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The nation’s most popular vehicle now offers the least marketable powertrain.

This week, details about the diesel 2018 Ford F-150 were made available months after the automaker confirmed they would offer the engine in their best-selling pickup. It’s the sixth engine available in the 2018 Ford F-150 in addition to four V-6 engine options and one V-8.

When it goes on sale this spring, Ford will offer a 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel engine in the F-150, the first time in the pickup’s 70-year history for a diesel engine under the hood.

DON’T MISS: Read our full review of the 2018 Ford F-150

The engine should appeal to frequent towers and long-haul drivers with improved capacity and range. Ford said the 250-horsepower 3.0-liter diesel engine would be rated to tow up to 11,400 pounds and its range may reach up to 780 miles on a single tank of diesel fuel.

Although diesel’s popularity with general carbuyers has rapidly declined over the past few years—just nine diesel-powered passenger cars are available so far in 2018, down from 22 in 2015—truck buyers have clamored for the engine option in light-duty trucks and are seemingly willing to pay for it. The diesel F-150 will join the General Motors Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon mid-size pickups and the full-size Nissan Titan XD in offering a diesel. Ram has offered a diesel engine in its full-size Ram 1500 before but it’s unclear if that will return for 2018 after regulators accused the truckmaker of not disclosing certain emissions controls.

2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke

Ford said it expects their diesel engine to pass federal emissions tests.

According to Ford, 70 percent of F-150 owners tow with their pickups. David Felipe, vice president of global powertrains for Ford, said he expects 80 percent of diesel F-150 owners to tow with the truck.

“I would have never imagined in the past of getting 30 mpg on the highway in a medium-sized truck with this capability,” Felipe said. “Now is the right time because we’ve never had this combination of aluminum construction and 10-speed automatic transmission…we could have done diesel years ago, but it wasn’t the right time.”

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Ford estimates that only 5 percent of F-150 buyers will pay for the optional diesel engine. The new diesel engine will be available on Lariat, King Ranch, and Limited trim levels. It costs $4,000 more than a similarly equipped 2.7-liter V-6 Lariat, or $2,400 over a similar 3.5-liter V-6 version. In King Ranch and Platinum trim levels, the diesel will cost $3,000 more than the V-8 engine option, or $2,400 more than the 3.5-liter V-6. It will be available with two- or four-wheel drive. Diesel-powered XL and XLT versions will be available only to fleet buyers.

2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke

Like other truckmakers, Ford will treat the diesel F-150’s emissions with AdBlue, or urea-based after-treatment, from a 5.4-gallon tank that will need servicing every 10,000 miles. The diesel F-150 will sport a 26-gallon diesel fuel tank that, when combined with a 30-mpg anticipated highway range, could net up to 780 miles of driving range.

The new Ford F-150 diesel engine will be sourced from the automaker’s Dagenham, U.K., plant that already produces a similar engine for Land Rover that’s already on sale. Although the 3.0-liter found under the hoods of some Land Rover SUVs is similar to the F-150 unit, engineers from Ford said their diesel engine for the F-150 will have key differences including an uprated turbocharger and higher-pressure fuel delivery.


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