2021 Ford F-150 And Its 4.8L V8 Engine: What We Know

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Update: new information has come to light suggesting that a Ford 4.8L V8 engine will not be available in the next-gen Ford F-150. Details are available here.

The upcoming fourteenth-generation 2021 Ford F-150 is coming in hot, and some have pointed out that The Blue Oval’s bread-and-butter truck will pack a brand-new 4.8L V8 engine. Here’s all the information that we’ve been able to compile about the rumors new engine.

Speculation that the next-gen 2021 Ford F-150 would receive a new 4.8L V8 stretches back to a 2016 Reuters piece, when Ford was tipped to invest $447 million in its Windsor, Ontario engine plant. The investment was intended to update the plant’s existing V8 production lines, while creating a provision for extra assembly capacity for a new fuel-efficient motor believed, believed by Reuters to be the new 4.8L V8.

Since then, we haven’t heard anything concrete about the Ford 4.8L V8, but some have posited that the new motor will arrive as a replacement for the current 5.0L Coyote V8 in the F-150, which is currently offered an an option in the XL, XLT and Lariat trim levels, while being standard on King Ranch and Platinum trims. Currently, the Ford F-150 Raptor and F-150 Limited models don’t offer the 5.0L V8 engine, instead making do with the high-output version of Ford’s twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost V6.

Peak output for the five-oh is rated at 395 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, with notably features including twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) and direct fuel injection. The Coyote V8 is also offered with a CNG/Propane Gaseous Engine Prep Package that enables it to run on compressed natural gas.

Fuel mileage varies depending on the drivetrain configuration, but runs as high as 23 mpg on the highway, 17 mpg in the city, and a combined 19 mpg when equipped in rear-wheel-drive models.

Applying basic logic of powertrain progression to the rumored 4.8L V8 for the 2021 Ford F-150, one could expect the new mill to be more power-dense than the current 5.0L Coyote, offering greater peak horsepower and torque numbers, along with improved fuel mileage to boot. In fact, some reports have stated that the naturally-aspirated eight could make around 420 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. A four-valve, Dual Overhead Cam design with advanced direct injection is a given.

Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission should do the shifting duty.

Ford 4.8L V8 Expectations
Displacement: 4.8L / 2.92 cu. in.
Configuration: V8
Valvetrain: DOHC
Aspiration: Atmospheric
Potential horsepower: 420
Potential torque: 420
Transmission: 10-speed auto

Rest assured we’ll stay on the lookout for any and all future updates. In the meantime, subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford F-150 news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Written by Jonathan Lopez

Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

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30 Comments

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  1. My 2018 3.5 does better than rated. Can do 25-27 hwy instant and 21-22 city or Better. Ecco all the way if you’re looking for mpg and torque all rolled into one

    • The problem with the boosted engines continues to be on the low-end. What’s more, they’re consistently outranked by naturally-aspirated engines in the real world… though the turbo’d units do really well on paper. As good as they are, Ford’s EcoBoost motors are not an exception to the low-end grunt issue, in any displacement.

      The only way to get around this is an electric turbocharger to spool at low engine speeds, as the Germans are currently doing… or a large-displacement naturally-aspirated engine like this one.

      Also note that the above figures are for the current 5.0L V8. The rumored incoming 4.8L should deliver even better performance, without the complexity or added weight of turbocharging.

      • Not sure where everyone gets that. Compare any Ecoboost to the engine it replaced and the torque and fuel economy difference is night and day better. The point of it was to be a better all in one choice compared to the competition lacking torque.

      • I agree the ecoboost engines are ok but not all they are hyped to be. Have a neighbor that uses some of the ecoboost F-150s for his business, in the shop a lot. Just an anecdotal observation but have not been real impressed. We have an ecoboost Escape, drives nice but fuel economy is garbage. Once you hit highway speeds the milage drops off bad. And yes there is no low end on it. We commute on a 4 lane state highway, so turning on from a side street and going 0-70 in a hurry usually to fit into traffic. It gets up and goes but doesn’t completely find it’s stride til about 5000 RPM. Like I said, it’s fine, we like our car but I’m intending on trading it out once it hits the end of it’s warranty. And planning to replace my truck with a Superduty because I want a tried and true NA engine.

