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Challenge competition

Ford F-150 EcoBoost V-6 Beats V-8 Competition in Dam Challenge

Posted by Mike Levine | December 10, 2010

Ford F-150 EcoBoost V-6 Beats V-8 Competition in Dam Challenge

The Baja 1000 wasn’t the only head-to-head competition that Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine faced during its multiple-month torture test. Before it raced 1,000 miles off-road in the harsh Mexican desert, the all-new six also beat V-8-powered pickups from Chevrolet and Ram on the steep Davis Dam hill climb in Arizona.

Ford has been pushing its revolutionary V-6 to the extremes to prove to truck buyers that its twin-turbo gasoline direct-injection 3.5-liter EcoBoost mill is every bit the equal of a conventional V-8.

The same engine also endured the equivalent of 150,000 harsh-user miles on the dynamometer, then was installed into a new 2011 F-150 to work as a log skidder in Oregon, and towed a trailer (loaded to near the F-150’s maximum 11,300-pound tow rating at high speed around a NASCAR track for 24 hours.


The Davis Dam test was arranged and managed by Ford using a 2011 Ford F-150 XLT. It was joined by a Chevy Silverado 1500 with a 5.3-liter Vortec V-8 and a Ram 1500 with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Each crew-cab truck towed a 9,000-pound trailer up the grade.

Davis Dam, which has a 5 percent average grade, is one of the toughest grades in the U.S. The Society of Automotive Engineers and a cooperative group of truck manufacturers chose it as the climb site to create standardized tow rating tests for new pickups by 2013.

Ford measured how long it took the trucks to perform in two tests: The first challenge was a zero-to-60 mph test, and the second was time over 3.5 miles of the grade, which is about 12 miles long.


In both tests, run at wide open throttle, Ford’s EcoBoost V-6 beat the Chevy and Ram V-8s.

In the zero-to-60 test, the Ford was faster by 12.6 seconds than the Chevy and 11.9 seconds faster than the Ram.

Over 3.5 miles, the F-150 outperformed the Silverado 1500 by 42.9 seconds and 3.2 seconds faster than the Ram 1500.


Results of the fastest run for each truck are shown above

For each test, three runs were made using independent professional drivers. The trucks switched drivers and lanes to reduce the chance for variances during the runs.

Besides the engines, the biggest differences among the similarly configured trucks were the rear axles. The Ram had a work-optimized 3.92 rear axle; the Chevy had a 3.42 rear axle optimized toward fuel economy; and the EcoBoost truck split the difference with a 3.73 rear axle.

“We took care to ensure the constancy, accuracy and integrity of the tests, and to have the results verified independently,” said Eric Kuehn, 2011 F-150 chief engineer.

The EcoBoost V-6 will be available in the 2011 Ford F-150 early next year. With up to 90 percent of peak torque available between 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm, we’re looking forward to putting its diesel-like performance through a rigorous road test as soon as we can.

In the meantime, you can also see how it performed in our quarter-mile test a few weeks back or check out the Davis Dam video on Ford's website.


[Source: Ford]

in Chevrolet, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford, Ford F-150, Light-Duty, New Trucks, Powertrains


It should be expected since the peak of the EcoBoost's torque is available at least 1,500 RPM earlier than the Hemi and 1,900 RPM earlier than the Vortech. That's diesel like torque availability from a gas engine!!

Posted by: Vanakatherock | Dec 10, 2010 11:08:06 AM

Why no Tundra 5.7? Oh thats right, the ecoboost is supposed to win these shootouts.

Posted by: BuStAANNut | Dec 10, 2010 11:25:56 AM

Very interesting tests although i think Pickuptrucks.com should conduct some of the same test so the result may be further proved. That and people (rightfully) tend to trust independent sources over the company sources.

Posted by: EagleXYZ | Dec 10, 2010 11:28:57 AM

I am a Ford man but that was the wrong Chevy motor to test, it's nearly 100 ft lbs short on torque ,no wonder it couldn't keep up

Posted by: Carl | Dec 10, 2010 11:36:50 AM

Just wondering....... does the Ford have to run on Premium fuel?

And ya nut busters Tundra comment is spot on

Posted by: torqueofthetown | Dec 10, 2010 11:39:42 AM

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