The 2015 Ford F-150 will debut with an all-new 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6 engine, and among the many features of this high-tech motor is a two-piece engine block design. That’s bound to have some people asking whether this new “Nano” V6 can endure in a way Ford truck buyers are used to.

Utilizing a single iron casting that contains all the cylinder and main bearing caps, the bottom half of the engine block is made from aluminum to shave weight. A composite oil pan seals everything up, and a ladder frame design stiffens the block and secures the bearing caps. Ford claims that the match between the upper and lower block pieces are so perfect, that Ford has run the engine for an extended period without all bearing caps bolted in. But is the saved weight worth the potential hit to durability?

It’s rather unfair of me to take a brand new engine to task without anything to go on, but I’m sure I’m not the only person to ask these questions upon hearing of this two-piece design. So far, Ford has done a great job of selling EcoBoost technology to would-be V8 truck buyers, and almost half of Ford’s pickups boast an Ecoboost engine. Ford took its engine through one torture test after another to convince buyers that it’s every bit as rugged as Ford’s V8, and the same is hopefully in store for the Nano V6, though there are plenty of other features worth considering as well.

For example, the Integrated Front Cover (IFC) further stabilizes the two-piece engine block design, and it integrates a number of important pieces, including the water pump, oil filter and cooling, and accessory drive components. Engineers also eliminated the need for a bushing on the piston-side of the connecting rod, saving weight and money, and Ford used a steel insert at the top of each piston, a neat trick used in both semi-trucks and Formula One cars to improve durability. Durability seems to be a recurring question with the 2015 F-150, due largely to its costly  aluminum body.

Ford takes the longevity of its motors seriously, and they know there are a lot of skeptics that still need convincing. WIth the Blue Oval still steadfastly refusing to bring back the smaller Ranger, or offer a small diesel engine, it has to rely on its EcoBoost engines to get the job done. Is the new Nano V6 up to the task of being Ford Tough?

Source: Popular Mechanics