As gas prices continue to rise, automakers continue to come up with more electrified options for their lineups. This includes the half-ton pickup segment with both RAM and Ford. While RAM continues to offer its popular eTorque mild-hybrid system on both of its Pentastar V6 and HEMI V8 powertrains, Ford has entered the 2021 model year with its new Ford F-150 with an all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost full-hybrid V6.
People who buy pickup trucks, tend to use them for towing their favorite weekend toys. Whether it be a travel trailer, boat, or conventional trailer, half-ton pickups outsell their heavy-duty counterparts by a large margin. But can there be a package that can achieve good towing and fuel economy in a single package?
Our friends at TFLTruck recently got their hands on both a 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum Super Crew 4×4 with the PowerBoost V6 and a 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 with the HEMI eTorque V8. Both trucks sticker for around $71,000 USD and offer premium amenities, but that’s about as similar as they get.
The Ford makes a combined output of 430 horsepower and a whopping 570 lb.-ft. of torque. It also uses a 10-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with a 35-kilowatt (47-horsepower) electric motor integrated into the transmission, as well as software calibrated specially for truck use, including drive modes like tow/haul mode to help customers better manage to tow heavy trailers. The particular truck that TFL got their hands on an F-150 with a 3.73 rear-axle ratio and is rated to two 11,000 lbs.
When it comes to the Ram 1500, this Limited Longhorn with the HEMI eTorque V8 delivers 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque and mated to a ZF-sourced 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. This particular truck comes with the fuel-efficient 3.21 rear-axle ratio, the same rear end in our long-term 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport. The 3.21 ratio means that this Ram 1500 is only rated at 7,800 lbs. of towing.
But how do both trucks hold up on the “Ike Gauntlet”, TFLTruck’s signature towing stress test? The Ike Gauntlet involves both a downhill decent testing braking capabilities, as well as a grueling climb with elevations in excess of 11,153 feet, a 7% increasing grade up an 8-mile stretch of I-70 near Denver, Colorado.
The results may surprise you. Be sure to check out the video and then check out the 5thGenRams.com owner’s forums to discuss more towing conversations with real-world Ram 1500 owners. And check out both TFLTruck.com and Mr.Truck.com.