Ford Motor Co. expects to muscle ahead of Dodge and General Motors next spring in the diesel horsepower derby when its 6.0-liter Power Stroke engine debuts in heavy-duty versions of the F-series pickup.
The engine, built by International Truck and Engine Corp., cranks out 325 hp, compared with 305 hp for the high-output version of Dodge's Cummins 5.9-liter inline six-cylinder in the Dodge Ram, and 300 hp for the 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 used in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
International Truck and Engine is also the builder of Ford Motor's existing 7.3-liter Power Stroke diesel.
The new diesel V-8, teamed with a new five-speed automatic transmission, delivers fuel economy as much as 10 percent higher than the 7.3-liter diesel now used in Super Dutys, and emissions are 20 percent lower, said Dave Szczupak, vice president of Ford Motor's powertrain operations.
The engine, previewed at the Detroit auto show last January in the Mighty Tonka F-350 concept truck, packs the latest diesel technology:
Ford Motor sells about 200,000 diesel-powered pickups annually but has seen GM make big gains in market share since the Duramax V-8 was introduced two years ago.
Before the Duramax, GM had just 1.2 percent of the diesel truck market. In May, that figure had climbed to 26.2 percent, according to GM.
GM aims to capture as much as one-third of the diesel truck market by 2007 by expanding its Duramax engine plant in Moraine, Ohio. If the expansion plan is approved, GM would build as many as 230,000 engines a year at the plant.
Dodge sells about 100,000 Ram diesels annually.
International also will build a 4.5-liter V-6 version of the Power Stroke for use in commercial vehicles. In March, International CEO John Horne said Ford Motor will use the V-6 diesel in a truck or sport-utility in 2007. The automaker would not confirm plans for diesels beyond the new 6.0-liter engine.
Szczupak said the availability of cleaner fuel will determine when diesels are offered in cars, light trucks and sport-utilities. "We need lower-sulfur diesel fuel, and that's not going to happen until 2007."