Some 38 months after the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 became available in Ford's full-size F-150 pickup, sales of this more fuel-efficient alternative to a V8 have now topped the half-million mark. The V6 revolution remains in full swing across the full-size/light-duty pickup realm but it's been particularly evident in the case of the best-selling Ford model. Every month so far in 2014, over 57 percent of the company's retail light truck sales have been powered by a 6-cylinder engine.
Sales Strong for Non-Turbo V6s
For more than 45 percent of F-150 V6 buyers, the engine of choice was the turbocharged/direct-injected 365-horsepower EcoBoost with the remaining customers opting for the automaker's 302-horse/3.7-liter naturally aspirated Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing) six. Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager, expects that trend to hold for the rest of the year and grow even larger for 2015 when the company introduces a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 to be offered in its fully redesigned F-150 that debuted in Detroit and goes on sale in late 2014.
Scott noted the switch to V6 power is a direct reflection of today's purpose-focused consumer. "Just five years ago, you would have had a hard time making a case for V6 truck engines. Not today. Customers are looking for the best combination of city and highway mileage, horsepower, torque, towing capacity, payload and value, asking the key question, 'What is the most productive, efficient package for the work I need to do?" On the green front, he cites Ford stats that show switching half a million F-150 buyers from V8 to V6 power also has saved some 56 million gallons of gasoline, "a gap that will only widen as time goes by."
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