        • You must have a 1.6 or 1.5 Escape. Honestly that is not enough engine for such a heavy vehicle. I’ve driven a 2.0 Escape AWD and it feels more powerful than a 3.5 V6 and has the torque of a small displacement V8. The fuel economy was excellent. It actually averages more on a normal tank than a previous V6 Escape did all highway on a good day. You can get Eco and boost if you are not an idiot.

          • I have the 2.0 Turbo, all wheel drive. It gets great milage at about 60 mph but beyond that it’s mid 20s. We average 25, and most of our driving is highway. I don’t drive crazy just keep up with normal traffic. Like I said, it drives nice, gets up and goes if you need it so that’s great it just does not get good milage. Honda CRV is rated at 31 highway, 34 for the Rav4 (AWD and largest engine) while my Escape is only rated for 27. Won’t catch me dead in either of those but I would 100% but a NA V6 Escape over the turbo 4 if it was offered, those engines almost always beat EPA ratings for whatever reason. In my experience at least…

            • Interesting because I averaged 25 mpg on a tank in a 2.0 Escape AWD, 60% highway (75 mph), very windy. These were boost heavy miles although it didn’t pass 4,000 rpm ever. I figure better conditions or more highway 26-27 mpg average is obtainable. Straight highway close to 30 seems obtainable.

      • Have you actually driven one or pulled a trailer with one? The turbo system is sized for huge low end and flat torque curves. Much better than a V8, more like a diesel. I pulled a 8000 lb car hauler over the continental divide west of Denver passing screaming near redlined V8’s. I was cruising barely trying at 2500 rpm. Gas mileage was bad on that trip I’ll give you that (9mpg). There’s turbo lag that might confuse you off the line, but still they outrun the V8’s. Not only that, but a cheap programmer unlocks up to 80 more hp/110 lbft which can’t be said for NA engines.

  2. Well, well, looks like Ford is bringing back the 289ci V8 and it’s about time. The funny thing about this is, Ford is bringing this engine back just as the Ford Bronco is coming out. The first generation Bronco had a 289ci V8 under it’s hood along with an inline-6 For ford to bring this engine back into the fold would be amazingly awesome. What would be truly awesome to me would be for Ford to offer a 289 Mustang to slot under the GT and above the 2.3L Turbo. Going back to the 1-3, 7-2, 6-5, 4-8 firing order with the new dual injection, coyote block, Gen-3 cylinder head configuration with a GT350 induction system and intake manifold, GT500 exhaust manifolds, Bullitt exhaust, 10-speed trans, GT350-like suspension, GT body, GT350 hood, GT350 track spoiler, GT350 side skirts, GT500-style rear valance, Brembo brakes and a GT/CS interior with a GT350 steering wheel would make a very nice K-Code 289 Mustang with about 430hp/420tq. The 480hp Bullitt Mustang needs to be the regular GT Mustang, adding a 10-speed auto to the mix. Taking that same package, adding the GT500 manifolds to it with the GT350 suspension should give birth to the 495hp Mach-1 Mustang, leaving the 526hp GT350 and the insane 700+hp GT500 to contend with the big boys. At the Bottom should be the 350hp/350tq Mustang Ecoboost, which at this point should just be the Mustang ST giving it all of the Performance pack styling as the base ST car while the ST performance pack should have the GT350 suspension, GT500 side skirts, GT350 track rear spoiler and a GT350 style interor. This way, you have two performance models that slot in under the GT, that would both reduce the price of owning a performance mustang in both 4-cylinder and V8. Plus you make Bronco owners happy by offering a 289ci V8 with the classic styling, plus you have a better F150 engine.

  3. This 4.8 was rumored a long time ago. Hopefully it’s for the F-150 only, as downsizing in the Mustang is a bad idea unless they want to add twin turbos to it.

