Deep-ish dive: Ford's all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission

While both of these components will be integral to the new Raptor, they'll also underpin some standard F-150 trims.

Ford

It's nice when you can boost efficiency without making sacrifices to power or towing capacity.

Ford

Enthusiasts the world over are quite excited for the forthcoming 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. We already know that it will pack a new version of Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost six-cylinder engine, along with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Now, we've learned that both those components will be included on the standard 2017 F-150, and we learned a little more about the actual components, as well.

The 2017's 3.5-liter V-6 is actually the second generation of this engine. It now packs both port and direct fuel injection, and it's capable of using one or both methods to elicit additional power and efficiency. The turbochargers are new, with a lighter turbine wheel and electronic wastegates.

There's also a new roller-finger follower valvetrain with more durable valves, new hollow camshafts and hydraulic valve-lash adjusters. Auto stop-start is now standard on all 3.5-liter engines, as well. All these tweaks should boost fuel economy (Ford won't talk specifics until the EPA finishes its testing) and it bumps torque output up by 30 pound-feet, to 450 total.

If you opt for this engine in your F-150, it'll come mated to the 10-speed automatic. Ford promises both superior acceleration and efficiency over its six-speed unit. Wider gear ratios and three overdrive gears contribute to lower numerical axle ratios out back, which means better fuel economy for the average buyer. It's the first Ford gearbox to ditch cast iron entirely, as it relies on steel, aluminum and composites for reduced weight.

In fact, despite having four additional forward gears, the 10-speed is only a few kilograms heavier than the six-speed, and it fits within the same footprint, give or take half an inch. Not that you'll be counting to 10 each time you drive forward -- the transmission is programmed to skip shifts (both up and down) in real time, based on a number of driver inputs.

The transmission is already in preproduction at Ford's Livonia, Michigan, facility, and both the 2017 F-150 and its hot-to-trot Raptor brethren will be coming out this fall.

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