LIMA, OH- An all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine could have a substantial impact on the 2015 F-150, according to Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs.
The Ford Motor Co. executive said the V6 engine, which was specifically designed for the next-generation pickup, could become a volume leader for the lineup.
“It all depends on what the customers want,” he told reporters following an announcement of $500 million and 300 new jobs in Lima, Ohio to produce the new engine. “We’ve seen increasing demand for the V6 applications in the F-150.”
Ford reports 57 percent of new customers in 2014 have opted for either a 3.7-liter V6 or 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost over a V8 to power their new F-150. In the three years since Ford launched the 3.5-liter EcoBoost in F-150, the company has sold more than 2 million EcoBoost-powered vehicles.
Along with the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost, the new F-150 will feature a complete lineup of powertrains. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine returns, an all-new normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 debuts and there is an improved 5.0-liter V8.
Hinrichs said the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, which comes standard with auto start-stop, was only possible thanks to the next-generation F-150 – due to hit showrooms late this year – being up to 700 pounds lighter than the current model thanks to the a nearly all aluminum-alloy body and use of an all-new high-strength steel frame.
“We don’t believe that without the 700 pounds of weight reduction this engine would meet customers’ expectations for capability,” Hinrichs said. “It’s definitely enabled by the weight reduction.”
Ford did not release performance or fuel economy specifications for the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, which combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to lower fuel consumption. It is the seventh EcoBoost engine from Ford.
The EcoBoost engine family was launched with the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost in 2009. Ford added the 2.0-liter EcoBoost in 2010, followed by the 1.6-liter EcoBoost in 2011; the 1.0-liter EcoBoost in 2012; and a new aluminum-block, twin-cam 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine and 2.3-liter EcoBoost were announced last year.
Hinrichs was joined at the $500 investment and jobs announcement Friday by employees, local public officials and United Auto Workers leaders, including vice president Jimmy Settles.
“It is a great day today,” he said, before talking about how far the company and union have come since the recession.
Settles said this investment announcement and new engine wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the employees at the plant, which is located about 75 miles south of the Ohio-Michigan border.
The investment, according to Ford, is for a new flexible engine assembly system and renovation of 700,000 square feet of the facility for machining and assembly functions. The plant upgrades, according to Ford, are already nearing completion.
Lima Engine Plant’s more than 900 employees currently produce the 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter Duratec V6 engines for multiple Ford vehicles, including Edge and Explorer utilities, as well as the Lincoln MKX crossover, MKT utility and MKZ sedan.
The jobs announced today will be a mix of new and transfer employees, according to Hinrichs.
The 2015 F-150 is scheduled to arrive in dealership late this year. The company has not released pricing, performance or fuel economy estimates for the new pickup, which officials expect to continue the company’s pickup dominance.
F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series truck lineup, America’s best-selling truck for 37 consecutive years and America’s best-selling vehicle for 32 years.