  4. Disappointed to see the 5.0 go away. By Far Ford’s best engine currently and worlds better than the gas guzzling Ecoboom, high strung garbage engines.

    • Exactly what you and Alex said. The turbo EcoBoost engines are ok… but they are not better than naturally aspirated V6 and V8.

      Yes, the turbo stuff shows better on paper and also performs better in some cases, like being “the fastest truck” by the comment brought up earlier. But those are outliers and are not the norm.

      For most use cases, 90% of the time the naturally breathing engines deliver better power that’s more usable, and better fuel economy, too. Nobody will actively choose a turbo engine over a linear NA engine that’s well-made and modern. I’ll take the 5.0L any day of the week over the 3.5 EB, even in high output form.

      • Any internal combustion engine that is not turbocharged is wasting heat energy that is traveling out the exhaust ports and through to the tailpipe.

        Think about it.

      • If you’ve driven a 3.5 or 2.7 Ecoboost you wouldn’t be saying that. They produce insane amounts of torque down low and through the usable (normal) rev range. I have a 5.0 manual Coyote in my Mustang and even with short gearing and light weight is lacking to what a 3.5 Ecoboost does in a heavy truck with automatic.

  5. I own a naturally aspirated 3.7 (Mustang) and have friends with 5.0’s. I’ll be a huge fan of the new 289’s (4.8’s) as well. But also I I’ve owed 2 Ecoboost motors (1.6 in my Transit Connect and now 3.5 ecoboost in my Transit mid length/ mid roof height van). These things are TORQUE MONSTERS down low. The 1.6 was a beast for it’s size and could pull some loads you wouldn’t expect! The 3.5 is OUTSTANDING!!! I tow up to 6500 lbs in the mountains and the thing hardly ever downshifts on steep climbs! ABSOLUTELY BEASTS and if put hundreds of thousands of miles on them! Don’t dis the Ecoboost! If you do, you haven’t lived with one! They’re a total blast at every light!!!!!!

  6. Hmm, have a friend with 3.5 turbo’s says it drops to 8 mpg when pulling 3000#, runs like a scared rabbit, but not happy with loaded fuel economy.
    I was born a Ford guy, still am. First one I drove was a 49′ Ford pu in 1956, at 14yrs old. Was really good at dbl clutching.
    I have probably owned 50 Fords since 1960, never was happy with PU fuel economy.

    • As I’ve said, I’m on my 2nd Ecoboost. Put 150,000 k on my first. My 3.5 EB Transit got 14 mpg towing a 3000 lb Trailmanor 7000 miles at 75 mph – So Easy! Towing a 6000 lb 24′ cargo trailer I was at 11 mpg at 65 mph. If I needed to pull large trailers 80 percent of the time, I’d go to another turbo of the diesel variety, not a 5.0.

      My Transit is my 7th Ford.

    • Hmm, no half ton gas gets more than 8-10 mpg towing. I rarely see half tons tow anything. If be happy with an Ecoboost getting roughly the same fuel economy as other trucks with superior towing power. Really sad people see Eco in the title and assume it’s supposed to be extremely efficient always.

  7. Hate to see Ford going to smaller displacement engines I think it’s a mistake. Naturally aspirated 351 is preferred.

  8. I would argue in favor of changing the cylinder heads to a hot-vee configuration with an insulated ceramic metal matrix exhaust manifold in the valley between the heads and with the dry intake manifolds integrated into the cam covers feeding intake ports at the outside. Add a single large dual scroll turbocharger on F-150, twin dual scroll turbos on Mustang. Destroke the 5.0 by 10% to 4.5 liter displacement, and likewise reduce the deck height of the block by 10%. Change to an external variable output electric oil pump instead of the fragile unit located on the crank snout, for better efficiency, for reduced breakage and improved reliability, and to provide full oil pressure prior to every engine start/restart.

  9. Please make it an option in the Expedition. Other Full size SUV’s have engine options, the Expedition should also get it.

