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Ford Likes Turbocharging In Trucks, GM Dodges It: Which Is Better?

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Ford Atlas Concept revealed at 2013 Detroit Auto Show

The Ford Atlas concept from the Detroit Auto Show, which gives a first glimpse of the all-new, next-generation versions of the F-150 pickup, has a lot of tech and design ideas packed into it. But truck shoppers often need to think about horsepower, torque, payloads, and pulling power first and foremost. So perhaps just as noteworthy is what Ford pointed to under the hood: a next-generation turbocharged 'EcoBoost' engine.

Ford Motor Co. [NYSE: F] has sold about 43 percent of its current light-duty pickups with the EcoBoost V-6, which made its debut for 2011, and it says that its 3.5-liter EcoBoost F-150 sales alone were greater than some rival full-size truck models' entire lineup. And the majority of F-150 models are now ordered with a V-6.

EcoBoost a success in trucks

2013 Ford F-150 Limited

2013 Ford F-150 Limited

Enlarge Photo
According to Ford, the gamble has paid off; the EcoBoost engine has been very successful, with take rates much higher than even the automaker had anticipated. And it all but confirms that Ford will continue to use the ‘EcoBoost’ moniker into its next-generation trucks.

On the other hand, General Motors [NYSE: GM] has no immediate plans to downsize its pickup engines or introduce a turbo. Instead, it's completely re-engineered the V-6 and V-8 engines that go into its latest, heavily revised 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra pickups. While all three of those engines are expected to post higher horsepower, torque, and fuel economy numbers, they're the same size as their predecessors (4.3 liters for the V-6; 5.0 and 6.2 liters for the V-8). And in each of these, GM is turning to cylinder deactivation technology (along with direct injection and variable valve timing) to make its traditional-sized engines more efficient.


 
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Comments (8)
  1. Ford's strategy of giving customers choices is clearly better. Like GM, Ford offers a naturally aspirated V6 and 2 V8s. (5.0 and a 6.2) The difference is that Ford also offers customers another alternative, the well liked EcoBoost V6, which put Ford miles ahead of GM. It's also worth noting that Ford's 3 normally aspirated engines still supercedes GM's interms of hp, torque and fuel economy.
     
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  2. Ford covers all the bases, including home plate. GM only covers 2, big engine, smaller engine.
     
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  3. Turbos are great provided the owner knows how to take care of them at shut-down so they don't coke up and die prematurely. That involves installing a device to insure the turbo is cooled off and has slowed down pre-shut off. Currently, Ford does not install that device as OEM on its' turbo-diesel or gas engines. Several aftermarket devices are available to protect turbo bearings from the premature shut down blues but most turbo-gas engine owners will not become aware of this problem until failure occurs. The Ford Turbo-diesel guys install them in a high percentage of their trucks. The thought of a "start-stop" cycle in Ford's future "Eco-Boost" engines makes me want to run out and buy stock in Garrett Turbo Company owned by Honeywell..
     
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  4. Hopefully like the older Nissan 350Z turbos they will start using the turbo timers, but what you bring up is a crucial overlooked point.
     
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  5. yep, especially if they do go to start/stop. imagine being stuck at say, an accident or road crew. the truck shuts off immediately after some spirited freeway driving. turbo is good and red hot, and you suddenly shut it off. over. and over. imagine how good it will coke in layers. it also pains me to think of this compounded by the fact people who change their own oil will continue running their trusted castrol gtx or base level conventional oils. castrol is awesome, but in turbos you'll want synthetic. people dont know these things. they dont need to be told WHAT to use, they need to also know WHY and what happens if you DONT. i work at O'Reillys and I went to school building engines. EDUCATE someone, they will make informed decisions.
     
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  6. Great to see the Big-3 are finally starting to get real about fuel savings. The cost to fill up a full-size pickup or SUV is brutal today, even with gas below $4/gallon.

    Now… if we could reduce the BULK and SIZE of those ridiculously big trucks or at least convince Ford to build the new world Ranger here...
     
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  7. good point. its ironic that for 50 years trucks were smaller, had about 100hp flatheads at best, and still got work done. If my Subaru Baja had a tow hitch I could haul damn near anything. I hauled a 4k lb blazer 20 miles with my Tacoma 2.4L 2wd and it didnt even strain. Payload sucked but not every truck on the market needs to look like a Nissan Titan or F150. The S10 sucked but its gone, Colorado I guess is a choice, no more Rangers which as of late were good trucks. Dakotas are around still but are the only midsize to take a v8 still. They could be refined to get 28mpg with such lighter weight if Dodge actually tried.
     
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  8. dont get me wrong I can always use my dads silverado if I need to haul idk...gravel for instance. But I dont think everyone needs a Tahoe, and I dont think everyone needs an F150 or z71. My Baja has way more hp and torque than my tacoma did, its AWD too so if it is hooked on it will pull like a sled dog mud rain or snow. and it off roads better to boot.
     
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