How could a tiny 3.5L V6 truck engine pack so much punch? Its high compression turbocharged engine delivers better overall performance than its V8 counterpart, at 375 HP and a whopping 475 ft-lbs torque. The 15 PSI boost at sea levels gives the 10:1 ratio engine an effect compression ration of 20:1, high but just low enough to run on 87 octane. It suffers less powerless at altitude than naturally aspirated engines, which we realized is a big win for climbing steep grades of Moab.
The insane torque output of 475 ft-lbs of torque is immensely helpful for many things. It lends itself to high tow capacities, topping out at 13,200 lbs on US roads, but the Ford manual in the glove claims 19,000 lbs towing is possible but is not allowed on the road due to its gross weight rating.
In four-wheeling, the crawl ratio is everything. It is all about transferring as much torque as possible to the wheels at low speeds to get over obstacles and safely climb steep grades. And that our F150 did. For every time the wheel turns once, the engine turns 41 times. Here's the calculation.
4.17:1 (1st Gear Ratio) * 2.64:1 (4-Lo transfer case ratio) * 3.73:1 (Differential Ratio) = 41.1:1 Crawl Ratio
In the 4x4 community, that's a competitive crawl ratio. Stock Toyotas and Jeeps are below 40. Combine that with its best in class 470 ft-lbs of torque, and the torque to wheels in 4-LO blows Jeeps and Toyotas out of the water.
This truck had 31-inch tires. At peak torque RPM, 3500, the truck moves at 11 miles per hour, and delivers 152 ft-lbs of torque per ton, about 40% more than the Tacoma. At 5 miles per hour, it delivers 111 ft-lbs of torque per ton. That's some beastly performance that lends itself to larger tires. If I buy one, I'm putting in 35-inch tires, which it can take stock with a leveling kit.
We found the torque extra nice on the steep switchback turns of Shafer Canyon Trail:
We felt so secure driving up 20-degree switchbacks on Shafter Canyon Trail.
The switchbacks were so tight, we even hard to reverse. I'd be shaking in fear doing this in my Subaru, but in the F150, it's no problem starting and stopping on such steep terrain because it delivers so much torque a low speed.