When Ford’s F-150 product designers stopped by our office earlier this week, they told us that in 2008, a consumer could configure the F-150 more than 11 billion different ways. In 2011, that number had dropped to just over 600,000 different configurations. Yet, for many shoppers today, there’s only one configuration they want: Ford’s hot new EcoBoost engine, a 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6.
In total, Ford this week boosted its sales projections, saying the F-150 with EcoBoost should sell more than 100,000 units in 2011. This represents 40-percent of F-150 sales, and Ford thinks that number will climb to 45-percent by year’s end.
“We didn’t think we would be exceeding that target,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager.
This is a significant achievement for the blue oval, which until recently, wasn’t even sure consumers would take to the unorthodox engine/truck package. But its combination of power (370-hp), fuel efficiency (23 mpg), and towing capacity (11,300 pounds) make it a class leader. This is a far cry from 2010 when Ford didn’t even offer a V-6 for its perennial best seller.
Automotive.com’s take: We’re going to be hearing a lot about CAFE in the coming years, and if you look around, you’ll see lots of new hybrids and EV’s and small cars. But Americans love big trucks, too, so it’s great that Ford came up with an engine and truck size formula that doesn’t compromise size and power, but which also dramatically increased fuel efficiency. We’re looking forward to driving the F-150 EcoBoost next week, and we’ll offer photos and drive highlights on our Facebook page.
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Ford