  10. There will always be the argument of which is best “this or that” what it really comes down to is preference. Now granted anyone who has ever read anything that I’ve ever posted probably knows that I’m a fan of naturally aspirated v8 engines but I do feel that the ecoboost engines have their place. Looking back in history, Ford has done a lot with smaller engines such as the 289 & 302. With gas prices and emissions and everything else getting tighter, Ford is actually doing the smart thing by keeping their v8 engines small and not turbocharging them. Figure it this way, if the 5.0L V8 Coyote in the mustang can put of 480hp N/A, a 425hp 4.8L v8 would be a perfect optional engine for the Mustang, Bronco, Explorer and F150/Expedition. Let’s put this into perspective with the rest of the American trucks, SUVs and Muscle cars currently in production. The Dodge Charger/Challenger/Durango have a 370hp 5.7L and a 485hp 6.4L v8. Ford nearly matches the power of the 6.4L with the 5.0L and a lesser expensive 425hp 4.8L option still bests the 5.7L Hemi by a long shot. The Ram 1500 5.7L puts out 395hp and if the rumors are true, a 4.8L Modular v8 with over 400hp would best the Hemi pickup as well. Going over to GM, the 5.0L produces more power naturally aspirated than the LT1 6.2L, even though the LT1 pushrod has more torque in the Camaro, but the pickup truck version is only 420hp so the 4.8L Ford would roughly match the 6.2L in horsepower numbers. Now obviously HP number aren’t the whole equation but backed with a 10-speed auto, the 4.8L should be pretty good with any vehicle it’s put in and it gives people an option when they are looking for a new vehicle. I mentioned above some of my ideas for the Mustang. But I definitely would love to see a small V8 in the Bronco and a few V8 options for the explorer for both performance and for luxury. I feel like a lot of people have forgotten that the market is not solely interested in having vehicles that are all super frugal, fuel sipping vehicles and while I personally believe that yes we should be looking at economy and all of that stuff on a large scale. There should be a portion of the market that caters towards the people who want V8 powered vehicles. Now I know the argument is going to come that “well the 3.0L twin turbo V6 makes 400hp & 415ft-lbs of torque so it’s just as fast as the 4.8L V8 would be and blah blah blah…” and yes that’s true but not everyone wants a twin turbo engine, we just want a good simple V8 because it’s what we want. Not because it gets a gazillion miles per gallon or anything like that but because we can. Same thing with the Bronco, Hell even the ranger. A 289 Bronco and a 289 Ranger would be awesome both on the street and on the trail and people would actually buy them. Honestly a 2.7L 325hp Bronco, a 425hp Bronco-289 and a 3.0L diesel option on the Bronco along with the Ranger would be on hell of a great lineup. Sure having a few ecoboost and hybrid engines would be great but yes V8 engine should remain. And if Ford can make 400+hp with 5.0L or less without turbos then I say go for it.

  11. Ford can offer at least two HP versions of this new 4.8 liter engine. One can be a lower HP, high torque version to get the best MPG. Like previous Ford V8 engines, it can be offered in both two valve and three valve versions. Obviously it’s cheaper to build a two valve engine with fewer parts. The base trucks will get the two valve version and the Mustang and high end trucks and the Lincoln SUV will get the three valve version. As i write this, thinking outloud, Ford can also offer a turbo V8 version for the heavy Expedition and various Lincoln versions, so towing will be a breeze with a turbo V8, with torque about 500 to 550 lbs feet. To get better MPG, the HP should be lower as torque is most important for everyday driving. Ford can stroke the new 4.8 V8 to offer a 5.2 liter version for the vans, the F-250 and F-350 higher torque trucks and the Expedition and various Lincoln versions. The increase of 8.5 percent in engine size from 4.8 liters to 5.2 liters, will also give an new extra engine for any higher performance pickups and the Mustang GT or Shelby type with a supercharger.

  12. Can someone on Gods green earth, why Ford isn’t making an ECO-BOOST option on the new 4.8. Two versions of the engine, one for torque (F-150 2nd. for Mustang)

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