A lead up to a true adventure [fimg=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/F150_and_the_Arch1.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - April 30, 2011 2011 Ford F150 SuperCrew w/ EcoBoost at the St. Louis Arch – “Gateway to the West”. The “Adventure Challenge” has been a work in progress for more than 6 months. But the idea itself has been germinating for several years. The seed was planted during a road trip to the CleanMPG Fuel Economy World Championship in 2008, but it grew into a more definitive concept last year during the Yamaha WR250X ride and more recently during the 2011 F-250 Super Duty press launch. The goal: To find a 6-, 7- or 8-passenger vehicle that could transport 5 to 7 people (and all of their gear) on a countrywide road trip and prove that a large vehicle can be “the right tool for the right job.” The kicker: It also (obviously) needed to be fuel efficient. Incorporating guest journalists and CleanMPG members that span the North American continent, we began planning a challenge that would include 400 + mile a day schedule, a wireless hot spot and enough room for 5 adults to be comfortable sitting next to each other without showers for 9 days. (jk ) This ruled out every SUV and minivan simply because there was not enough room to carry both the people and the gear. Combine that with the fact that most of the drivers would be high-fuel-economy enthusiasts, and the vehicle also needed to be uniquely fuel-efficient throughout the fully laden trek. So what vehicle met the basic requirements? A full-sized 6-passenger pickup truck, of course Ford’s F150 equipped with the 3.5L EcoBoost One of the selling points of the 3.5L EcoBoost truck engine for the mass public is that it produces best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque, enabling a best-in-class maximum towing of 11,300 pounds and maximum payload of 3,060 pounds. The selling point for CleanMPG: It also delivers an unsurpassed 22 mpg fuel economy rating on the highway. For more on the EcoBoost engine from the durability perspective, consider reading Another day in the life of the 3.5L EcoBoost engine # 448AA Mike Rowe: Sounds like it’s time to set some goals and start lining up the vehicle, the route, and the drivers… 2011 F-150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost Event Drive Goal(s) To cross the continent from the Pacific to the Atlantic with 5 in the truck and almost 1,000 pounds of gear at 30 + mpg on each tank (or 150 mpg per person equivalent) takes a special vehicle indeed. A secondary goal includes “over the shoulder while behind the wheel” hypermiling training in real time so that three guest journalists can perform to the level necessary to meet the primary goal. 2011 F-150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost Event Drive Details Route 2011 Ford F150 Fuel Economy Adventure Challenge Route with elevation profiles (0' to 7,300' ASL and back). Schedule Depart Los Angeles early morning Sat 4/30 – Drive 436 miles Night of Saturday 4/30 - Williams/Circle Pines KOA - 1000 Circle Pines Road, Williams, AZ 86046 – Drive 468 miles Night of Sunday 5/1 – Santa Rosa Camp Ground - 2136 Historic Route 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435 – Drive 177 miles Night of Monday 5/2 – Amarillo KOA - 1100 Folsom Road, Amarillo, TX 79108 – Drive 409 miles Night of Tuesday 5/3 – KOA Sallisaw/Ft Smith West - 1900 KOA Power Dr, Sallisaw, OK 74955 – Drive 369 miles Night of Wednesday 5/4 – Chewalla Lake in Holly Springs National Forest, Potts Camp, MS 38659 – Drive 392 miles Night of Thursday 5/5 – Forsyth KOA - 414 Frontage Road, Forsyth, GA 31029 – Drive 205 miles Arrive Tybee Island GA afternoon 5/6 Total distance – 2456 miles – not counting alimentary breaks. The Participants Guest Journalists Jill Ciminillo from Chicago, IL - Jill is a reluctant car girl who loves to drive fast, write well and write well fast about driving for her automotive blog, “Drive, She Said” on ChicagoNow, a Tribune publication. She is an avid runner and marathoner and loves testing Chicago’s cuisine, one neighborhood at a time. Additionally, Jill is known for her own kind of fuel economy in everything “she” drives including a stint in a competitors SUV hybrid where she averaged only 15.6 mpg! David Hall from Naperville, IL - Dave is an Associate Editor at Consumer Guide Automotive and a self proclaimed lifetime car nut. He is an Eagle Scout and enjoys both camping and exploring Chicago with friends. Dave came to our attention when in yet another competitor’s pickup truck; he received just 8.57 mpg over 3-days last winter. Sebastian Blanco from Lansing, MI - Sebastian has been Editor in Chief for Autoblog Green since its inception in early 2006. He has 15 years of experience as an auto journalist discussing all aspects of clean automotive technology. Manufacturers and Reps We cannot begin to imagine performing an event of this magnitude without the support of some very special people including Ford’s Anne Marie Gattari, Global Quality and Design Manager and who just retired, Said Deep Ford North America and Global Product Communications Manager, Matt Leaver, U.S. Media Fleet Rep, Kristin Jankowski, Marketing Communications Manager at Johnson Outdoors and parent to Eureka! Tents and Joey Snyder, ScanGauge National PR Manager. From the manufacturer side, Ford for supplying the 2011 F-150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost (Ford Trucks – Fuel Economy Leadership from Engines to Alignment) and the 2011 Ford Fiesta SES Chase vehicle. Others include the following: Eureka! Accompanies CleanMPG Members on a Very Special Adventure New ScanGauge-e Leads CleanMPG EcoBoost Fuel Economy Challenge CleanMPG Previews the Extang Trifecta Tri-Fold Signature Series Tonneau Cover Eureka Draw - Enter To Win! To celebrate, Eureka! is giving away 5 gear prize packages in a random drawing to be held after noon EDST on Friday, May 6, 2011, so you have a chance to win the same Eureka! camping gear that CleanMPG is using on this drive! Simply complete the entry form below to be entered to win. One entry per person, please! Your entry constitutes that you have read and agree with the Official Rules. Shipping Addresses in the USA only, please! One entry per person. CleanMPG Contest – Guess our MPG and Win! Guess the final fuel economy for the F-150 to the nearest hundredth mpg (for example, 29.37mpg). The closest guess wins a new ScanGauge e. Reply to this thread with your guess to enter.