Responding to the auto industry’s escalating horsepower wars — including Chrysler’s popular Hemi engine — Ford Motor Co. is developing a larger, more powerful V-8 engine for its top-selling F-150 pickup line.
The engine’s 6.2-liter displacement will dwarf Ford’s biggest V-8 offering — the 300-hp 5.4-liter Triton V-8 — as well as rivals from Chevrolet, Nissan and Dodge, including the 5.7-liter 340-hp Hemi.
Ford declined to comment on the project, but suppliers are already bidding to provide components for the engine, according to documents obtained by The Detroit News.
Ford has not decided where to build the engine known internally as Hurricane.
Despite rising gasoline prices, the Hurricane project is “somewhat overdue,” Global Insight market analyst John Wolkonowicz said.
“In trucks, it’s all about bragging rights,” Wolkonowicz said.
The full-size truck market has become a major battleground for Detroit automakers, with Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and GMC facing new competition from formidable Toyota Motor Co.p. and Nissan Motor Co. entries.
Demand for the 345-horsepower Hemi has soared since DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group revived the legendary engine two years ago.
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