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Fueling change in the Ford F-150

Rafay Ansar



In the face of rising fuel prices in the United States the engineers charged with developing the next generation Ford F-150 pickup truck knew they had to increase fuel economy in order to keep the truck attractive to customers.

When the all-new truck goes on sale next month buyers will be getting 8 percent better mileage across the lineup, including a 12-percent increase in the 5.4-liter V8.

Ford announced Thursday the introduction of the top fuel sipper in the lineup, the F-150 "superior fuel economy" model.

The F-150 SFE, a two-wheel-drive SuperCrew in either XL or XLT trim, is equipped with a three-valve, 4.6-liter V8 mated with a new six-speed automatic transmission, returns 21 mpg on the highway, 15 mpg in the city and has a 7,500-lb towing capacity. Ford says those numbers are unsurpassed in the industry.

The new F-150 is about 100 pounds lighter than the previous generation truck due to the extensive use of light-weight, ultra-high strength steel. According to chief engineer Matt O'Leary, the company was able to lighten the the truck by nearly 250 pounds while significantly increasing content, something truck owners said they wanted in the new model. Improved safety features and items such as Sync, the hard-drive-based entertainment system, are just some of the features added to the truck.

The new F-150 models also save fuel through the engine management system which idles the engine at lower rpms than models in the past, and also uses new technology that shuts off fuel to the engine when the driver lifts off the throttle. The fuel shut-off is automatic and requires no driver input. Fuel flow returns seamlessly when the driver reapplies the throttle.

Highway mileage increased by using a taller rear gear. The SFE model is fitted with a 3.15 rear end, compared to other models with a 3.31 rear gear.

The new truck also spent considerable time in the wind tunnel. O'Leary said the truck's coefficient of drag of 0.403 was reduced by 6 percent, meaning it slides through the air with less resistance.

Base price for the XL Regular Cab starts at $21,320, with the popular XLT SuperCab starting at $29,160. Trucks will be in dealerships in October.
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