Ford Motor Company will introduce a new six-litre V-8 diesel engine and a heavy-duty five-speed automatic transmission for its F-series Super Duty pickup and Excursion sport-utility vehicle, beginning in early 2003.

The new, more powerful, cleaner diesel engine and transmission will combine to develop what Ford claims is a best-in-class 325 horsepower at 3,300 rpm and 550 foot-pounds of torque at 2,000 rpm.

The new diesel will offer up to 10% better fuel economy and 20% lower emissions. The engine also has reduced noise levels and has improved speech intelligibility while driving by more than 20%.

“Truck customers are demanding more power, better NVH and increased fuel economy,” said Ford powertrains vice-president Dave Szczupak.

The Power Stroke six-litre V8 engine is a direct injection, 32-valve diesel with an all-new cast-iron block and cylinder heads. It has a single, block-mounted camshaft in a compact over-head valve (OHV) design, with hydraulic-valve lash adjustment.

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The engine will be built from later this year at Navistar’s Indianapolis engine plant while the five-speed TorqShift automatic will be made by Ford’s Sharonville (Ohio) transmission plant.