The new model of 2016 Ford F-150 SuperCrew

The full-size pickup truck and the V-8 engine were supposed to be inseparable, like the internet and cat videos. You can’t have one without the other—or so we thought.

In America’s most popular vehicle, the Ford F-150, two turbocharged six-cylinder engines marketed under the EcoBoost name have dethroned the naturally aspirated V-8. Ford’s new 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 is the popular choice, while the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 is the top performer. The larger six allows for greater hauling capacity, accelerates the truck more quickly, and swills less gas in EPA testing than the V-8 alternative. It’s enough to make even old-school truck buyers acknowledge that there actually is a replacement for displacement.


And yet a V-8 in a big pickup truck still feels so natural, so right. In the F-150, the Coyote 5.0-liter V-8 is tuned for torque more so than power, yet it still revs with an enthusiastic giddy-up that reminds us that this engine’s other job is powering the Mustang. The response follows the throttle pedal faithfully while the six-speed automatic clicks through gears smoothly and easily. Together they pull this 5220-pound F-150 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is 0.4 second quicker than the 5.3-liter Chevrolet Silverado with the six-speed automatic and 0.9 second quicker than the 5.3 Silverado with the new eight-speed auto. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost, though, can do the deed another half-second quicker, but its synthetic soundtrack doesn’t have the rich, multilayered tone of the V-8.

Provided by Ford Motor Company

SYNC® 3: Ford’s In-Vehicle Communications System Totally Reimagined

SYNC® 3 — The latest version of Ford’s communications and entertainment system — is more responsive than ever. Featuring faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, and a more intuitive smartphone-like touchscreen and easier-to-understand graphical interface that helps Ford customers connect and control their smartphones on the road.
Make quick connections with Sync 3 AppLink®
SYNC AppLink allows you to voice-control some of your favorite compatible mobile apps. Now, with available SYNC 3, the experience is truly smart. Not only can you launch and voice-control your favorite mobile apps, but you can also access them in the organized SYNC-enabled apps section, which automatically loadsSYNC-enabled apps from your paired and connected smartphone. Simply swipe through your compatible apps on the capacitive touchscreen.

Discover how SYNC 3 delivers next-level connectivity to your busy life

Don’t drive while distracted. Use voice-operated systems when possible; don’t use handheld devices while driving. Not all features are compatible with all phones. Message and data rates may apply.

SYNC® AppLink® is available on select models and compatible with select smartphone platforms. SYNC AppLink requires any compatible apps to be installed and running on a capable smartphone while connected to Ford SYNC. SYNC AppLink is not compatible with MyFord Touch®. Commands may vary by phone and AppLink software.

*When properly equipped 


It wasn’t until we saddled our test truck with a 6400-pound trailer (well under its 9000-pound rating) that we fully understood the case for upgrading to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost. The twin-turbo engine offers an extra 2500 pounds of towing capability and handles lighter tasks with considerably less strain. The 5.0-liter truck needs more revs and a wider throttle opening to accelerate its load, so we were often coaxed into pressing the throttle to the floor for even modest acceleration. The torquier EcoBoost engine offers a heartier response at part throttle.

In real-world, non-towing situations, the twin-turbo 3.5-liter doesn’t deliver on its promise of increased fuel economy, with both the 5.0-liter V-8 and that V-6 returning 16 mpg in our hands. But given the 3.5-liter’s virtues, we can forgive it that trespass.


Trucks Are the New Luxury

Pickups once were working-class transportation. Today, they’re proxy luxury vehicles—or at least that’s how they’re priced. If you think our test truck’s $57,240 window sticker is steep, consider that our model, the Lariat, is merely a mid-spec trim. There are three additional grades—King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited—positioned and priced above it, plus the 3.5-liter EcoBoost that costs an extra $400 as well as a plethora of options to inflate the price past 60 grand. Squint and you can almost see the six-figure trucks of the future on the horizon.

For the most part, though, the equipment in this particular Lariat lives up to the price tag. The driver and passenger seats are heated and cooled, with 10-way power adjustability and supple leather. The technology includes blind-spot monitoring, navigation, and a 110-volt AC outlet. Nods to utility include spotlights built into the side mirrors and Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which makes reversing with a trailer as easy as turning a tiny knob on the dashboard.

Middle-Child Syndrome

In the F-150, Ford has a trifecta of engines (the fourth, a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6, is best left to the fleet operators). The 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 delivers remarkable performance at an affordable price. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 is the workhorse, with power, torque, and hauling capability to spare. Compared with those two logical options, the middle-child 5.0-liter V-8 is the right-brain choice. Its strongest selling points may be its silky power delivery and the familiar V-8 rumble. That’s a flimsy argument when it comes to rationalizing a $50,000-plus purchase, though, so perhaps it’s no surprise that today’s boosted six-cylinders are now the engines of choice in the F-150.

Thanks you to our friends at Car and Driver.

Photographer: Marnel Estepa

Intellectmind LLC, Las Vegas, NV