DO YOU SMELL DIESEL
Ford’s long anticipated diesel-powered F-150 seems a step closer to reality ,
We’ve long been suspicious that the F-150 was bound to get a diesel engine in the very near future. We thought it might have already happened with the launch of the 2015 redesign, as Ram had already changed the status quo with the EcoDiesel-powered 1500, but we have yet to see a diesel F-150.
It only made sense as the big three were in a fuel efficiency war with each other, and government regulations were forcing them to build more efficient trucks. With the Ford Transit breaking out on the scene sporting a 3.2L turbo diesel 5-cylinder, why wouldn’t Ford simply take that already proven and regulated powerplant and drop it in the F-150?
We’ve been hounding Ford ever since the launch of Ram’s EcoDiesel, wondering when they were going to hit back. The constant reply response from Ford, “we have no plans for a diesel.”
Funny thing, a spy photographer recently shot an F-150 test mule covered in camouflage. This is no surprise, as a facelift is due for 2018, however the test mule happened to have an unmistakable compression-ignition clatter and the exhaust characteristics of a turbo. Is this just testing the viability of diesel or is it the real deal being fine-tuned, we don’t know, and Ford is keeping silent.
Should Ford actually pull the trigger on a diesel-powered F-150, there are three options we can expect them to choose from. The first would be to completely develop an all-new engine in-house, which in today’s world of platform sharing and global vehicles, is very unlikely. Another option is something called the Lion. This is the internal code name for a series of turbo-diesel V-6’s (and a V-8) developed jointly by Ford and PSA Peugeot-Citroën way back when Land Rover was still under Ford’s umbrella. The engine comes in a very suspicious 2.7L turbo V-6 as well as a 251 hp, 440 lb-ft 3.0L turbo V-6 that can be found in the Land Rover Range Rover Sport. The final option is Ford’s already proven 185 hp, 350 lb-ft 3.2L inline 5-cylinder that is being used in the Transit and overseas Rangers.
Which engine could it be? The easiest swap would likely be the 3.2L 5-cylinder that is already in the Transit. However, if you take into account the rumour that the Ford Ranger will soon make its return to our shores, it is likely that it will keep that same 5-cylinder diesel that already resides under its hood. It is not likely that Ford would want to put the same engine in two different size segments as they would want the F-150 to uphold its patriarchal position with a more powerful option. The Lion just happens to hold a horsepower advantage over the 5-cylinder despite being smaller in displacement. More importantly, it holds a complete power advantage over the EcoDiesel that is powering the Ram 1500.
If I were a betting man, I would put my money down on the Lion and expect to see it in the lineup at the end of next year badged as a 2018 F-150.