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Dyno: 2.7 Liter vs 3.5 Liter EcoBoost

Thursday, March 19th 2015. | 2015 Ford F-150, Reviews
2015 Ford F-150 with 2.7 EcoBoost on Dyno at 5-Star Tuning

2015 Ford F-150 with 2.7 EcoBoost on Dyno at 5-Star Tuning

Last week we posted dyno results of the new 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6 vs the 5.3 liter EcoTec3 V8 from GM, the results of which were surprising. Ratings from Ford and GM have the GM coming out on top, but when 5-star put them on the dyno the EcoBoost had a clear advantage, read more here. That wasn’t the only dyno comparison 5-Star did, they also compared Ford’s tried and true 3.5 liter EcoBoost to the new 2.7 liter EcoBoost, check it out:

2.7 EcoBoost vs 3.5 EcoBoost V6 stock dyno

2.7 EcoBoost vs 3.5 EcoBoost V6 stock dyno

As you can see, the two are remarkably closely matched. How do we explain this? Shouldn’t that difference be bigger? Let’s get into these results. First of all the 3.5 liter EcoBoost still commands a considerable advantage over the 2.7 liter, simply because it holds its torque much better toward the end of the RPM range. There are also advantages beyond what we can read in this dyno chart. Due to its larger displacement the 3.5 can stay out of boost during lower load situations, this translates to better MPG’s, especially when towing. As we’ve reported, the larger 3.5 liter actually get’s better MPG’s than the 2.7 with a load behind it.

But still, the 2.7 liter is awfully close, other than its torque falling off sooner. This is because Ford has incorporated some technologies in this engine that weren’t available when the 3.5 was released in 2010. This allowed Ford to gain some horsepower per liter on the newer 2.7 liter. As we’ve reported before this is a great engine for a daily driver, for someone that tows things on the weekends and drives their truck unloaded a high percentage of the time.

2017 F-150 Ford Raptor in Mountains

2017 F-150 Ford Raptor in Mountains

Also to keep in mind, the 3.5 liter will be due for an update sometime next year and you can count on the fact that this gap will be considerably increased. With reports of the 2017 F-150 Raptor having 450 horsepower out of its next gen 3.5 liter EcoBoost, it still remains to be seen if this number will be the same for regular F-150’s.

Also of note is the fact that both the 3.5 liter EcoBoost (and be sure to check out our article on 3.5 EcoBoost Air Intakes) and the 2.7 liter EcoBoost can be tuned for serious gains in horsepower, click the respective engines to find out by just how much!

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  • gregsfc

    I’ve got the near-lightest, smallest, and highest-geared version of an F150 with the new 2.7 and a 3.31 rear axle in a 2wd and a short bed in XL trim with chrome bumpers and wheels and 101A package, which provides cruise, remote keyless entry, power glass / doors, MySync Basic and not much else that’s worth mentioning. I’m so far averaging 23 mpg, but due to the extended highway trips I’ve taken so far at or about 65 mph that exaggerates my numbers so far, I’m guessing that my lifetime average with this truck, being very fuel-usage minded, when empty commuting 85% highway, 30 miles at a time, will be somewhere in the 22-22.5 range, and that certainly falls right in the combined rating for this truck and this engine but is far better than what all other valid inputers are posting on Fuelly.com where the median seems to be in the 17-20 range.

    It is my opinion that it is only the lighter-duty, rear drive, and less-featured versions sporting this engine where the mpg advantage will shine the most, compared to most full-size trucks with spark-ignition due to the fact that it is only when one applies a light foot, under a light load, at a reasonable speed that a gas-powered, turbo-charged engine with smaller displacement will have an advantage over other gas engines with respect to fuel economy. However, even though I’ve got an ideal commuter route in which to achieve great mpg, and I’ve been on some highway trips @ 65 mph, I will say that this engine, in any version of truck, at anything near the speed limit, will not achieve 26 mpg highway; at least not in a regular cab. It is certainly possible on extremely flat terrain or if one starts the measurement on the highway and measures only in the tail wind direction or drives well below the speed limit, but those are not real-world scenarios. I can eek out about 25 in decent weather, driving 65 mph, measuring round trip, but that’s about it.

    So one might ask, why this engine when the base V6 may get near the same economy @ $795 cheaper? Well, it’s about driving pleasure. My truck with the base V6 would have much lower peak torque, and more importantly, it’s peak torque comes way higher on the tachometer gauge, meaning it would constantly be downshifting on even the tiniest of hills, whereas this Ecoboost drives much like a V8 on the highway with alot of torque on tap at the top section of the accelerator, but when driven conservatively, far exceeds any current V8 with respect to mpg.

    So would a diesel be better? Of course it would, because diesels can keep spooling up the turbos and sucking in more air w/o the need of more fuel to balance out fuel-to-air ratio as they spool up, but diesels are too limited and too expensive and something has to change technologically speaking from an emissions compliance standpoint, for them to become mainstream and to be offered in all configurations and trims at a reasonable premium. I would have paid up to $5K more for something like the 3.2 I5 Powerstroke that is offered in the Transit Van in my F150, but Ford won’t put it in an F150 fearing that it’d get bad reviews for it’s 200ish hp numbers and couldn’t justify a $5K premium giving up that much performance, and if they designed a more modern, more powerful V6 diesel for that truck, it would be much more costly and offered only in the $34K and up price point, much like the Ram Ecodiesel.

    So when Ford officials explain that they don’t offer diesels, because they can’t give consumers value, they are telling the truth, and they’ve brought us something decent that most customers can afford in the Ecoboosts. So I guess what I’m trying to convey is that if you need a truck to work hard most of the time, Ecoboost probably isn’t going to help much on your fuel bill, and if you’ve got a gas-powered truck, it’s going to suck gas in any arrangement. But if you want or need a truck just to haul around every now and then and use it mostly as a daily driver and you don’t have to drive a monster truck or have a lead foot, then that’s where the Ecoboost, particularly the 2.7, really makes sense.