Ford will incorporate start-stop technology in the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 that debuts in the next-generation 2015 F-150 pickup.

The announcement came at the Detroit Auto Show as Ford showed off the redesigned truck that will be some 700 pounds lighter than previous generation with a high-strength aluminum alloy body. The 2.7L V6 will be one of four engine choices in the light-duty truck line. Others include a 3.5-liter V6, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and a 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8.

“We’ve applied lessons learned from the 3.5-liter EcoBoost to the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost, but with new technologies that make this more efficient engine perform like a larger mid-range V8,” says Raj Nair, Ford’s boss of global product development.

The new start-stop technology is especially tuned for truck customers, Ford says. It shuts off the engine when the truck comes to a stop — except when towing or in 4-wheel-drive to give drivers power on demand in critical situations. Otherwise, when the brake is released while the truck is stopped, the engine quickly restarts.

Another new feature of the 2.7L is Ford’s first use of a compacted graphite iron cylinder block in a gas engine. That’s the same block material used in the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine.

“Previous engine block design choices were high strength or compact or lightweight,” said Ed Waszczenko, engine systems supervisor. “We wanted to go further with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost and design an engine with compact structure and high strength and light weight.”

The familiar 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 also returns in the 2015 Ford F-150.

Other smart new features of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost include:

  • First use of fracture split main-bearing caps, which create a superior fit between the cap and engine block for reduced crankshaft friction to help improve efficiency
  • All-new aluminum cylinder heads feature water-cooled integrated exhaust manifolds that bring the turbos closer to the exhaust heat and pressure
  • Variable-displacement oil pump reduces internal engine friction
  • Intake and exhaust variable cam timing that improves torque 
  • Lightweight, durable composite intake manifold
  • Cooling jets beneath the pistons that spray oil on the pistons to help lower operating temperatures
  • Piston connecting rods use an offset I-beam that provides strength to manage peak engine power levels while reducing weight 
  • Cartridge-style oil filter integrated into top of the engine for easy service

In addition to stringent factory testing and validation, the engine also completed the 883-mile Baja 1000 race last year. Powering a new F-150 disguised to resemble a current production model, the truck raced with no additional coolers or radiators typically added for such a race. Ford says the truck had no engine issues and only the stock air filter was changed.

The new 2.7-liter EcoBoost debuts in the next-generation 2015 Ford F-150 pickup.

Other Ford tests included more than 1,000 consecutive extreme temperature loops and brings the engine from -25 F to 235F — which is like driving from Death Valley to the Arctic Circle. The engine was also ran a full load for more than 17 straight days, most of the time at peak torque and power. And the start/stop function was validated with more than 900 hours tests, simulating 240,000 start/stop cycles. The engine was even torture tested with gas mixtures up to E20 and intentionally degraded oil with towing for more than 800 hours.

Ford won’t release power numbers until final validation and testing. We also don’t know all the specs on the DOHC designed, such as turbo size, cylinder-head design and so on. More information is sure to follow as the new truck sales program rolls out.