Grueling Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Just Another Bump in the Road for Ford F-150 EcoBoost 'Hero' Engine

Dec 22, 2010, 12:15 ET from Ford Motor Company

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --  

  • F-150 EcoBoost™ race truck, with an engine that has the equivalent of 10 years of rugged use, finished the grueling Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in just over 38 hours, traveling 1,061 miles

  • In addition to racing, the F-150 EcoBoost also acted as a "rescue" vehicle, assisting fellow competitors throughout the run

  • The same stock EcoBoost engine endured the equivalent of 150,000 harsh user miles on the dynamometer, then was installed into a new 2011 Ford F-150

  • The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost moved 55 tons of timber as a log skidder in Oregon, towed an 11,300-pound trailer at speeds approaching 100 mph at Homestead-Miami Speedway and beat the competition in a steep-grade towing contest at Davis Dam

The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert endurance race has a little of everything to test man and machine to the extreme. Open ground at wide open throttle, followed by harsh deceleration. Bone-jarring jumps. Temperature extremes. Mountain climbs. Shifting terrain. Dunes full of engine-choking sand.

The Ford F-150 EcoBoost race truck with the torture-tested "hero" engine defeated all those challenges – and then some. It not only finished the Baja 1000 in 38 hours and 20 minutes, after 1,061 miles, it also acted as a Good Samaritan in the unforgiving environment.

In several instances, the EcoBoost truck engine's best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque helped pull vehicles out of mudholes or other spots where they were bogged down. Up to 90 percent of its peak torque is available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm, which helps drivers stay in the power.

"I didn't do anything heroic; I don't mind giving people a tug now and then – I lost count how many times we did that," said driver Mike McCarthy. "Our goal was to finish, and the EcoBoost engine was amazing and a total success."

The Baja 1000 represented the culmination of the F-150 EcoBoost torture test program, demonstrating the durability and capability of the class-leading 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine. Viewers can visit to view each of the episodes as they are posted.

Outstanding performance in difficult conditions

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used to power the race truck performed spectacularly in the harsh terrain and extreme temperature swings of the Baja California Peninsula. The truck endured hard accelerations – often at full throttle – and stiff decelerations across the mountains with extreme temperature swings.

McCarthy said the EcoBoost race truck attained a top speed of 115.76 mph and his average race speed (while moving) was 40.76 mph, which was much higher than his anticipated race pace of 30-35 mph.

The EcoBoost truck engine was a total success in terms of fuel economy as well. The race truck can hold 65 gallons of fuel, with the strategy to carry about 30 gallons of fuel during a given stint to save weight and to save time during fuel stops. The EcoBoost race truck ran the entire race on regular fuel, unlike other competitors who used more expensive specially blended fuels.

EcoBoost is fundamental to Ford's strategy to provide technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver uncompromised performance and fuel economy. EcoBoost engines deliver fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent and reduction of CO2 emissions of up to 15 percent, compared with larger, less-efficient engines.

In addition to turbocharging with direct injection, Ford engineers have enhanced EcoBoost's technology capabilities by adding variable valve timing and precisely controlling all aspects of the engine. Ford has at least 125 patents on its EcoBoost technology.

High-tech features in a stock engine

Though the EcoBoost engine entered the race with the equivalent of 10 years worth of rugged use, its inherent performance advantages – twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection – helped it complete the race.

"I've never seen anything like it in a stock engine – especially one that's been through what this one has," said McCarthy. "This EcoBoost engine didn't miss a beat. It took a beating and kept right on going. This is one tough engine."

The EcoBoost hero engine was installed in an F-150 race truck for the Baja challenge after several other real-world demonstrations of the new truck engine's durability and performance. It has racked up the equivalent of more than 160,000 miles.

"While racing is action-packed and exciting, it serves a very real purpose for our engineers to learn about vehicle and engine performance that directly benefits our customers," said Cliff Irey, Ford Truck Motorsports program manager. "The Baja 1000 is no different. In those 30 hours we learned a tremendous amount about the durability of this new F-150 engine, the EcoBoost. And we're delighted to report that the EcoBoost engine showed it was up to this test."

The engine that powered the race truck next went to Ford's powertrain laboratory for a teardown and inspection.

"The Baja 1000 is always a tough race, and many of our customers and enthusiasts saw this event as the ultimate challenge," said Eric Kuehn, chief engineer of the 2011 Ford F-150. "It was an outstanding opportunity to showcase the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine's durability. We took an engine that's stock and essentially 10 years old, and raced on the same course with highly modified competition with up to 800 horsepower."

Ford truck leadership continues

Ford F-Series is the best-selling and most-awarded pickup truck (for 33 years straight) and best-selling vehicle (for 28 years straight) in America. Here are some of the recent awards for Ford F-Series trucks:

2011 F-150

  • and USA Today: 2010 V-6 Shootout: Best Overall V-6 Work Truck
  • Consumer Digest Best Buy
  • The SEMA Award™ for Hottest Truck

2011 Super Duty

  • Farmer Industry News Best Pickup
  • Popular Mechanics Auto Excellence Award: Best Workhorse
  • Ward's Best Engine: 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel
  • Best Engine: 6.2-liter gas
  • ALG Residual Value
  • Kelley Blue Book Residual Value
  • Truck Line of Texas

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

SOURCE Ford Motor Company