Ford launches 'commercial grade' diesel option for F-150

Gladys Abbott
January 9, 2018

Ford's first diesel-powered 2018 F-150 pickup can deliver an EPA-rated 30 miles per gallon in highway driving, which would put it among the most fuel-efficient pickups available when it goes in sale in the spring.

In 2014, Ford approved development of a hybrid F-150, which analysts assume will come to market regardless of any Trump Administration efforts to roll back current fuel-economy targets.

Diesels typically command premium prices, and while Ford won't discuss MSRPs the new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 seems likely to be consistent with that trait. Design highlights include a graphite-iron block, forged steel crankshaft (shared with Ford's turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost gasoline V6), a two-stage oil pump, a variable geometry turbocharger, and a common rail injection system pressurized to 29,000 pounds per square inch.

With the Power Stroke 3.0 litre, the F-150 is expected to hit a targeted EPA-estimated 12.7 km/l (30 mpg) highway rating.

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Towing capacity is 11,400 pounds, which - Ford is keen to highlight - is best-in-class.

Diesel also is an option on rival Ram and Nissan full-size trucks, which means Ford is playing some catch up in that size class, though its F-150 is the nation's best-selling vehicle.

The 3.0L Power Stroke diesel V6's peak torque arrives at just 1,750 rpm and it's mated to a standard 10-speed automatic transmission. David Felipe, vice president of global powertrains for Ford, said he expects 80 percent of diesel F-150 owners to tow with the truck.

Buyers will be able to spec the new diesel option on both 4x2 and 4x4 models, in Lariat, King Ranch, or Platinum trim levels, with SuperCrew or SuperCab configurations, and with 5.5- or 6.5-foot beds. Diesel-powered XL and XLT versions will be available only to fleet buyers. The OEM called the 2018 F-150 with this latest engine "the most efficient F-150 towing machine ever". Although the 3.0-liter found under the hoods of some Land Rover SUVs is similar to the F-150 unit, engineers from Ford said their diesel engine for the F-150 will have key differences including an uprated turbocharger and higher-pressure fuel delivery.

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