Production range: 2011-present
Cab configurations: All
Drive configuration: RWD and 4WD
Perhaps more intriguing than 360 horsepower out of 5.0L is 365 horsepower out of 3.5L – and only six cylinders. Debuting alongside the 5.0L Coyote for F150 use was the 3.5L twin-scroll turbo EcoBoost V6. Boasting seriously impressive numbers, this new engine was the first in Ford’s push for a smaller, more efficient engine lineup (that can still pack a serious punch).
The first gen F150 EcoBoost is a 60-degree, V6 Duratec design with aluminum block and cylinder heads. Bore and stroke measure 92.5 mm x 86.6 mm, respectively. Featuring direct injection, dual overhead camshafts with variable timing, and two Borg-Warner turbochargers (mounted in parallel), this lower displacement powerhouse churns out a peak of 420 lb-ft at only 2500 RPM using a max of 13.5 psi of boost.
This is the first direct injection engine ever put in an F150, and it is capable of producing fuel pressures from 200 up to 2150 psi in order to deliver proper atomization. With a compression ratio of 10:1, this highly advanced fuel system is a large reason the engine can still run on 87 octane without fear of detonation.
Unfortunately, the use of this direct injection system has also led to some issues with the EcoBoost engine. Because the fuel is now sprayed directly into the cylinder head, the valves can accumulate carbon (where in a port injected system, the action of the fuel passing over the valves act as a cleaner) which can hamper performance and even require significant engine service early on.
Ford has been quick to recognize and take action. In 2017, Ford updated the 3.5L EcoBoost with an additional port injection fuel system to work in conjunction with the direct injection. With both these systems, the engine can still achieve the performance of a direct injection motor with the cleaning abilities provided by port injection. Other changes include new super lightweight Mar-M-247 alloy turbo vanes, 2.5 psi boost increase, revised camshaft profile, dual primary cam chains, start-stop technology, and a compression ratio increase to 10.5:1. With these changes and the accompanying PCM algorithmic adjustments, this latest gen 3.5L EcoBoost engine produces 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft.
Also for 2017 was the introduction of the 3.5L EcoBoost HO. Intended for use in the Raptor and select up-scale F150 Limited trim models, this high output version of the standard EcoBoost ups power to 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft. Differences over the standard 3.5L EcoBoost include changes to the turbo compressors, cast steel exhaust manifolds, true dual exhaust, and PCM calibration changes. One other major change is the design of the piston, which drops the compression ratio back down to 10:1.
Given the electrically controlled and turbocharged nature of this engine, aftermarket PCM tunes take the cake in regards to adding more performance for the best value.