The 2017 Ford F-150 full-size pickup will be the first mass-market vehicle to go on sale with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The transmission—co-developed with General Motors—will be paired with an upgraded 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6.
Ford says the combination will yield greater fuel economy in the aluminum-bodied pickup truck than the current 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and six-speed automatic.
The new engine will also produce similar horsepower to the outgoing version, but more torque, Ford says.
EPA fuel-economy ratings won't be available until closer to the 2017 F-150's launch this fall.
The current 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and six-speed automatic are rated at 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway) with standard rear-wheel drive, and 17 mpg combined (15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.
Ford 10-speed automatic transmissionEnlarge Photo
The 10-speed transmission was first shown in the 2017 F-150 Raptor performance model at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but had been announced by Ford and GM back in 2013.
It features a wide gear-ratio span, and is made from steel, aluminum, and composite alloys to save weight.
GM's first production application of the transmission will be in the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Ford will take the lead in offering the 10-speed in volume models, with the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine likely continuing to find its way into a large share of F-150 trucks.
The new engine is expected to produce the same 365 horsepower as the outgoing version, but with 450 pound-feet of torque—an increase of 30 lb-ft.
It features both direct and port fuel injection, along with numerous other upgrades like new turbochargers and an electronic wastegate.
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrewEnlarge Photo
An engine start-stop system will also be standard.
Together, the current 3.5-liter V-6 and a smaller 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 make up around 60 percent of F-150 sales.
Ford has pushed the downsize engines and employed a lighter aluminum cab body and pickup bed to improve the F-150's fuel economy.
But the best-selling Ford still can't quite match the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE.
That will likely lead Ford to implement still more efficiency improvements over the next few years.
The company is expected to launch an F-150 hybrid by 2020, and it is rumored to be planning a diesel model as well.