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EcoBoost Horsepower Explained: Navigator vs. F-150

Thursday, February 26th 2015. | 2015 Ford F-150, 2016 Ford F-150, Reviews

There is a difference in the power ratings for the 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 in the 2015 Ford F-150 vs the Lincoln Navigator. The F-150 is rated at 365 horsepower and 420 ft-lb’s of torque, in the Navigator that same engine is rated at 380 horsepower and 460 ft-lb’s of torque. That’s a bit more power and quite a lot more torque. There are a lot of articles on the internet saying that the F-150 should have gotten this higher rated engine. But I do believe the Ford F-150 already has it. Why? The Navigator’s suggested octane is 93, which I think is the explanation for its higher power rating as the F-150’s suggested octane level is Regular 87 octane gas.

2015 Lincoln Navigator Highway Cruising

2015 Lincoln Navigator Highway Cruising

Turbocharged engines respond differently to changes in octane than the V8’s we are used to in our trucks. If you take a 2008 F-150 with a 5.4 liter V8 switching from 87 to 93 won’t do much of anything for power, doing the same on a 3.5 liter V6 EcoBoost will definitely net you an increase in performance. The ECU in the F-150 (and Navigator) can detect the level octane you are running and can adjust engine parameters accordingly, in a turbocharged engine that means it can allow the engine to run more timing and boost, which explains the higher power rating for the 2015 Navigator.

Ford EcoBoost Logo

Ford EcoBoost Logo

The F-150 was sold as a vehicle that can run 87 octane as it is a higher volume vehicle, a vehicle that most people would like to be able to run the cheaper fuel in. The Navigator however, is a lower volume luxury car, it’s one of those vehicles where the typical buyer is far less concerned with fuel costs and if anything, they are interested in how much power the engine generates. So for those of you demanding Ford to put this “higher rated engine” in the 2016 Ford F-150, you can already find it in the 2015. I for one can’t wait to see the 2nd generation EcoBoost in the F-150. The engine, that in the Raptor, has been reported to produce 450 horsepower.

2015 Ford F-150 Supercab Dirt Road

2015 Ford F-150 Supercab Dirt Road

Do you want that power now (and more)? Custom tuners like LET, Unleashed, 5-star and Livernois should have tunes for the 2015 model year any day now, as SCT has just announced that it has upgraded its software to be compatible with the 2015 F-150 engines. A tune alone can net you roughly 70 horsepower and 110 ft-lb’s of torque on the 2011-2014 F-150 EcoBoost, I don’t doubt it will be the same for the 2015 F-150. That’s ~435 horsepower and ~530 ft-lb’s of torque (measured at the crank). And what’s one of the contributing factors that makes those numbers possible? You guessed it: running your truck on 93 octane.

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2014 f-150 horsepower and torque increase 5 0l
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