Ask TFL: Ford Should Build EcoBoost-powered Super Duty HD Trucks! Why Don’t They?

Ford is offering up to four powertrain options in the 2020 Ford Super Duty, but why no EcoBoost gas engine option? We recently received this question from Adam S.

Adam writes:

With the advancements in the half-ton turbo gas engines, it makes me wonder – why are OEMs not developing a turbo gasser for the heavy-duty trucks. I could potentially see many advantages.

  • higher mpg than a naturally aspirated (NA) gas engine when empty
  • higher HP and Torque over NA gas V8
  • lower cost of ownership over a turbo-diese (no DEF or exhaust particulate filter)
  • lower weight, so higher payload than a diesel
  • not affected by altitude like a NA gas engine

These are all very valid points. Ford first introduced the EcoBoost twin-turbo lineup of engines to the F-150 lineup back in 2011. It was received with much skepticism. Now, a vast majority of F-150s are sold with EcoBoost engines. The high-output version of the 3.5-liter V6 produces 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque on premium gas.

Large and heavy commercial trucks (heavy-duty trucks) still have different engine performance and durability requirements. Super Duty trucks tend to be used as work vehicles more often than light-duty trucks. It’s all about making money. That means, a heavy-duty customer will not want to use costly premium fuel in their truck. Any downtime costs the worker or business lots of money.

A turbocharged gas engine inherently has more complexity when you compare it to a big gas NA V8: air intercooler, turbochargers, and more. With that being said, Ford is using their EcoBoost engines in many Transit commercial van applications.

I see EcoBoost (turbo-gas) family of engines eventually making it into the Super Duty truck lineup. However, it make still take many years for this to happen.

What do you guys think? Should Ford put an EcoBoost engine into a Super Duty? When do you see this happening – if ever?



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