DIY Economy Performance | 550+HP Capable 5-Star Tuned F-150Few modern F-150 engines raise such a variety of strongly held beliefs as the 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Some detest the thought of any gas powered truck that features less than 8-cylinders, while others love the torquey yet frugal nature of Ford’s base turbo engine. Then there’s another far smaller crowd that you may not yet know, those who love transforming a minuscule 164 cubic-inch mill into a tire slaying insane-truck. The future owner of this particular truck is definitely going to fall into that latter category.
If you judge an engine only by its displacement, I here to tell you you’re in for a rude awakening if you tangle with the wrong 2.7L EB truck at your favorite red light. This particular truck has been thoroughly worked over by the Ford Loving crew at 5 Star Tuning. It’s part of a venture by Capitol Ford of Rocky Mount, NC to sell modded vehicles off the new car lot. The sent it to Florence, SC for the guys at 5 Star to work their magic. With a relatively short and non-invasive list of mods they were able to solidly crank this little truck up to 8. “Why not 11”, you may ask. Because this truck does not have a private owner yet and 5 Star doesn’t know how nuts the eventual buyer will want to get (and if they’ll have E-85 readily available).
I have been a fan of the XL Sport package since Ford added it to the F-150 lineup a few years ago. Makes for a very clean looking affordable truck.
What we have here is a fairly basic truck as far as new F-150 go. It’s a Reg-Cab Short-Bed 2WD XLT with all the interior options you really need (power windows/locks, cruise control, A/C, and Sync). From there, 5 Star added the following mods:
· 5 Star 91 Octane Custom Tune
· CR Performance Stage 3 Turbos
· SPD Downpipes and Resonator
· Mishimoto Intercooler
· S&B Intake
· 170 Degree Thermostat
· Morimoto Headlights
· Knock-Off “RTR Style” Grill
· Black Wheels and Nitto Tires
· Drop Shackles
With that modest list of upgrades, 5 Star was able to extract ~452 RWHP and 490 RWTQ from the 2.7L mill on 91 Octane pump gas. Even better, the tuners said that with a tank full of E-85 they can turn up the wick to the tune of about 575 RWHP. Whoever ends up buying this truck should call up those Carolina tune makers and unleash this truck’s real potential. Even still, on pump gas this thing is an absolute blast to drive.
This stance is just about perfect for a DD truck, that can still do work without looking like a 'work truck'.
I hate to make this comparison, but this little truck feels way to close to being a modern day SVT Lightning to me. No, it doesn’t make the sweet sounds of a supercharged V8 but it does sing its own song. Once the upgraded twin-turbos light off at about 3,200 RPMs you get nearly 500 lbft of torque pushing you back in your seat to the tune of compressor spool. The truck is incredibly light on its feet, which is to be expected considering its configuration and aluminum body.
The massive S&B Intake is a real attention grabber in the engine bay. It's a great quality CAI.
Handling and braking are decent, but nothing to write home about. You have to keep in mind that, other than a set of Nitto tires and some drop shackles, no substantial suspension upgrades have been made. It’s a testament to how well the Ford engineers have these new trucks dialed in from the factory. As it stands, this truck is a competent and fun street machine with lots of room to grow in the performance department. Even a basic suspension upgrade (springs and shocks) and some more aggressive brakes would really set off this 2.7 rig off from your average off the lot DD. If you’re looking for a comfortable vehicle with the utility of a truck and enough power to be considered for certified sleeper status, this is a combination you should consider.
All it took was a few bolt-ons and this F-150 became a completely different animal.
This Plane Jane interior still packs in all the essentials.
Just a few minutes and a hundred dollar set of shackles are all you need for a noticeable attitude/altitude adjustment.
It's tough to see, but buried behind the active grill shutters is an upgraded intercooler.
The 2.7L EcoBoost engine isn't going to win any beauty contests, but damn if it can't make some power.
Speaking of power, check out those power curves.