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UK-built diesel engine to power iconic Ford F-150 pickup truck

  • New Ford F-150 3.0-litre Power Stroke diesel
  • First diesel-powered F-150 pickup ever
  • Class-leading for torque, payload and towing

Ford has announced that in 2018 its hugely popular F-150 pickup is to get a diesel engine for the first time ever – and that engine will be built right here in the UK.

Ford’s Dagenham Engine Plant will be responsible for manufacturing the delightfully-named 3.0-litre Power Stroke diesel in question, which will give the F1-50 best-in-class torque, towing capacity and payload versus rival diesels.

Ford F-150 3.0-litre V6 Power Stroke diesel - Power Stroke badge

Of course, that only really matters if you live somewhere the F-150 is actually on sale – which largely means the USA, where it’s been the best-selling pickup (and often the best-selling vehicle of any kind) for the last 41 years.

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Ford F-150 Power Stroke diesel technical details

The new 3.0-litre V6 F-150 turbodiesel engine has the following specification:

  • Power: 253hp
  • Torque: 596Nm – from just 1,750rpm
  • Fuel economy: 30.0mpg EPA estimate (that’s an American measure, equivalent to around 36mpg – not bad for a pickup much larger than the ones we have in the UK)
  • Towing capacity: 5,171kg
  • Payload: 916kg

The engine also features a variable geometry turbocharger for improved response, 2,000-bar fuel injection for smoother, quieter and more efficient running, and uses compacted-graphite iron for the cylinder block and a forged-steel crank for reduced weight and extra strength.

Ford F-150 3.0-litre V6 Power Stroke diesel - front

Other efficiency measures include a two-stage oil pump, an engine-driven variable-speed fan (rivals use electric fans), and radiator shutters that reduce drag. The F-150 diesel also features stop-start technology and a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.

The towing capacity is well in excess of the 3.5-tonne max the best UK pickups can manage, but the payload is comparatively slight – especially versus Ford’s own, smaller Ranger pickup, which can carry as much as 1,217kg in passenger-friendly double cab form.

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Why is Ford building the new F-150 diesel engine in the UK?

The Ford Dagenham Engine Plant is the firm’s largest engine production facility in the world – serving up over 800,000 engines in 2017, including the 2.0-litre EcoBlue motor used in Ford’s Transit and Transit Custom models.

The new 1.5-litre EcoBlue coming to the Transit Connect is built there, too.

Ford F-150 3.0-litre V6 Power Stroke diesel - the engine under the bonnet

In other words, it’s something of a centre of excellence for Ford diesel power. Building for the massive American market is extra reassurance for the 3,000 people employed at the factory, no doubt.

Why is Ford building an F-150 diesel?

It seems a little odd that Ford has chosen now to introduce a diesel version of the F-150 for the first time into a traditionally diesel-shy American market, when the UK and Europe are currently painting diesel as the devil’s fuel, having supported it for decades.

But the reason for this is simple: diesel continues to deliver a combination of torque and fuel efficiency that petrol just can’t match – especially in highly-stressed situations, such as heavy-weight towing.

Ford’s vice president for global powertrain engineering Dave Filipe explains:‘For every truck owner who wants strong fuel economy while they tow and haul, we offer a new 3.0-litre Power Stroke V6 engine that dreams are made of. The more you tow and the longer you haul, the more you’ll appreciate its class-leading towing and payload capacity and how efficient it is at the pump.’

Ford F-150 3.0-litre V6 Power Stroke diesel - towing a caravan

Ford of Europe director of powertrain engineering Stephen Gill adds: ‘The unbeatable pulling power of a diesel engine makes it the perfect match for the iconic F-150, something F-Series fans in the US are about to discover for themselves.

The new F-150 Power Stroke diesel is set to go on sale in the USA later in 2018.

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