Ford introduces a diesel-engine option for its popular F-150 light-duty pickup. Bob Gritzinger reports.

Ford’s best-selling pickup line-up kicks off 2018 with an all-new powertrain option in the form a first-ever-for-F-150 diesel engine.

Debuting at the North American International Auto Show, the F-150 Power Stroke 3.0L V-6 diesel arrives in dealership this spring as the sixth engine option for the light-duty truck. F-150 gas engines include the 2.7L, 3.5L and high-output 3.5L V-6 EcoBoost twin turbos, and two naturally aspirated options, the 3.3L V-6 and 5.0L V-8.

Fordsays the combination of the 250-hp, 440-lb.-ft. (597-Nm) diesel and the standard 10-speed automatic transmission give the pickup a series of best-in-class capabilities: an EPA-estimated 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km), an 11,400-lb. (5,171-kg) towing capacity and a 2,020-lb. (916-kg) payload limit. Peak torque arrives at just 1,750 rpm.

“The magic number is the 30-mpg target,” says Dave Felipe, vice president-global powertrain engineering. “The more you tow and the longer you haul, the more you’ll appreciate its class-leading towing and payload capacity and how efficient it is at the pump.”

To develop the light-duty diesel, Ford tapped the same team that engineered Ford’s 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 for the F-Series Super Duty line-up. The DOHC, four-valves-per-cylinder engine features a compacted-graphite iron block, a forged-steel crank, common-rail fuel injection and a high-efficiency, variable-geometry single-scroll Honeywell turbocharger. Stop/start is standard.

An engine-driven fan and dual mechanically actuated radiator shutters manage cooling while an upgraded torque converter handles the extra power. The unique cooling system helps keep the engine operating at maximum efficiency even in harsh conditions. This article first appeared in WardsAuto.

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