Not many years ago, a 30 mpg EPA highway rating for a full-size pickup would have been incredible. But Ford says the new diesel-powered F-150 will get at least that.
It’s a team effort. We have the building blocks to deliver that target now. We’re bringing it to market now because now is the right time. The enablers are the diesel engine, which delivers great C02 and fuel economy, coupled with the 10-speed automatic transmission and the F-150’s aluminum body. That bundle of the three technologies was really the magic recipe to get to 30 mpg.
Administrations in Washington come and go and fuel economy legislation changes. But does having a truck that easily crushes fuel economy standards future-proof the truck and put in it pretty good shape regardless of politics?
What you consistently hear from Ford senior leadership is that we are committed to C02 improvements. Regardless of regulations, we are still on a glide path we set internally. We just announced $11 billion will be spent in the next cycle plan to deliver lower C02. And that’s great for us in powertrain as we bring more and more new technologies [to market].
How close is the F-150’s 3.0-liter Lion V-6 diesel engine to the version Ford sells to Land Rover?
The 3.0-liter Lion is a very nice engine. But because of the expectations of Ford truck customers when you put it in an F-150, we took it to another level. We made sure it was durable with a number of upgrades to the subsystems. The development was led by the team that delivered the 6.7-liter Power Stroke. That team knows tough truck engine requirements and they applied that to the 3.0-liter Lion. So, it’s a different engine from Land Rover’s version.
With so many electrified vehicles on the way, it’s easy to envision a number of hybrid powertrain architectures, such as an electric rear axle, a mild belt-alternator system and a motor between the engine and transmission on rear-wheel-drive vehicles such as Mustang and F series. Can you give a few clues to what is coming?
We can’t get into too many details. I think what is great there is that we have incredible supplier partners and we are bringing technology [to market] and we have another technology that we are working on. Knowing how to get scale, and how leverage that has been our recipe all along at Ford. Also, over the last 10 years, we’ve invested in flexible manufacturing, so we can adapt our plants to bring all this new technology. We are really set up for the future because of the investments we’ve made.
As the volume of electrified vehicles increases, when does Ford think about becoming a manufacturer of electric motors?
We’re always going to take a look at what makes the most sense for us and what makes the most sense for the customer. That depends on a lot of circumstances.
Would Ford consider a partner for electric motor production?
We’ve had great partnerships over the years in powertrain, with GM for transmissions and with PSA (Peugeot) in Europe on diesel engines, where we continue to do that. We’re always open-minded for a win-win solution in discussions with other OEMs. That’s ongoing.