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Ford unveils next-gen F-150; up to 700 lbs lighter, new 2.7L EcoBoost with stop-start

13 January 2014

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2015 F-150. Click to enlarge.

Ford introduced the all-new Ford F-150 at its press conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The “reinvention” of this critical vehicle for Ford features an improved fully boxed ladder frame that incorporates more high-strength steel than ever, making it stronger and lighter.

Aluminum alloys are used throughout the F-150 body for the first time, improving dent and ding resistance and also saving weight. Overall, up to 700 pounds (318 kg) of weight have been saved. As one of the four engine options, the new F-150 also offers a new 2.7L EcoBoost with standard Auto Start-Stop.

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All-New 2.7L EcoBoost with Auto Start-Stop. The all-new V6 engine features a compacted graphite iron block, advanced controls and components to deliver the same power as some mid-range V8s. Click to enlarge.

2.7L EcoBoost. The high-output twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 features an entirely new design. Further boosting the 2.7-liter EcoBoost’s fuel efficiency is the debut of standard Auto Start-Stop technology in the F-150. This technology, specially tuned for truck customers, shuts off the engine when the vehicle is at a stop—except when towing or in four-wheel drive—to give drivers power on demand when they need it most. When the brake is released, the engine restarts quickly.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine features the first use of a compacted graphite iron cylinder block in a gasoline engine, the same material used in Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel V8 engine. The composite CGI/aluminum block saves weight while providing strength for durability.

Previous engine block design choices were high strength or compact or lightweight. We wanted to go further with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost and design an engine with compact structure and high strength and light weight.

—Ed Waszczenko, engine systems supervisor.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost also features all-new engine logic that adjusts operating parameters on the fly to provide the best efficiency and performance for the environment and workload.

Other new features of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost 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.

The engine, which powered a disguised all-new Ford F-150 specially designed to look like a current F-150, raced Baja in stock form with no additional oil coolers or radiators typically added for multiday off-road races. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost race truck finished the event without any issues. The only part changed during the event was the stock air filter.

In addition to its flawless Baja 1000 shakedown, the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 has surpassed Ford’s extensive testing regimen, including:

  • More than 1,000 consecutive extreme temperature loops that quickly bring the engine from minus 25 degrees to 235 degrees Fahrenheit—the equivalent of driving a vehicle nonstop from Death Valley to Arctic Circle 350 times.

  • Structural fatigue tests that run the engine at full load for more than 17 straight days—the majority of the time at peak torque and power.

  • The engine’s ability to withstand repeated stop/starts was validated with more than 900 test hours simulating 240,000 starts and stops.

  • More than 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.

Ford F-150 trucks equipped with EcoBoost engines also will benefit from standard Active Grille Shutters. Active Grille Shutters stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during low-speed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather. They automatically close to reduce aerodynamic drag at cruising speed.

In addition to the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost returns to the F-150 lineup, along with an all-new naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 and an improved 5.0-liter V8.

The all-new 3.5-liter V6 replaces the current 3.7-liter V6, and uses twin independent variable camshaft timing to provide a flat torque curve and improved efficiency as the highly capable new standard engine in the new F-150. The available 5.0-liter V8 returns with improved cylinder breathing and new mid-lock variable cam timing to improve fuel economy while maintaining its tow-friendly torque.

Sales of Ford F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost—launched less than three years ago—have already topped 425,000 units in the United States and account for approximately 35% of all F-150 sales.

Frame_R02-web
Click to enlarge.

Materials. Ford engineers increased the use of high-strength 70,000-psi steel from 23% to 77% of the frame to improve stiffness and durability while reducing weight. The new frame is up to 60 pounds (27 kg) lighter than the current frame.

Ford engineers also increased the use of advanced materials in the F-150 body, including high-strength aluminum alloys.

Our objective was to find materials that allowed us to design the truck to be as tough—or tougher—than the current model, yet could help it be hundreds of pounds lighter for better capability and fuel economy,. Out of all the materials we tested, we carefully selected only certain grades of aluminum that met our high performance standards in all of our tests, while allowing us to trim hundreds of pounds from the truck.

