Ford Diesels To Counter Rivals’ Big Hybrids
Ford may have off-loaded its Land Rover and Jaguar divisions, but it plans to use some of those former divisions’ diesel engine technology to keep its big trucks competitive with rivals using a mix of hybrids and diesels. The auto industry’s shift to greater efficiency is occurring throughout entire product lines—including the largest vehicles on the market.
While Ford previously said it would use the 50-state diesel engine in its F-150 lineup and Expedition SUV, the company told its dealers that the engine would also find a home in the Lincoln Navigator, full-size vans and Super Duty pickups. The engine could boost the F-150’s fuel economy about 20 percent, into the low 20-mpg range—but won’t be able to get the SUVs much above 15 mpg. That still puts Ford at a disadvantage compared to General Motors’s 20+ mpg hybrid Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade. Dodge also plans to offer both a Dodge Ram Hybrid and Dodge Ram Bluetec Diesel.
The Ford engine is derived from the European turbocharged 3.6-liter used in Land Rovers and Jaguars. While significantly smaller than the current 5.4-liter gasoline V-8 used in Ford’s truck line, Ford told its dealers that it would deliver 9 percent more power (310 horsepower) and 15 percent more torque (430 foot-pounds) while providing similar acceleration—and 20 percent better fuel economy. Ford will use urea injection to control nitrogen oxide emissions, making it legal for sale in all 50 states.