Ford adds diesel engine to F-150 for the first time

Ford adds diesel engine to F-150 for the first time

Ford equipped the truck with a 26-gallon fuel tank.

Ford dealerships will stock the diesel trucks beginning in spring 2018.

Horsepower is rated at 250, but like other diesels its strong suit is torque-440 pound-feet, peaking at just 1700 rpm-and thrift: Ford anticipates an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 30 mpg.

The new 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V6 will produce 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque.

The Ford F-Series was the top-selling vehicle in the 2017, topping sales of 896,000 units. The time is right, executives said, because new technology enabled a smooth and quiet ride that is traditionally hard to achieve with a diesel powertrain.

"We know that competing diesels with electric cooling fans have to dial back on power under extreme heat and altitude, so we decided on a viscous-controlled mechanical fan that has the capacity to move much more air across the radiator and intercooler in extreme conditions", David Ives, Ford diesel engine technical specialist, said in the announcement.

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Diesels have always been a popular option with buyers of heavy-duty trucks, like the Ford Super Duty line. Until now, there were only two on the market, the Ram 1500 and the latest-generation Nissan Titan. But turbos do have their drawbacks, notably a sharp drop in mileage under heavy loads - such as on steep hills, aggressive acceleration and extreme towing situations.

Ford will begin taking orders, including from commercial buyers, later this month, and begin delivering it in the spring.

For now Ford has only one competitor when it comes to the half-ton diesel game, and that's the Ram EcoDiesel. An aluminum body and bed, first introduced on the F-150 in 2015, reduces weight and improves fuel economy.

The 3.0-liter Power Stroke is available with either in both 4×2 and 4×4 and buyers can choose this engine option for 2018 F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum edition SuperCrew trucks with either a 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configuration, and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5-foot bed configuration.

The engine will be mated to a 10-speed auto transmission. It will also come with auto stop-start as a standard feature.

Ford tested the new F-150 diesel along the Davis Dam in Arizona, finding that even with an ambient temperature in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the truck could climb 13 miles at a 6-percent grade with a consistent level of power output. Ford has also made modest changes to the fascia, grille and interior of the F-150 family.