DEARBORN -- A little play time in a sandbox is on the horizon for the 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost torture test / “hero” engine. This is no ordinary sandbox, though – it’s the rugged, demanding course of a world-famous desert endurance race.
It’s just the latest challenge for this same stock EcoBoost engine, randomly plucked off the line at the Cleveland Engine Plant. It’s worked as a log skidder, towed a maximum 11,300 pounds at high speeds around a NASCAR track and beat the competition in a towing exercise.
Now it’s been pulled out of the 2011 F-150 and installed into a race truck to take on the extreme conditions and terrain of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in Mexico. Last year, less than half of the competitors finished the race.
The Baja 1000 race is the culmination of an extensive torture test program by Ford for customers to see for themselves the extreme durability testing and development of the class-leading EcoBoost truck engine.
Viewers can visit http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/2011/experiencef150 to get an exclusive look at how an EcoBoost truck engine endured thousands of miles on the dynamometer and in the laboratory to ensure 150,000-mile, 10-year durability for even the most demanding F-150 customer before taking on real-world challenges.
Stock engine ready to take on desert racing’s best
“The 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost has performed flawlessly during all of these extreme tests,” said Eric Kuehn, 2011 Ford F-150 chief engineer. “We fully expect the EcoBoost to pass this latest challenge with flying colors.”
This EcoBoost engine is the same type that can be purchased starting next year – no special blocks or structural upgrades. For safety a full roll cage is added to each truck. Also allowed for competition are modifications to the suspension, tires and wheels.
The EcoBoost engine, however, is stock.
“It’s a testament to the rigorous engineering that went into the EcoBoost truck engine that it is ready to take on this difficult race with well in excess of 150,000 miles (equivalent and accumulated) on it already,” Kuehn said.
The race is expected to take 30 hours to complete in harsh terrain with temperature swings from just above freezing to well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the speeds will be between 20 and 50 mph with hard accelerations – often at wide-open throttle – following stiff decelerations and back to hard accelerations.
Outstanding power on regular pump gasoline
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine’s inherent performance advantages – twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection – will especially shine in this environment.
The EcoBoost truck engine produces a best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm and 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular 87 octane fuel. The EcoBoost has up to 90 percent of its peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm, which helps drivers stay in the power.
The EcoBoost race truck will run the entire race on regular fuel, unlike other competitors who will use more expensive specially blended fuels.
This year’s event is a full 1,000 miles (estimated at 1,070 miles) and will be a true point-to-point race from Ensenada to La Paz, Mexico.
“The Baja 1000 is always a tough race, and many of our customers and enthusiasts see this event as the ultimate challenge,” said Kuehn. “It’s an outstanding opportunity to showcase the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine’s durability. We’re taking an engine that’s stock and essentially 10 years old and racing on the same course with highly modified competition with up to 800 horsepower.”