The automobile manufacturing industry is working hard to make vehicles that are more functional, comfortable, safe and, especially, more efficient. We see this in the movement to be more ‘green’, or less polluting. Hybrids and electric cars are becoming more popular and much more visible on our roads and highways, and the technology gets better every model year! I can’t help but be impressed; and I greatly enjoy any opportunity to drive one of these cars.
The fact remains, however, that larger, more powerful vehicles are still necessary and important. Here in Texas where I live, the pickup truck is more than just popular. It is a tool for farmers, ranchers, contractors, service businesses, and sportsmen of all types. Without it, work simply would not get done with the same speed and efficiency, if at all.
Ford’s EcoBoost is a new technology that improves fuel efficiency and reduces carbon dioxide emissions without diminishing performance. Prior to the State Fair of Texas opening, a media day was held especially to introduce the new vehicles that would be on display. In a presentation from Ford’s engineers, automotive journalists learned about the overall effect of EcoBoost on the hundreds of thousands of pickups sold annually. It has a much greater positive impact on the environment than that of hybrids and electrics in their smaller numbers.
Testing of the EcoBoost engine was rigorous, actually defined as a torture test. A randomly selected engine was run on the dynamometer, and then taken on the road in real-world testing. To see for yourself how the EcoBoost truck engine performed, go to: www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/2011/experiencef150
The tested engine was torn down live, which can be viewed in three parts on YouTube at www.youtube.com – search ‘EcoBoost teardown’. The ‘Teardown Trailer” is a display of this process that is traveling the country and will be featured at many state fairs, though, unfortunately, not at the State Fair of Texas.
My personal test-drive of the F150 was convincing in its sameness; there was nothing to suggest that anything unusual was going on to save fuel. In other words, it is the same great truck we know and expect. The new Ford F-150 is attractive, comfortable, capable and technologically advanced. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost gives a best-in-class fuel economy of 16-mpg city, 22-mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined. It also has best-in-class towing at 11,300 pounds.
Sameness can be a really good thing. It can be translated into dependability and reliability. The Ford F-150 delivers on all these counts, yet adds that ‘hidden’ element of the EcoBoost, providing more power, capabilities, and fuel economy.