To prove that its 3.5-litre Ecoboost is more than enough engine in the F-150 truck and that it’s durable, Ford will give the Ecoboost its racing debut at the famous Baja 1000 desert race this November. The twin turbo, direct injection engine will be in stock condition (said to have been selected randomly off the line from Cleveland Engine Plant), and the machine is this cool F-150 you see here.
“The engine going into our race truck for the Baja 1000 is the same engine going into the 2011 Ford F-150 that customers can purchase starting next year,” said chief engineer Eric Kuehn. “No special blocks or structural upgrades. We are fully confident that because of the strict testing the 3.5-litre EcoBoost truck engines underwent before we started manufacturing, it will take anything the desert can dish out.”
Ford will compete in full-size stock class, which includes competitors with unlimited V8 engines. For safety, a full roll cage is added to each truck. Also allowed for competition are modifications to the suspension, tyres and wheels.
Baja is part of a “torture test program” by Ford to convince customers that its 365 hp/570 Nm Ecoboost V6 is a class leading engine. Visitors to Ford’s US website can see a poor engine enduring thousands of miles on the dynamometer and in the lab to ensure 150,000-mile durability (240,000 km) for the most demanding F-150 customer.
The site will also show a series of web-based documentaries hosted and narrated by Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs. The “jobs” include towing a pair of Sprint Cup Ford Fusions for 24 hours around a 1.5-mile oval track and hauling timber in Oregon.