People are freaking out about Ford’s latest update to their heavy duty “scorpion” 6.7 L diesel engine and its, no doubt impressive 925 lbs-ft and 440 hp, but what does that actually mean? If you read youtube comments it means you can tear the road a new one and open up a portal to another dimensions as your pants swell up with righteous freedom. What it actually means is that the new tune has a little more horsepower and horsepower, after all, is what actually matters.

To show what I mean I crunched the nums, as they say, and came up with this graph to illustrate that I don’t know a better graphic program than excel.

Green line is 2017 torque (925 lbs-ft @ 1800-2000 RPM)

Blue line is 2016 torque (860 lbs-ft @ 1600 RPM)

Red line is 2016 HP (440 hp @ 2800 rpm)

Purple line is 2017 HP (440 hp @ 2800 RPM)

Without having an accurate 2017 chart, I’m guessing that Ford simply took a page from the RAM book and ramped up the boost for a higher peak number and with that in mind, I charted the new torque values against the old and wow...I mean, what?

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Here’s the long and skinny; That extra 65 lbs-ft of panty twisting power (that’s a thing, right?) nets you an addition actual 26 hp gain (max)...and only in 4th, 5th and 6th gear.

Hey more power is more power and I’ll take it, but 26 more hp at 2000 rpm sure sounds a lot less impressive than 925 LBS-FT of TORQUE!

And herein lies my beef: Torque isn’t nearly as important as power, and truck manufactures would rather you not care.

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If the goal is to move X weight up a hill faster, then power is what you want, not force.

The same amount of work is done when carrying a load up a flight of stairs whether the person carrying it walks or runs, but more power is needed for running because the work is done in a shorter amount of time.

This is the textbook definition of power. If you want to do work faster...you need more POWER. Its pretty simply really, its like electricity; if you want sound/heat/light/motion you can’t have only volts (amount) or amps (rate) but you need the product of both to produce power (watts). Torque is the amount, rpms are the rate and the multiple (divided by a constant conversion of 5252) is the power.

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Now Diesels are great for towing because if you want economy you want to keep the loads high and the engine speeds down. That’s why semi trucks have gigantic slow revving engines, its not because “torque is best for towing” like pickup truck makers want you to believe, its because high torque numbers produce moderate power numbers at low rpm. Gas engine produce more power, because they can rev easier, Diesel produce more power down lower because of their nature to ingest ungodly amounts of air [and thus fuel] without exploding, but its all the same song and dance.

Ignoring other variables, an engine with 2000 lbs-ft @ 1000 rpm will pull the load exactly as fast as well as an engine with 500 lbs-ft @ 4000 rpm, or 250 lbs-ft @ 8000 rpm.

Sorry to harp on this again, but it drives me CRAZY that the marketers are winning the war here - People need to understand that POWER maters for the speed at which you can do work. STOP BEING SEDUCED BY THE TORQUE WARS!

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If you are still here, thanks, let me give you the quick numbers I put together for these engine.As you can see, the new tune does result in a more powerful engine, but averaged out, it results in only a net gain of 5 HP.

2016 - - 2017 -
rpm lbs-ft hp lbs-ft hp
600 275 31 280 32
800 325 50 330 50
1000 390 74 395 75
1200 475 109 485 111
1400 640 171 660 176
1600 860 262 875 267
1800 860 295 925 317
2000 855 326 925 352
2200 855 358 890 373
2400 850 388 860 393
2600 850 421 850 421
2800 825 440 825 440
3000 750 428 750 428
3200 600 366 600 366
3400 440 285 440 285
3600 260 178 260 178

RANT OUT!

*UPDATED WITH CONFIRMED NUMBERS*