Ford Prepares F-150 for Diesel Option

Ford Found Testing Future 3.0L Diesel for F-150 Pickups

Ford Motor Company has been reportedly spied testing a 3.0L diesel powered Ford F-150. A venturi type tailpipe and insignia located on a clearly visible emissions label are amongst the evidence circulating various media outlets. Although heavily based on speculation, the engine is thought to be a rendition of the 3.0L Lion V-6 currently available in Land Rover's Range Rover model SUVs. Though Ford's F-150 is unlikely to receive an exact replica of this engine, the Range Rover specifications allow a sneak peak at what Ford may be bringing to market. The Lion engine family includes several V-6 and V-8 diesel engines currently produced by Ford Motor Company for various International applications. Ford Motor Company has yet to release official details on a diesel powered F-150, although the company has confirmed that they plan to bring one to market in the future.

3.0L Lion V-6 Diesel Specs

Configuration:

60° V-6

Displacement:

183 cid, 3.0 liters

Engine Block Material:

Compacted graphite iron (CGI)

Cyl Head Material:

Aluminum alloy

Cylinder Bore:

3.31 in (84.0 mm)

Cylinder Stroke:

3.54 in (90.0 mm)

Injection:

29,000 psi high pressure common rail, Piezoelectric injectors

Aspiration:

Variable geometry turbocharger (VGT), air-to-air intercooler

Valvetrain:

DOHC, 4v per cylinder

Horsepower:

254 hp @ 3,500 rpm

Torque:

443 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm

Fuel Economy**:

22 city, 28 hwy mpg

 

The Lion's 60 degree "V" configuration results in a narrower engine than that of a typical 90 degree, thus reducing overall engine width and possibly broadening the engine's application range. Range Rover models equipped with the 3.0L diesel employ a ZF 8 speed automatic transmission; it's difficult to speculate what Ford has in mind for the F-150, but it is bringing a 10 speed automatic to market. Whether or not this transmission can be adapted to the Lion V-6 is difficult to assess with what little is known about the future diesel option. If Ford sticks with a 6 speed automatic, the current standard for all F-150 models, they're unlikely to meet fuel efficiency targets. For the a diesel equipped F-150 to truly hit a home run, it will need to edge Ram's EcoDiesel powered 1500 model.

 

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel vs Ford F-150 Lion Diesel

 

2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Rumored Ford F-150 Diesel*

Engine:

VM Motori 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6

Ford 3.0L Lion V-6

Displacement:

182 cid, 3.0 liters

183 cid, 3.0 liters

Block Material:

CGI (compacted graphite iron)

CGI (compacted graphite iron)

Cyl Head Material:

Aluminum

Aluminum

Bore x Stroke:

3.27 in x 3.60 in

3.31 in x 3.54 in

Injection:

29,000 psi high pressure common rail

29,000 psi high pressure common rail

Aspiration:

Single VGT, intercooled

Single VGT, intercooled

Valvetrain:

DOHC, 4v per cylinder

DOHC, 4v per cylinder

Horsepower:

240 hp @ 3,600 rpm

254 hp @ 3,500 rpm

Torque:

420 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm

443 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm

Max Fuel Economy:

up to 21 city, 29 hwy mpg

up to 22 city, 28 hwy mpg**

 

If Ford indeed chooses the 3.0L Lion V-6 for its F-150 pickup, it would be the second diesel engine from Ford offered in a similar displacement to a Ram offered diesel - currently, both automakers offer 6.7L diesel engines in their 3/4 and 1 ton product lines. Nissan's Titan XD, which is powered by a 5.0L V-8 from Cummins, also competes to some degree in the 1/2 ton sector, although this platform seems stuck in limbo between the 1/2 and 3/4 ton categories as a result of its higher GVWR. This makes Ram's EcoDiesel equipped Ram 1500 pickup Ford's only direct competitor until General Motors decides to offer a diesel for its Silverado and Sierra 1500 models.

Examining the specifications, the EcoDiesel and proposed Lion diesel share as many similarities as they do differences. Both engines rely on weight saving aluminum cylinder heads and CGI engine blocks, but Ford is likely to retain a clear advantage with respect to overall vehicle weight. Per Ram's published specifications, the curb weight of a 2016 MY EcoDiesel equipped Ram 1500 ranges from roughly 5,100 to 5,700 lbs depending on the trim and configuration. On the contrary, Ford's heaviest F-150 for the 2016 MY has a published curb weight of 5,009 lbs. The significant difference in curb weights can be attributed to Ford's transition to an entirely aluminum body beginning in the 2015 model year. Considering the 4,900 lb, 4 wheel drive Range Rover equipped with the 3.0L Lion V-6 (Land Rover calls it the 3.0L TD6 diesel) has earned an EPA rated 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, Ford should be able to compete well with the EcoDiesel's maximum 21 city, 29 highway mpg for 2 wheel drive models.

As a result of increased component mass and the addition of hefty exhaust aftertreatment equipment, expect a diesel equipped F-150 to add a few pounds over current models. Ford is likely to, however, retain a significant advantage with respect to vehicle weight and it's anyone's guess whether or not Ford engineers will be able to surpass Ram's current achievements with regards to the Ram 1500's impressive, record shattering fuel economy figures. A more pressing question is who will be the first to reach 30 mpg in a fullsize pickup?

 

* All specifications for rumored Ford F-150 based on current U.S. production Range Rover model equipped with the 3.0L TD6 diesel. Actual specifications may vary.
** Fuel economy estimates for a 3.0L diesel equipped Ford F-150 are based on 2016 EPA ratings for 4 wheel drive, ~ 4,900 lbs 3.0L diesel equipped Range Rover SUV. Actual fuel economy ratings are likely to vary.