The 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid engine is offered as an option in the 2021 Ford F-150 and changes the game for V-6 engines in pickup trucks.
The combination of a V-6 and a pickup truck was once relegated to use as service vehicles and for supervisors to drive. Ford’s creation of the hybrid PowerBoost has raised the V-6 to a new level of functionality and usefulness. The PowerBoost performs at the level of a V-8, uses less gasoline, and takes advantage of proven technology to handle wear and tear once reserved for V-8 engines.
An Overview of the Ford 3.5-liter PowerBoost
The Ford 3.5-liter PowerBoost is a hybrid currently used in the manufacturer’s F-series of full-sized pickups starting in 2021. It’s built on top of the Ford 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo engine and features a hybrid gas-electric system with regenerative braking.
The engine is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and the electric motor is mounted in the transmission. It’s capable of running entirely off the EV system as well as working with the gasoline engine for improved fuel economy and increased power on demand.
The PowerBoost engine also powers the ProPower Onboard generator that’s built into the truck and features multiple power outlets mounted on the side of the bed.
Specifications of the 3.5-liter PowerBoost
The Ford 3.5-liter PowerBoost engine features a cast-aluminum cylinder block with aluminum cylinder heads. The engine delivers 430 horsepower and 570 lb.-ft. of torque and is capable of towing up to 12,700 pounds with the Max Trailer Tow Package, and can haul a maximum payload of 2,120 pounds.
The amount of torque delivered by the PowerBoost is the highest ever in the F-150. A belt-driven starter is used to power the water pump and starter motor that’s powered by a traditional 12V battery. A high-to-low voltage converter provides power during low voltage loads.
The PowerBoost’s battery of the 2021 Ford F-150 is a 1.5 kW-hr lithium-ion battery with liquid cooling. It’s mounted under the load floor and attached to the frame rails with a vibration isolation system to preserve the passenger space and cargo area.
The battery pack powers the 35 kW electric motor that works in concert with the engine to increase power and torque, and regenerative braking captures the energy generated by the brakes to recharge the battery while driving.
A hybrid electronic 10-speed automatic transmission, known as the modular hybrid transmission (MHT), has been specifically designed to carry the 35 kW electric motor and deliver power on demand. The transmission features wide-span gear spacing paired with drag-reduction action and also has three overdrive gears. The PowerBoost is available on both 2WD and 4WD models.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Pro Power Onboard system features an available 2.4 kW or 7.2 kW inverter that connects directly to the battery pack and inverts direct current to alternating current. Tools, devices and electronics can be safely plugged into the inverter.
The 2.4 kW outlet panel features:
Two 120-volt outlets with 20 amps each;
The 7.2 kW system features:
Four 120-volt outlets at 20 amps each;
One 30 amp, 240-volt NEMA L140-30R outlet.
All outlets can be used when the truck engine is turned off and placed into generator mode.
Performance of the Ford PowerBoost
If it wasn’t noticeable already, the addition of the electric motor to the engine gives the truck a lot of torque that gives the F-150 the ability to reach 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The average fuel economy for the PowerBoost is 24 mpg city and 24 mpg highway for a combined mileage of 24 mpg.
For comparison, the base model Ford Fusion 2.5-liter gasoline engine gets 24 mpg combined. Actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive. Heavy acceleration will cause the gas mileage to go down as does encountering different driving conditions in a single trip.
Content provided by The Weekly Driver News Services and CarPartPlanet.com.