What would the consequences be if Ford raised the half ton F-150’s gas mileage by 30%? How much fuel would America save every year? How much money would every owner save, due to the reduced cost of fueling their trucks?
To date, Ford’s most visible efforts to increase the F-150’s gas mileage figures have focused on the new EcoBoost V-6 engine. We recently reviewed the F-150 EcoBoost and while we found it to be quite formidable, we’d like to see even more MPGs.
The introduction of a diesel engine under the F-150’s hood would be a game changer. The Ford F-Series has long been the biggest selling pickup truck in America, but diesel engines have only been available in F-250 and larger trucks … not in the half-ton F-150 (for the most part). This has caused F-150 gas mileage figures to languish.
Rumor had it that Ford was to begin offering a diesel engine in the F-150 as soon as 2009. The engine in question was to be a 4.4 liter V8 based on a twin-turbo 3.6 liter that’s currently offered in the Range Rover, overseas. The existing 3.6 liter Rover engine is no slouch … it propels the (not lightweight by any means) Range Rover from 0-60 MPH in 8.6 seconds and delivers 19.3 urban (city)/31.4 extra urban (highway) British miles per gallon … that’s roughly 16/26 American MPG, with a shade under 270 horsepower (if the calculations are correct).
If all worked well, F-150 gas mileage could have risen from a ballpark average of 15 to 20 or so.