Chrysler struck a chord with buyers when it rolled out the fuel-sipping Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in February. The truck, which delivers 28mpg on the highway, filled its initial 8,000-unit order in a staggering three days, and now Ford is looking to the F-150 to vault the Blue Oval back to the top of the MPG pile.
For 2015, Ford is offering a special Super Fuel Economy package, or “SFE” for short, on the new aluminum-bodied F-150. Available on either XL or XLT models, the SFE aims to curb consumption thanks in part to the company’s newest V6 engine, a lightweight 2.7-liter twin-turbo featuring stop-start technology.
EPA figures haven’t been solidified for the SFE yet, however according to Automotive News, the new EcoBoost mill will produce 325-horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque while allegedly surpassing Ford’s fuel economy targets. Is it enough to leapfrog the EcoDiesel? Time will tell, but Ford has more into the SFE than just a greener engine.
The company’s dealer guides indicate that the truck (in SFE trim) will come solely with 17-inch wheels – on the smaller side by full-size standards – designed to cut weight and rolling resistance. Also noteworthy is the dramatic 700-pound weight loss that the F-150 has endured in its shift to aluminum body panels for 2015.
It will be interesting to see how the MPG battle plays out over the next year; the Big 3 have all taken different strategies to improving fuel economy. Dodge has opted for active grille shutters, stop-start technology, and an eight-speed gearbox, while GM employs cylinder deactivation to boost its ratings. One thing is for certain, don’t expect an SFE Raptor anytime soon.