The Twin-Turbo Pickup Wars: Ford's 3.5 EcoBoost V6 vs Toyota's i-Force 3.5 V6
This week Toyota took the wraps off the new next generation Toyota Tundra—one of the most anticipated full-size pickup trucks in a long time. Of the many updates and improvements to the new model, one of the biggest departures comes under the hood of the ‘22 Tundra. The old 5.7 liter naturally aspirated V8 has been replaced with a new 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine.
A 3.5 V6 with a pair of turbos? That sounds familiar. That’s also happens to be a similar engine setup that Ford has been putting into top trims of its best-selling F-150 pickup for more than a decade now.
Even more fitting, is that Toyota will also have an optional hybridized "i-Force Max" version of this new 3.5 twin turbo V6 available in the 2022 Tundra—just as now Ford offers an electric-assisted "Powerboost" version of the 3.5L twin-turbo F-150.
And while it will still be a few more months before the new Tundra starts hitting the streets, an on-paper comparison between Toyota's and Ford's twin turbo 3.5L V6s is quite interesting.
Turbo Choices: i-Force or EcoBoost
Ford offers several different engine options for the current F-150, but the 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6s are considered the flagship engines. And today's iterations are more powerful than ever.
There are actually three different versions of the 3.5 EcoBoost available in the F-150 range. The "basic" version makes 400 horsepower and 500 pound feet of torque, and it's that torque figure which helps it outperform the also-available 5.0 liter V8.
In the Tundra, the old V8 has been phased out completely, with new 3.5 twin turbocharged i-Force V6 being standard across the range. It makes 389 horsepower and 479 pound feet of torque.
So on paper it's down about 10 horsepower, and 20 pound feet of torque from the Ford EcoBoost, but it's hard to tell if those differences will be noticeable in the real world.
It should also be mentioned that Ford offers a higher output version of the 3.5 EcoBoost V6 in the 2021 F-150 Raptor. In Raptor trim, the 3.5 makes 450 horsepower and 510 pound feet of torque.
Hybrid Options: More Power and Less Gas
Along with the ambitious all-electric F-150 Lightning, Ford has also been working on adding electrification and hybrid tech to gasoline trucks—and the 3.5 liter twin turbo "Powerboost" hybrid is the top-of-the-line engine in the non-Raptor F-150.
With its small electric motor-generator unit mounted to the EcoBoost V6, the F-150 hybrid makes 430 horsepower and 570 pound feet of torque. These are noticeable jumps from the non-hybrid engine, and they also bring a small but noticeable improvement in fuel economy.
Toyota uses similar technology for the Tundra's i-Force max powertrain. Like the Ford it adds a small motor-generator unit to the twin turbo V6 and it raises output to 437 horsepower and 583 pound feet of torque.
Interestingly, while the non-hybrid Toyota V6 is slightly behind the Ford in horsepower and torque, and the hybrid version has advantages in both departments, making seven additional horsepower and 13 extra pound feet.
Again, those advantages may be hard to detect in the real world, and the bigger question will likely be how much it costs to add the hybrid option to the Tundra. What's clear though, is Toyota is not fooling around with the next gen Tundra.
The introduction of turbocharging to the Tundra, should also open up the door for aftermarket upgrades that unlock serious power. This is something Ford EcoBoost owners have been enjoying for a while.
Whether you are a Ford fan, a member of the Toyota faithful, or someone just looking for the best pickup you can get—there's never been a better time to be a full-size truck buyer.
More From Driving Line
Want to learn more about Ford's EcoBoost V6 engines? We cover the history of the whole lineup right here.