What an engine! Some truck guys think a 2.7L V6 has no place under the hood of a full-sized pickup, and that said engine would turn in acceleration on par with a tranquilized sloth and achieve torque output comparable to the average wrist watch.

But the new F-150’s newly-available little six uses twin turbochargers instead of more, larger cylinders, generating 325 horsepower and a manly 375 lb-ft of torque. That’s V8 territory, and all from an engine with two less cylinders and half the displacement. When you leave the trailer at home and you’re just going to Sears, cruising the highway in no particular rush, or inching slowly through the Timmies drive-thru, engines like this one burn less gas in their smaller, fewer cylinders.

Call it EcoBoost, twin-turbo, or whatever you like, but the principle is the same: off-loading power output to a turbocharger system lets engines drink less, more of the time.

Drive gently, and the twin compressors quietly whistle and hiss the F-150 along from low revs, with minimal hunting for a lower gear, thanks to the mountain of torque available from right above idle. It’s effortless in traffic and during gentle driving, happy to surge along without breaking 1,700 rpm. Remember: torque is the important figure when you’re moving something heavy, and this new little EcoBoost engine has heaps of it, from really, really low revs.

Hammer down, and the iron-block powerplant revs to the moon, passing 6,000 rpm eagerly with heaps of thrust. It goes like the wind. And this is the little EcoBoost V6: a bigger one is available, with 3.5 litres and twin-turbo making it 365 horses and over 400 lb-ft of off-idle torque. If you prefer, there’s a conventional V6, and a conventional 5.0L V8, too.

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