Spied: Ford readying diesel-powered F-150

A diesel-powered F-150 appears to be on the horizon.

New spy shots indicate that Ford has begun development of a new F-150 model powered by a turbodiesel engine.

Rumored for years, it looks as though Ford is finally getting serious about launching a new F-150 model to rival Ram's 1500 EcoDiesel light-duty pickup truck. The latest spy shots were taken on Ford's home turf in Dearborn, Michigan.

Although mostly standard F-150 up front, this prototype's camouflaged bed and Venturi exhaust tip give it away as a test bed for an upcoming diesel engine option. Although Ford has a 3.2L five-cylinder diesel in its portfolio, the F-150 will reportedly be powered by a 3.0L V6 codenamed Lion.

Interestingly, the Lion turbodiesel is directly related to the 3.0L V6 that Jaguar Land Rover just got federalized for its Range Rover Td6 models. Output should carryover from those Range Rover models, meaning we can expect to see 254 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque from the diesel-powered F-150.

Ford will reportedly pair the 3.0L diesel with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which means highway fuel economy could stretch well into the 30mpg range. It's possible that the F-150 diesel could even best the fuel economy of Chevrolet's smaller Colorado diesel.

The Ford F-150 diesel is expected to launch during the second half of 2016.

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