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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2024 Ford F-150 for sale is shown parked off-road.

The Truck Engine Battle Keeps Raging On

From what I’ve seen, few folks are as passionate about their vehicles as truck owners. It makes sense to me: people with trucks often depend on them to be able to get their jobs done and need to know they can count on them day after day. Even if you’re someone who has a truck primarily meant for play—getting you to campsites, heading off-road, or simply tailgating—that pickup is a central part of being able to do the things you want to do. Thus, I also get why truck companies battle for supremacy in engine performance and how that translates into real-world capability.

Someone interested in a Ford F-150 for sale isn’t just looking for the aesthetics or legacy of a Ford truck; they want the power and functionality it delivers. Every truck company knows that, which is why we see them fight to deliver more power than the other guys, creating trucks these days with a performance that was previously unimaginable. Even if we’re not looking at crazy “super trucks” like the F-150 Raptor or Ram TRX, we can see standard full-size trucks with tremendous capabilities. Let’s have a look at some of these models to see what they can offer, particularly with new engines like Ram’s 3.0L Hurricane…

The Ford F-150’s 3.5L V6

Let’s start by looking at the Ford F-150—and I’m going to pick certain engines just to keep things simple. The 2024 F-150 starts off with a 2.7L EcoBoost Turbo V6 that puts out 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That’s a solid starting engine, and it makes it pretty clear why Ford is a leader in this game, particularly since it offers 2,445 lbs of payload. There are numerous other engines also available for the F-150 including a crazy supercharged beast with 720 hp, but we’re not going to worry about most of those.

Instead, let’s look at the available 3.5L EcoBoost Turbo V6 because it represents a great “middle way” within what Ford offers. This 3.5L V6 is actually available in numerous configurations, including a High-Output version and a PowerBoost hybrid option, both of which ramp up its output to extraordinary levels. But even the standard version of it puts out 400 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque; the latter, in particular, is top-notch and makes driving the F-150 incredibly enjoyable and rewarding.

Perhaps more importantly, however, with this engine, the 2024 F-150 can handle up to 13,500 lbs of maximum towing. Last year’s model actually topped that at 14,000 lbs of maximum towing capacity, so keep that in mind if monstrous hauling is what you’re after. Either number makes the F-150 the king of full-size, light-duty towing, as we’ll see when comparing this engine and what it can do with what other manufacturers are delivering, such as…

A black 2024 Ram 1500 DT is shown parked near a building.

The Ram 1500’s 3.0L “Hurricane”

For decades now, the Ram pickup has been all about one thing: the HEMI engine. Sure, it hasn’t been the only option, but when you look at Ram’s advertising (and Dodge’s, before they separated), it’s clear that the HEMI V8 is their pride and joy. This was no surprise since the output and capability of their HEMI engine were certainly impressive, but that era has come to an end. The 2024 Ram 1500 is the last one with a HEMI V8; starting with the 2025 model, the Ram pickup will showcase the new “Hurricane” engine developed by Stellantis.

Will some Ram fans scoff at this new engine and lament what they once had? Yeah, absolutely. Should they? Absolutely not. If all you see is that it’s a 3.0L I-6 engine, then I can understand feeling concerned that such a thing sounds like it belongs in a midsize SUV. But this is a 3.0L Turbo I-6, and the Hurricane is ready to rock you like its namesake with 420 hp and 469 lb-ft of torque. Yeah, you read that right: 420 hp from a 3.0L engine. The engineers at Stellantis know what they’re doing.

So right off the bat, we can see this is more horsepower than the 3.5L V6 in the Ford F-150—not by much, but it is more. That being said, it falls short on torque by a pretty decent margin. I should also mention that this isn’t the standard engine on the Ram 1500; that’s a 3.6L Pentastar V6 that offers just 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque with 2,300 lbs of max payload; compared to the F-150’s standard engine, it falls short.

But what about towing? Next year’s Ram 1500—with its new Hurricane engine—can handle up to 11,560 lbs of maximum towing. That’s essentially 2,000 lbs less than the F-150 with its 3.5L V6, which is a significant amount. Honestly, I can call the horsepower and torque differences a wash, but this is a pretty big misstep by Ram and something I’m sure Ford fans will be loudly touting for the next year or so.

A red 2024 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 is shown parked near a family.

What About the Other Guys?

Clearly, Ford’s engineers have pushed the envelope, and it outclasses the Ram 1500 even with its new Hurricane engine, but those aren’t the only two brands around, right? So what about some of the other heavy hitters in the pickup space?

The 2024 Silverado 1500 starts with a 2.7L TurboMax I-4 engine that delivers 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most impressive standard engines in any truck out there. GM has been quite proud of this new TurboMax engine, and it’s easy to see why; Ford’s starting engine offers slightly more horsepower but loses out on torque—plus, this Chevy engine can still handle almost 10,000 lbs of towing.

Of course, Chevy’s pride and joy is its 6.2L V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Looking at the numbers, I’d say this is what Ram was aiming to compete with since the Hurricane matches its horsepower and offers nine lb-ft more torque, but it still falls well short of the 13,300 lbs of max towing Chevy’s engine helps the Silverado 1500 deliver.

Then we have some import options like the Nissan Titan with its 5.6L V8 that offers 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, or the Toyota Tundra with a 3.4L Turbo V6 that delivers up to 421 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Again, these look like the numbers that Ram was primarily trying to compete with as its new Hurricane plays right around the same area. The Hurricane also gives the Ram 1500 greater towing than the Titan and nearly as much as the Tundra—although, all of these trucks fall short of the Silverado and, of course, the Ford F-150.

Truck Fans, Rejoice!

One thing is clear: this is a good time to be a truck fan. We have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to full-size trucks these days and the kinds of engines and capabilities they provide. It’s interesting to see new things hit the market, like GM’s TurboMax or the Hurricane from Stellantis, and how they shake things up. Ford is still clearly on top with the power and muscle its 3.5L V6 can provide, but it lacks a bit of flash like “TurboMax” or “Hurricane.”

I’m curious to see if Ford will rebrand this engine or introduce something new of its own to feel a bit fresher compared to its competition—or perhaps they’re content to let the numbers speak for themselves, providing impressive torque, a great driving experience, and best-in-class towing capability.

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