engine by the Auto Start-Stop system with over 900 test hours simulating 240,000 starts and stops.
  • Over 800 hours of towing and unloaded-driving scenarios across the entire engine power range, with gasoline-ethanol mixtures up to E20 and intentionally degraded engine oil.

Marketability

The new 2.7 EcoBoost will join the new standard 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6, existing 3.5-liter turbo-charged V6, and revised 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated Coyote V8 in the 2015 F-150 powerplant lineup. As such, it seems to be positioned below the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and 5.0-liter Coyote V8, yet above the base 3.5-liter V6.

At this point, specifics such as how much the engine option will cost, what trim levels it will offer, and how much demand it will enjoy from the market, are unknown. But we’ll be right here to tell you all about it as soon as we know more. So, keep your eyes peeled to the Ford News coverage right here on Motrolix.

News editor focusing on business, financial, and sales coverage who loves anything on wheels, especially if it's fast.

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