The F-150 has long been synonymous with purple mountains majesty, amber waves of grain, baseball, mom, and apple pie. And part of that rugged mystique has usually been V8 power. Except for the gardener's special models or utility-company meter-readers, the six-cylinder has never represented the bulk of sales.
Well, if the rumor of a V6 EcoBoost F-150 has you reeling, brace yourself, because Ford is talking about taking its corporate-wide engine downsizing a step further by offering a four-cylinder F-150, according to Pickuptrucks.com. Yep, you heard that right, a four-banger F-150. Thankfully, it won't be the 88-horse weezer from the early-90s Mustang. The powerplant being talked about is a 2.5L, direct-injection four with around 260 horsepower and 300 lb./ft. of torque. Those figures are right about on par with the current base 2-valve 4.6 V8, and far better than the recently-dropped 4.2L V6.
But don't worry, the four-pot won't be offered in the long-bed, Super Crew model. Most likely, it will be only offered in regular-cab, short-bed models.
While the idea may seem strange, nothing is off-the-table with the coming 37.5 mpg CAFE standards. Already, it seems enthusiasts are warming to the idea of the V6 EcoBoost in the trucks, which has power targets of 350 horsepower and 390 lb./ft. of torque, better than the 5.4 Triton, with preliminary fuel economy figures of 16 city/22 highway, besting even the entry-level 2-valve V8.
While there will probably be some traditionalists that hang on until the bitter end demanding a V8, it's likely that more and more mainstream consumers will go for the EcoBoost option. And let's not forget Ford's upcoming 4.4L turbodiesel V8, which will likewise offer improved fuel economy with the power and towing capacity truck buyers want and expect. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that eventually, the mini Powerstroke might be the only V8 left in the F-150 lineup, aside from some limited high-performance derivatives.
So, is this a sign the end is near, or are you willing to give a four-pot F-150 a chance?