• Oct 13, 2006
There's been a lot of talk around the Autoblog offices about Ford's lack of bold moves. Thankfully, it's rumored they'll make a smart move by offering a diesel engine in their F-150 line of pickups. Dave Szczupak, who retired last week from FoMoCo, told Autoweek that a diesel should find its way under the hood by 2008 or 2009, and if the ex-exec's timeframe is to be believed, the F-150 will be the first pickup in its class to offer such an option.

The new oil-burner will likely come from Europe's Range Rover, in the form of a 3.6-liter V8. However, due to the stringent emission standards in the U.S., Szczupak says that Ford's engineers have some work ahead of them. First, the internal design of the engine has to be modified to produce fewer emissions, and then they'll need to address the emissions system itself, possibly utilizing a urea-based setup or some kind of NOx trap.

Unless GM, Toyota or even Nissan bring a diesel to market sooner, Ford will have a leg up on the competition, and will secure a much needed piece of the market.

[Source: Autoweek]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Koba, The LCF is a fine truck for what it is- toting around local delivery stuff. As such, its part of the +8600# category, making it subject to less stringent requirements. Also, in the class 3-4 small cab-over segment, 150-190hp is the norm, so it falls right on target. To make a business case (70-120k units annually)for the 4.5l in the F150, it would have needed to make 230-240 hp and make light vehicle emissions, which just wasnt possible at the time. if you poke around Internationals own literature, that same engine will now make 245hp and meet Euro4 standards. With some tweaking and aftertreatment, it should be able to meet the requirements to be used in a truck VERY MUCH LIKE the F150 as an '09 model. As for fitting the 4.5l into the F150, it is a slight challenge. It is very wide. Take a peak under the hood of a Super Duty w/ a 6l PSD- its very tight under there, and the hood is much bigger. Comes down to the cost factor of sourcing the engine internally or from ITEC. Emissions integration needs to be done in either case. In its current form, the Triton V8 is very cheap to build, but even if it costs twice as much to build the Lion V8 in england and ship it here, it should only be about $1500 cost to Ford. Its much easier for companies like Toyota to justify the cost of the diesel option, as their gas motors are simply more expensive to build (DOHC, VVT) In the end, volume is everything. As for why not right now, rest assured that light diesel development is running at full speed at all manufacturers, but each one knows that they cannot afford to step up to bat with a half-assed product. 2009 Model year is not that far away- lease something domestic in the mean time if you're pressed for time. Up here in michigan, they're practically giving away Rams, F150s and 06 model Silverados.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh come on Ryan... Have you even seen a truly modern diesel automobile? Here in Europe you can't throw a rock without hitting one and let me tell you, you're so full of it it's not even funny.

      I'm generally not really a diesel fan, all this economy-first thinking bores me, but it's just ignorant to judge all diesel vehicles based on heavy-duty pickup trucks as you seem to be doing. Capable as trucks may be, refinement (understandably) wasn't a top concern in the design process.

      My cousin owns a diesel Mercedes S-Class (S400) and it's just a thoroughly good vehicle. I'ts a few years old now but there's no smoke, no smell and little more noise than a comparable gas model. What it has is great torque and passing power and very good fuel mileage.

      Diesel has it's drawbacks, certainly, but it's not smell or noise... It's mainly price and unwillingness to rev. In the US there's also less-than-perfect availability but that's no reason to dismiss it alltogether.

      Prefering gas-engines is fine, you can certainly find reasons to, but these old arguments are quickly growing irrelevant.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I rode in a new LR3 Range Rover taxicab with a diesel a couple months ago. It was quiet (inside and out), and zipped up and down Swiss mountain roads with ease. From the "seat of the pants" you could definately feel the torque pulling, and I was watching the tach, and everything was taking place within a narrow rev range of only about 1500 to 2000 rpm.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "So while the comments that smog is an issue in Europe is a valid one, it is not a valid argument in the USA."

      -Lets keep it that way.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't live in Columbus, Indiana
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ryan...they are putting it in a TRUCK not the 500 or Freestyle. The complaints you have are not relative to the overall truck market.

      The touchy point here is the price point. Will they be able to offer this option for a reasonable price? Also, they need to estimate the take rate on this option to determine if it's feasible at a certain price. If the emissions weren't a problem and they could just drop it in using parts they already have on hand, it would be a no-brainer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's OK Ryan, you don't have to buy one. Nice to see Ford starting to move out of it's "my truck is uglier than yours" phase.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ryan,

      Not all diesels smell like crap and sound like school buses. That's just what we are used to in this country, because they've put those type of engines in our trucks for years. And much of the smell comes from the sulfur, which is now being phased out of the nation's diesel pipelines as we speak.

      I guarantee you there will be some cleaner, quieter diesels offered in many cars and trucks in the next few years that will change people's minds about diesel engines in America.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #31 Koba,

      "I'm sure marketing killed the idea" (V6 diesel for F150 circa 2001)

      On the contrary, marketing was livid that the V6 was canceled (yes, I have inside information). IEC admitted that they could not deliver both the V8 and the V6 on the original schedule. Ford "let them of the hook" for the V6, but wound up paying them off in the end.

      So how much longer will Ford be buying diesel engines from IEC ?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Better late than never. This will put the pressure on GM and Toyota. Thanks for the news.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ray..."I I am afraid you sir are incorrect...see www.therepublic.com or www.cummins.com. I live in Columbus, Indiana where just yesterday Cummins announced that it was adding 600 new jobs to build an endine with DCX for the 2009 model year..."

      No. I am correct. You referred to a post here on AB that mentioned Cummins had agreed to build a diesel for an undisclosed customer. You said it was "almost ready to be dropped". The articles you are now referring to say they're just now hiring people to build the engine. So, I would say it's not "almost ready".

      I never said Ford would be the first...the AB writer said that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A couple of things.

      Diesel is naturally dirtier than gasoline for smog-producing particulates. However, diesels produce far fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline engines.

      American emissions standards have traditionally been geared towards smog and not so much to greenhouse gases. In 2008 (2009?), gas engines and diesel engines must meet the same emissions standards. This means that diesel engines will produce greenhouse gases far below a comparable car and particulates equivelant to a car.

      Diesels sold in the USA will be fitted with urea injection or particulate traps that will not be found on comparable Euro models.

      So while the comments that smog is an issue in Europe is a valid one, it is not a valid argument in the USA.
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