Lions Could Roar Under Hoods Of Next Gen F-150s

Updated Feb 27, 2014

Ford 4.4L V8 diesel

Future F-150s Could See “Lion” Diesels As An Option

by Bruce W. Smith

Even though Ford says they have no interest in putting a diesel in their F-150s, take that with a grain of salt.

It’s no secret Ford has multiple diesel options to choose from should they change their market approach and join the 1/2-ton diesel pickup fray over the next couple years.

Ford already provides Tata Motors with a 3.0L TDV6 “Lion” diesel that develops 255hp and 443 lb/ft torque in 2014 Land Rover Discovery and Land Rover Range Rover.

Backed by an 8-speed automatic, the composite graphite (CGI) block/aluminum head engine in the 5,600-pound Discovery is said to deliver 31.4 mpg combined fuel economy.

The other possibility, depending on consumer acceptance of the 1/2-ton diesels being offered by both Ram Trucks’ Ram 1500 and the next-generation Nissan Titans, is Ford’s 4.4L SDV8 diesel.

That engine is also offered in the world market Land Rover Range Rover and has been in production for several years.

It makes 335hp and 500 lb/ft torque while delivering a combined 27mpg with the eight-speed automatic according to Land Rover specs

Such power and fuel economy from these two Ford-built diesels are the result of some innovative engineering utilizing direct injection and dual-sequential turbos like used in the 6.7L Power Stroke.

Either of these diesels would work well in the new aluminum-bodied F-150s and put up power and fuel economy numbers attractive to F-150 buyers. 

Ford’s 3.0L “Lion” V-6 could be the first diesel offered in an F-150.Ford’s 3.0L “Lion” V-6 could be the first diesel offered in an F-150.

An interesting side note is the 4.4L diesel engine, which is built alongside the 6.7L Power Stroke at the  Chihuahua Engine Plant in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, was developed by a partnership between Ford and Navistar/International back in the early-to-mid 2000s.

When Ford decided to build their own diesels and produce the 4.4L it lead to a breach-of-contract lawsuit in which Navistar claimed that it was their engineers who came up with idea of increasing the stroke of the 3.6L to build the 4.4L.

Ford and Navistar reached a settlement agreement in early 2009, which left Ford in the clear to continue with the 4.4L diesel development/production — and open the door for a diesel F-150.