If you've been itching to hop into the driver's seat of a new Ford medium duty truck, but want a powerful gasoline alternative to the company's diesel engines, you're in luck. The Blue Oval has announced it will shoehorn its 6.8-liter V10 engine into the big SuperDuty trucks starting in the 2012 model year. The engine cranks out 362 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, and will be mated to the company's TorqueShift six-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox was originally built just for the ridiculous torque levels of the company's 6.7-liter turbo-diesel, so odds are it should have no problem handling the more manageable twist of the V10.

The big-boy ten-pot uses a number of unique design elements. For starters, there are three valves per cylinder – two intake and one exhaust – to help balance performance and affordability. Likewise, Ford has incorporated an intake system with both tall and short runners to allow the V10 to operate at peak power at both low and high RPM.

Ford also says that it will offer a number of alternative fuel packages for the V10, allowing the trucks to run on compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas depending on the owner's preference. Buyers can expect to see the trucks hit dealer lots by the fourth quarter of 2011. Hit the jump for the press release.

[Source: Ford]

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* A class-exclusive 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine and heavy-duty six-speed TorqShift™ automatic transmission form the powertrain of Ford's 2012 Class 6 and Class 7 chassis cabs
* With this addition, Ford will be the only manufacturer to offer a gas-powered vehicle in every truck class from 1-7, giving customers a lower-cost option in each segment
* Orders for the new gas-powered chassis cab will open in the fourth quarter of 2011

DEARBORN, Mich., July 6, 2010 – Ford Motor Company's class-exclusive truck offerings will extend to medium-duty chassis cabs with the arrival of the 6.8-liter V10 gas engine in 2012. With this addition, Ford will be only manufacturer to offer a gas-powered vehicle in Class 1-7, offering a lower-cost option in each segment.

This proven three-valve, single-overhead-camshaft engine is rated at 457 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,250 rpm and 362 horsepower at 4,750 rpm. Gross vehicle weight ratings for Class 6 and Class 7 medium-duty trucks range from 20,500 to 30,000 pounds for this engine application.

"No other manufacturer offers this wide of a range of options and solutions for truck customers," said Len Deluca, director, Commercial Truck Sales and Marketing. "The availability of a gas engine in this medium-duty segment will be welcome news to many businesses and municipalities."

The V10 will be mated to the heavy-duty six-speed TorqShift automatic transmission. This Ford-designed and Ford-manufactured transmission was designed to manage the significantly increased torque – 735 lb.-ft. – produced by the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel engine for the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty. The same basic transmission also is mated to the new gasoline engine for Super Duty.
For added strength, the transmission employs a unique powder-metal carrier in the compound planetary gearset. The carrier consists of four pressed powder-metal components sinter-brazed together to form a rigid, power-dense structure. The sinter-brazed gearset enables more torque capacity and greater engine speed capability.

Also included are Live Drive PTO (power takeoff) and double overdrive gears, which aid highway fuel economy. The Live Drive PTO features an output linked directly to the engine crankshaft providing "live" PTO operation any time the engine is running, regardless of vehicle speed. It provides the capability to power PTO-driven accessories such as dump bodies, sprayer pumps, generators, salt spreaders and snowplows with maximum flexibility.

Alternative fuel options also available

The V10 features three valves per cylinder – two intake valves and one exhaust valve. This arrangement allows the engine to breathe almost as well as high-performance four-valve designs, but without the additional weight and complexity.

The short/long intake runner design features long runners for lower engine rpm operation to speed up airflow and provide maximum torque, while the short runner design is used at higher engine rpm to provide unrestricted high-velocity air intake for efficient cylinder filling and maximum power.

An alternative fuels engine prep package will be available as well. The conversion option, which will become available this fall on F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cab trucks that use the 6.8-liter V10, enables the use of efficient, clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane (LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas).
The engine comes with hardened exhaust valves and valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability for gaseous fuel systems.

CNG and LPG are increasingly popular choices for fleet operators looking to cut fuel cost and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, CNG is less expensive and burns cleaner than gasoline, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions. Propane also burns cleaner than gasoline.

"Having alternative fuel options is extremely important as fleets and municipalities seek greener options," Deluca said. "Overall lower emissions of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline, and lower fuel/operating costs for their fleet are very appealing."

The 2012 F-Series medium-duty chassis cab gasoline powertrain will be available for order in the fourth quarter of 2011.

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