Rising fuel economy standards have helped diesel engines make a comeback in the U.S. over the past five years, with light-duty pickup trucks proving especially popular. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel blew away Fiat-Chrysler’s own sales estimates right out of the gate, and the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon diesel models are proving popular options as well.
That leaves just Ford without a light-duty diesel pickup of their own, although images captured by Autoblog spies all but confirm that a 3.0-liter diesel motor is on deck for the ever-popular F-150. This will give Ford a dog in the diesel fight, even though the Blue Oval has long resisted going down this road, but with video proof of a diesel clatter coming from the F-150, Ford can’t deny what’s going on here.
After all, Ford has invested untold billions into its EcoBoost gas engine program, and though the automaker has a number of diesel mills in use over in Europe, tuning those engines to meet American emissions requirements is costly and time-consuming. That bolsters suspicions that Ford could use a version of the Jaguar-Land Rover 3.0 liter diesel V6, which was seemingly confirmed by an F-150 test mule wearing a “3.0” badge. In standard configuration, the JLR engine offers 254 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, both figures just slightly edging out the Ram EcoDiesel.
There had been speculation that the upcoming 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 tapped for Lincoln models could be tossed into the F-150, but that would make no sense given that Ford already offers two EcoBoost V6 engines (the 2.7 and 3.5-liter models) in its popular pickup platform. It’s also rumored that the Ford Ranger could be returning to dealerships in a few years, and it may offer a diesel engine as well. Until then though, the Blue Oval needs a diesel motor of its own to fend off advances from Fiat-Chrysler and GM.
It isn’t easy being on top.