Ford needs the extra grunt of its 2011 Super Duty’s Power Stroke turbodiesel to haul all of the superlatives piled on by its executives at the truck’s State Fair of Texas unveiling.
While the design of the new 2011 Super Duty (scheduled to go on sale the second quarter of 2010), was well touted, the focus was on the heightened efficiency of its 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel.
“It’s Ford designed, engineered, tested and Ford built,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “It’s an engine that’s going to be better in all respects.”
The reason for Scott’s Ford-centric zeal is that this is the first Ford-produced diesel since the end of its partnership with engine-builder Navistar — a relationship dating back to 1983.
“The whole intent of the team was that we come out with a diesel engine that is class-leading in all aspects — fuel economy, performance, capability,” said Mark Fields, Ford president, the Americas. Ford isn’t offering specifics on how class-leading the new pickup is.
“Our statement is that we are going to continue to be best-in-class with respect to towing and payload, and we expect best-in-class on fuel efficiency,” said Scott. “We still have more testing to do.”
Output numbers are going to be higher than today’s 6.4-liter Power Stroke, he said. “We’re at 350 (horsepower) and 650 (lb.-ft. of torque), and we’re definitely going to be higher than 350 and 650.” Industry speculation has it generating 400 horsepower and 725 lb.-ft. of torque.
Adam Gryglak, lead diesel engineering manager, shared details on the engineering, making the engine the “toughest, most capable, all-around-best diesel Ford has ever offered.”
The block is composed of compacted-graphite iron, Gryglak said. It’s lighter and stronger to deal with the massive torque and horsepower the engine is going to produce.
The Power Stroke’s inboard exhaust and outboard intake architecture are industry firsts, he said. This configuration reduces the overall exhaust volume by about half and shortens the distance the air needs to travel, resulting in better throttle response.
Another industry first is the Power Stroke’s turbocharger technology. Using a double-sized compressor wheel mounted on a single shaft, it’s like two turbochargers in one.
Taking advantage of the turbo’s efficient airflow, engineers chose a high-pressure, fast-acting fuel system that jets fuel up to 30,000 psi. Not only does it ensure optimal power and class-leading fuel efficiency, Gryglak said, but it dramatically reduces noise, vibration and harshness.
It’s a much quieter vehicle than today’s 6.4-liter Power Stroke, said Scott. “In the Crew Cab — our predominant cab — being able to carry on a conversation between the first- and second-row passengers is better with this new 6.7 than it is today with the 6.4.”
In addition to being lighter (by about 160 pounds) and more fuel efficient, Gryglak said, it’s the cleanest diesel ever offered by Ford.
The new Power Stroke also is B20 capable, allowing drivers to use cleaner diesel fuel and help reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Scott said Ford has reduced the Super Duty’s service hours by 20 percent. “There are a number of operations today that require the body to be pulled off of the vehicle in order to do certain work on the engine,” he said, “and that no longer is required. Serviceability of the new diesel will be greatly improved.”
“We’ve run this engine for a minimum of 250,000 miles. That’s equal to 10 years of service,” Gryglak said. “We’ve idled it for weeks. We’ve run it for 30 days at maximum speed. We’ve run it until it was hot, then flushed it with fluids to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. We’ve started the engine at below-zero temperatures 2,600 times.”
The real test comes next year when truckers whose livelihoods depend on diesel capability put the new F-Series Super Dutys, packing the Ford-built turbodiesel, through their paces.
(Tim Spell is editor of the Houston Chronicle InMotion section.)
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2009