Just as rumours circulate that Toyota is about to launch a Cummins-powered Tundra, Ford lets everyone know who really is boss in town; who is the big kid on the block.
Ford, North America’s truck leader, has announced an all-new F-650/F-750 medium-duty truck line-up powered by the 6.7-litre PowerStroke V8 turbo diesel.
The diesel, manufactured at Ford’s Chihuahua Engine Plant, Mexico, will feature three engine power ratings. These include best-in-class standard diesel horsepower and torque, and no vocational limits on top ratings.
The latest announcement will help cement further growth of compacted graphite iron (CGI) for the cylinder blocks of high-performance diesel engines as the applications for the F-650/F-750 amount to new business for the Chihuahua Engine Plant for these engines.
The three diesel power levels available for the 2016 Ford F-650/F-750 are: 270bhp and 675lbft torque (best-in-class standard); 300bhp and 700lbft torque; and finally, 330bhp and 725lbft torque.
These new levels go on sale next year in the Spring of 2015. Multiple ratings provide customers with the flexibility to scale engine power to work applications and operations.
“While other medium-duty truck manufacturers restrict top horsepower and torque ratings to certain applications, such as emergency services, the all-new F-650/F-750 will arrive with no vocational restrictions,” said John Ruppert, general manager Ford commercial vehicle sales and marketing. “We’re giving our customers the power of choice to determine what’s best for their business.”
The all-new F-650/F-750 joins North America’s broadest commercial vehicle line-up, delivering a combination of commercial-grade quality, capability and convenience that makes the range the toughest, greatest value, most work-ready Ford medium-duty trucks ever.
The second generation 6.7-litre PowerStroke V8 turbo diesel builds upon the success of the diesel engine found in the F-Series Super Duty line-up. The F-650/F-750 6.7-litre PowerStroke and commercial-grade six-speed TorqShift HD automatic transmission have been developed and tested for medium-duty applications. The powertrain offers an unsurpassed five-year/250,000-mile limited warranty.
Ford is the only medium-duty truck manufacturer that designs and builds its own diesel engine and transmission combination – ensuring the powertrain will work seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations.
This approach enables Ford engineers to optimize vehicle performance across the entire line-up and further refine the powertrain to the specific needs of the customer.
“Engineering the truck and powertrain together is the best way to deliver a great product for the customer,” claims John Davis, Ford commercial vehicle chief nameplate engineer.
Key innovations on the 6.7-litre PowerStroke V8 turbo diesel are its CGI engine block sourced from Tupy SA of Joinville, Brazil. The CGI cylinder block material enhances durability and helps reduce noise, vibration and harshness.
The reverse-flow layout places the exhaust inside the engine’s vee-shape, while the air intake is positioned on the outside of the vee configuration. This segment-exclusive design naturally improves a variety of attributes.
Shorter airflow from the exhaust system to the turbocharger sitting between the engine’s cylinder banks improves turbo responsiveness – key to providing torque quickly to truck customers when they need it most. Positioning the turbo inside the engine’s valley helps isolate the engine’s hottest temperatures, aiding performance and efficiency while also reducing noise, vibration and harshness for improved driver comfort.
During testing, the 6.7-litre PowerStroke V8 turbo diesel endured the equivalent of 500,000-plus miles on an engine dynamometer, replicating the duty cycle of the harshest-use customer.
In addition to its PowerStroke diesel, Ford remains the segment-exclusive automaker to offer a gasoline-powered engine for a medium duty truck. The 330bhp, 440lbft torque 6.8-litre V10 is now available for both F-650 and F-750 models with the TorqShift HD six-speed automatic transmission.
The 6.8-litre V10 can be factory-prepared for converting to compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas as cost-effective alternatives to gasoline.
Offered in Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab styles and in straight frame, dock height and an all-new dedicated tractor model for heavy towing applications, the 2016 F-650/F-750 features a bold look inside and out.
The Ford F-650/F-750 anchors Ford’s commercial truck line-up – North America’s best-selling line of commercial trucks for 29 years – giving vocational customers an unmatched one-stop shop to meet their needs, from a Class 1 Ford Transit Connect cargo van to a Class 7 Ford F-750 tractor rig.
Every truck and van in the Ford commercial truck line-up will be all-new or significantly refreshed in the next 18 months, Ford claims.
Last year, Ford announced it would shift production of the 2016 F-650 and F-750 models to its facility in Avon Lake, Ohio, near Cleveland from the joint-venture Blue Diamond truck company in Escobedo, Mexico, just outside of the northern city of Monterrey.
The Avon Lake plant formerly produced the E-Series vans. With the new Transit coming out of Kansas City, Avon Lake was faced with the possibility of being shuttered, but future product for the plant was negotiated as part of the UAW's 2011 negotiations with Ford.
The Avon Lake plant will continue to build Econoline cab-chassis and cutaway commercial models.
The big purchasing change for the 2016 F-650 and F-750 trucks is the discontinuation of 6.7-littre Cummins ISB diesel engine.
As mentioned above, starting with the 2016 model, the only diesel option will be the Ford-designed 6.7-litre PowerStroke V-8 with its three output levels. The 6.8-litre gasoline V-10, offered in the F-650 since 2012, continues to be offered, giving buyers the option of running on compressed natural gas or propane.
The Blue Diamond plant was a joint-venture between Ford and Navistar, where International's 4000-series/DuraStar trucks were also built.
Anyone who has followed the history of Ford's heavy-duty pickups and medium duty trucks over the past decade, will be well aware of the acrimonious relationship Ford and Navistar had in the last few years, this largely centred on mechanical reliability issues of the ill-fated 6-litre PowerStroke diesel designed and built by Navistar. Now Navistar’s new bosses are having to pick up the pieces of that acrimonious relationship.
Ford finally introduced the clean-sheet 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel for the 2011 model's redesign, the first in-house Ford diesel engine for its Super Duty trucks.
All of which makes the importance of Cummins Inc.’s new contracts with Nissan Motor Company and Toyota Motor Company for the ISV5.0 engine all the more important. Notwithstanding that, it is good news too for CGi as the new Cummins ISV5.0 has a CGI cylinder block – the first production Cummins engine making use of CGI. It is also good news for Tupy which wins on both counts. ∎
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