DEARBORN– Customers are as happy with the new F-150's V-6 EcoBoost engine as with their favorite V-8, as Ford proves consumers will move in large numbers to smaller engines.
The F-150’s EcoBoost engine and another fuel-saving technology – electric power assist steering – earned high ratings from customers in Ford’s 2011 U.S. Global Quality Research System, or GQRS, helping to power the F-150 to some of the industry’s strongest independent quality rankings in 2011.
The V-6 EcoBoost-equipped F-150 is achieving customer quality ratings on par with F-150s equipped with the popular 5.0-liter V-8 engine, according to data from GQRS, a quarterly survey conducted for Ford by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The data was gathered from surveys of more than 1,600 F-150 owners who purchased their trucks between September 2010 and May 2011.
“Ford F-150 customers are very discerning so we are pleased they rate our new EcoBoost technology as highly as V-8 engines that some thought truck customers would never give up,” said Doug Scott, group marketing manager, F-Series trucks. “We believe this is a good sign as we plan to roll out this innovative, powerful and fuel-saving technology to most of our lineup during the next few years.”
Electric power-assisted steering, or EPAS – another Ford truck first – is also giving the F-150 a quality edge, with steering that adapts to changing road conditions and vehicle speed, allowing for more confident handling and improved fuel economy.
Internal customer data show these technologies have reduced warranty claims with 25 percent fewer complaints for vehicle vibration and 33 percent less reported issues with drifting and pulling. This means customers are happier with the new system than the reliable outgoing hydraulic-assisted steering system.
Ford’s internal quality data mirror a strong performance by the F-150 in this year’s J.D. Power and Associates’ IQS and APEAL studies. The initial quality study measures vehicle quality during the first 90 days of ownership, while the APEAL study measures owner satisfaction. The F-150 was the only full-size pickup to earn top awards in both J.D. Power studies.
“The F-150 is a symbol of how Ford is reinventing its lineup to lead the industry in fuel economy and quality,” says Bennie Fowler, Ford Group Vice President, Global Quality and New Model Launch. “We have demonstrated with our EcoBoost engines that we can deliver new technology with great fuel economy improvements and leading quality.”
EcoBoost Boosting F-150 Sales
Ford’s gasoline turbocharged, direct-injection EcoBoost engine combines the performance of a V-8 with the fuel efficiency of a V-6 to help boost the truck to new heights. The F-150 with EcoBoost is showing there is a “replacement for displacement.”
“This truck gives customers more with less – using advanced technology to deliver both power and efficiency,” said Raj Sarkar, F-150 Marketing Manager. “The EcoBoost trucks are our most capable F-150s and the fact they also offer exceptional fuel efficiency means our customers don’t have to compromise.”
The Ford F-150’s official 2011 EPA ratings certify that 4x2 models equipped with the 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo engine and six-speed automatic transmission achieve 22 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in the city. At the same time, the engine produces a class-leading 420 lb.-ft. of torque, helping enable best-in-class maximum towing of 11,300 pounds and maximum payload of
Ford total truck sales were 9.1 percent higher year to date through October than a year ago, with 651,837 trucks sold, representing their highest sales since 2007. Ford F-Series sales totaled 54,410 and 52,511 in September and October, respectively. It is America's number one selling nameplate, totaling 468,899 vehicles through October of this year. This included new monthly records for the EcoBoost-equipped F-150's, with nearly 13,000 trucks sold to retail customers, representing over 40 percent of all F-150 retail sales.
The EcoBoost is so popular with truck buyers that the F-150 is on track to sell 100,000 of the engines in less than a year. Third party accolades for EcoBoost continue to roll in with the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) naming the 2012 F-150 the "Truck of Texas" and the 2012 F-150 Platinum EcoBoost the "Luxury Pickup of Texas".
Improved Handling, Fuel Economy with Electric Power-Assisted Steering
Electric power-assisted steering, or EPAS, enables Pull-Drift Compensation technology, which constantly measures the driver’s steering input, adapts to changing road conditions and helps compensate for slight directional shifts caused by factors such as crowned road surfaces or steady crosswinds. The system’s Active Nibble Compensation feature helps reduce vibrations that transfer through the steering wheel.
The system has been carefully tuned with sophisticated speed mapping to deliver accurate responses at high speed while remaining light and manageable in parking maneuvers. EPAS steering also improves fuel economy by up to 2 percent, compared to conventional hydraulic steering systems, because EPAS only requires power during steering maneuvers instead of constant engine power to drive the hydraulic pump. That also means there’s no hydraulic fluid to be disposed of during maintenance, creating less hazardous waste and resulting in a cost saving for owners.