Ford F-150 Lariat Platinum SuperCrew 4X4
Taking the pursuit of fuel-efficiency one step further
By Mike Milne
There’s no getting around the fact that pickup trucks make great tow vehicles. But with gasoline prices hovering around $1.20 a litre, the V-8s found in most of them can be costly. For most power boaters, the price of refueling a pickup would rarely be a problem when the water beckons, but could use a break when the payload consists of family, friends or a few bags of groceries.
Arguably, there have been improvements in V-8 fuel efficiency across the board, but Ford took the pursuit of fuel efficiency a step further last year. It made the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6 engine available in 2011 models of its perennial top-selling F-150 trucks, along with two V-8s and a naturally aspirated 3.7-litre V-6.
The engine offers good fuel economy in most driving conditions. But if you need a burst of speed or some additional pulling power, twin turbochargers turn on the torque.
The secret to the success of the 365-hp EcoBoost engine is the combination of turbos with direct fuel injection. Together they create bottom-end torque that’s available through a broad rpm band; 90 per cent of the engine’s peak torque is available from 1700 to 5500 rpm.