When it comes to the Baja 1000, simply crossing the finish line is reason enough to bust out the champagne. Ford has announced that its 2011 F-150 Ecoboost race truck has managed to cover the entire 1,061 mile course in 38 hours and 20 minutes. According to FoMoCo, the truck put up with some of the most grueling terrain on the planet – racing through temperatures below freezing and above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. More impressively, as you may recall, this particular 3.5-liter V6 engine entered the cross-country rally with the equivalent of 10 years of abuse on the clock. The very same lump went through extensive endurance testing at the Cleveland Engine Plant before being bolted into an F-150 that was used as a log skidder in Oregon.
Finally, the same engine drove around a NASCAR track at full speed while towing 11,300 pounds. Ford then unbolted the engine and plopped it into the race machine you see above – bone stock and without so much as a rebuild. With 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the EcoBoost was more than powerful enough to pull the Baja F-150 across the line. Click past the jump for the full press release.
A 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost™
* F-150 EcoBoost™ race truck, with an engine that has the equivalent of 10 years of rugged use, finished the grueling Baja 1000 in just over 38 hours, traveling 1,061 miles
* The same stock EcoBoost engine endured the equivalent of 150,000 harsh user miles on the dynamometer, then was installed into a new 2011 Ford F-150 to work as a log skidder in Oregon, towed a 11,300-pound trailer at a high-speed NASCAR track and beat the competition in a steep-grade towing contest at Davis Dam
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 20, 2010 – The 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost race truck with the torture-tested "hero" engine finished one of the most grueling desert endurance races in the world – the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 – in 38 hours and 20 minutes, after 1,061 miles.
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used to power the race truck performed spectacularly in the harsh terrain and extreme temperature swings of the Baja California Peninsula. The truck endured hard accelerations – often at full throttle – and stiff decelerations across the mountains at temperatures that swung between freezing and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Though the EcoBoost engine entered the race with the equivalent of 10 years worth of rugged use, its inherent performance advantages – twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection – helped it complete the race.
"I've never seen anything like it in a stock engine – especially one that's been through what this one has," said driver Mike McCarthy. "This EcoBoost engine didn't miss a beat. It took a beating and kept right on going. This is one tough engine."
Earlier this fall, the engine was randomly selected off the line from the Cleveland Engine Plant to be put through a series of rugged exercises to test its long-term durability. It was installed in a 2011 F-150 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant then traveled to Oregon where it worked as a log skidder. Next, the truck towed 11,300 pounds at high speeds around a NASCAR track in Florida before towing up steep grades in Arizona against competitive trucks.
Last week, the engine was removed from the F-150 and installed in a race truck to take on the extreme conditions and terrain of the Baja 1000 in Mexico. In last year's race, fewer than half of the competitors – many with modified engines – finished this race.
The Baja 1000 represented the culmination of the F-150 EcoBoost torture test program, demonstrating the durability and capability of the class-leading 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine. Viewers can visit http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/2011/experiencef150 to view each of the episodes as they are posted.
"While racing is action-packed and exciting, it serves a very real purpose for our engineers to learn about vehicle and engine performance that directly benefits our customers," said Cliff Irey, Ford Truck Motorsports manager. "Baja race is no different. In the last 30 hours we learned a tremendous amount about the durability of this new F-150 engine, the EcoBoost. And we're delighted to report that the EcoBoost engine showed it was up to this test."
The engine that powered the race truck goes next to Ford's powertrain laboratory for a teardown and inspection.
The EcoBoost truck engine produces a best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm and 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. Up to 90 percent of its peak torque is available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm, which helps drivers stay in the power.
"The Baja 1000 is always a tough race, and many of our customers and enthusiasts saw this event as the ultimate challenge," said Eric Kuehn, chief engineer of the 2011 Ford F-150. "It was an outstanding opportunity to showcase the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine's durability. We took an engine that's stock and essentially 10 years old, and raced on the same course with highly modified competition with up to 800 horsepower."