Ford Motor Company's class-exclusive truck offerings will extend to medium-duty chassis cabs with the arrival of the 6.8-liter V10 gas engine in 2012. With this addition, Ford will be only manufacturer to offer a gas-powered vehicle in Class 1-7, offering a lower-cost option in each segment.

This proven three-valve, single-overhead-camshaft engine is rated at 457 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,250 rpm and 362 horsepower at 4,750 rpm. Gross vehicle weight ratings for Class 6 and Class 7 medium-duty trucks range from 20,500 to 30,000 pounds for this engine application.

"No other manufacturer offers this wide of a range of options and solutions for truck customers," said Len Deluca, director of commercial truck sales and marketing. "The availability of a gas engine in this medium-duty segment will be welcome news to many businesses and municipalities."

The V10 will be mated to the heavy-duty six-speed TorqShift automatic transmission. This Ford-designed and Ford-manufactured transmission was designed to manage the significantly increased torque - 735 lb.-ft. - produced by the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel engine for the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty. The same basic transmission also is mated to the new gasoline engine for Super Duty.

For added strength, the transmission employs a unique powder-metal carrier in the compound planetary gearset. The carrier consists of four pressed powder-metal components sinter-brazed together to form a rigid, power-dense structure. The sinter-brazed gearset enables more torque capacity and greater engine speed capability.

Also included are Live Drive PTO (power takeoff) and double overdrive gears, which aid highway fuel economy. The Live Drive PTO features an output linked directly to the engine crankshaft providing "live" PTO operation any time the engine is running, regardless of vehicle speed. It provides the capability to power PTO-driven accessories such as dump bodies, sprayer pumps, generators, salt spreaders and snowplows with maximum flexibility.

Alternative fuel options also available

The V10 features three valves per cylinder - two intake valves and one exhaust valve. This arrangement allows the engine to breathe almost as well as high-performance four-valve designs, but without the additional weight and complexity.

The short/long intake runner design features long runners for lower engine rpm operation to speed up airflow and provide maximum torque, while the short runner design is used at higher engine rpm to provide unrestricted high-velocity air intake for efficient cylinder filling and maximum power.

An alternative fuels engine prep package will be available as well. The conversion option, which will become available this fall on F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cab trucks that use the 6.8-liter V10, enables the use of efficient, clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane (LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas).

The engine comes with hardened exhaust valves and valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability for gaseous fuel systems.

"Having alternative fuel options is extremely important as fleets and municipalities seek greener options," Deluca said. "Overall lower emissions of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline and lower fuel/operating costs for their fleet are very appealing."

The 2012 F-Series medium-duty chassis cab gasoline powertrain will be available for order in the fourth quarter of 2011.