Traditional truck buyers aren't the only ones getting their hands on the first 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost V-6 trucks. Tuners are, too. Our friends at Fastlane in Houston are already squeezing more power and performance from the advanced direct-injection twin-turbo engine.
Bolting on a set of high-flow catalytic converters with wide pipes added 30 horsepower at the rear wheels, as measured on Fastlane's chassis dyno. They also lowered the truck, mounted a PLX boost gauge inside on the A-pillar to show turbo boost levels, and painted the engine's beauty cover to match the exterior and skinned it with a carbon-fiber-style laminate.
We spent 30 minutes behind the wheel to check out its peformance. Despite the lowered ride height, the F-150 still rode great on the highway. The biggest difference was the improvement in zero-to-60-mph times compared with what we've previously measured.
We clocked Fastlane's EcoBoost F-150 (3.73 rear axle) at 6.07 seconds from a full stop to 60 mph with our VBOX test kit. That's compared with 6.79 seconds (3.55) and 6.82 seconds (3.73) in two stock F-150s we've previously tested. We also clocked the truck in the quarter-mile at 14.97 seconds at 92.61 mph. Not too shabby for a relatively simple hardware upgrade.
Fastlane says the best is yet to come, but it's going to take a while longer. Fastlane's tuning braniacs are still trying to crack the strong encryption Ford has put in place around the EcoBoost's electronic control unit. Once they do, they plan to remove the stock turbos and replace them with high-performance BorgWarner EFR turbos that feature lightweight titanium turbine wheels for faster spool-up.
We'll be paying close attention to Fastlane's efforts to push the performance of Ford's EcoBoost F-150. Stay tuned.