—Pete Friedman, manager, Ford manufacturing research

The reduced weight of the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys enables the F-150 to tow and haul more than ever while also improving acceleration, braking and handling performance. Adding to these benefits, aluminum alloys will not rust and are resistant to corrosion, helping enhance vehicle life.

New productivity features. Several new productivity features debut in the all-new F-150, including many class-exclusives. They include:

  • 360-degree camera view, using exterior cameras to create a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help the driver park, maneuver in tight spots and navigate down narrow roads and trails.

  • Integrated loading ramps, which enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers.

  • BoxLink, which is a combination of metal brackets and custom cleats used to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box, from ramps to storage bins to bed dividers.

  • LED headlamps and tail-lamps, which provide excellent nighttime visibility.

  • Trailer hitch assist, a new rear view camera feature that adds a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up truck and trailer without requiring a spotter or having to get out of the vehicle.

  • Smart trailer tow module, using an all-new smart trailer tow wiring harness that helps identify and inform the driver of potential trailer connectivity issues, burned or unlit trailer marker lamps, and brake light and trailer battery faults.

  • Remote tailgate, allowing for the tailgate to be locked, unlocked and released with the key fob—eliminating manual locking and increasing convenience and security. The tailgate also is damped, dropping down, hands-free, to a flat position when opened.

  • High-wattage power outlets (400 watts, 110 volts) in the cab, allowing drivers to easily charge corded tools, battery chargers or mobile devices on-site or while driving.

  • LED spotlights on sideview mirrors, which provide powerful, durable and bright lighting around the truck exterior.

  • Next-generation tailgate step, which is now fully integrated inside the tailgate and virtually invisible when not in use.

Other driver assistance and safety features include:

  • Second-row inflatable safety belts, which work like a traditional belt but include a tubular airbag that inflates in the event of a crash and distributes the force of the impact across a wider area of the passenger’s chest.

  • Curve Control, which automatically provides more aggressive four-wheel braking when the truck is going into a corner too fast.

  • Adaptive cruise control, allowing drivers to set a cruising speed and use radar technology to monitor traffic ahead and maintain a safe distance between vehicles.

  • Lane-Keeping System, which is designed to help avert unintentional drifting of the vehicle outside the intended driving lane by automatically detecting the left- or right-hand road lane markings using a camera mounted between the windshield and interior rearview mirror.

  • Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, which uses radar hidden in the tail-lamps to detect a vehicle entering a driver’s blind spot while driving or backing up.

When it goes on sale late this year, the all-new Ford F-150 will continue the tradition of offer five primary trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. The FX4 off-road package can be added to most four-wheel-drive models, improving trail capability with an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates and off-road-tuned shocks.

The F-150 will continue to be manufactured at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.

January 13, 2014 in Engines, Fuel Efficiency, Materials, Weight reduction | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

This is great news. This is the no 1 LDV in the US. a 25% improvement in mileage obtained by this single vehicle will generate a measurable improvement in the entire US LDV MPG. And Ford is really jumping in with both feet, with a new frame, radically new body, and not one but two new higher efficiency engines. This is far more impactful than any electric vehicle, or for that matter all electric vehicles put together

FORD has designed the better truck, again!

The Stop/Start feature should be considered "stepping stones" to an eventual electric-drive hybrid model. A hybrid drivetrain for trucks is more applicable than a BEV all-electric.

The 2014 GM trucks have overbuilt engines that will become problematic and wear out sooner.
GM, The Curse of Detroit, sucks!

As 70% of all vehicles sold in USA and Western Canada in 2013 were trucks or truck based units, taking off 750 lbs in a single model year is nothing short of a break through by Ford.

The next (Ford) model change could take off anther 500+ lbs and certainly improve the aerodynamics, drive train and road resistance etc of all those trucks and truck based vehicles.

It is surprising to note that so few are interested into lighter more efficient ICEVs?

Mild improvements in a gas hog, intended no doubt to greenwash people in to buying more of them for the "I'm a bubba!" factor.

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