MIKE HARRISON: 2011 FORD F-150 V8 LEADER INSPIRED BY MOTORSPORTS
Mike Harrison’s favorite Ford product is the Mk. I Ford Escort RS1600, a European-market model that established the Blue Oval as a rally force to be reckoned with by sweeping the top three spots in the 1973 Rally of Great Britain.
“It was a wonderful rally car with great motorsports heritage,” reflected Harrison, V8 engine programs manager. “My father had a British-built Escort – a bright-red 1973 model – that sparked my interest in all things automotive and the Ford brand specifically.”
Harrison says he grew up on a steady diet of watching rally and road racing, and indeed, motorsports has played an important role in his life, both inside and outside of his office at Ford’s product development center in Dearborn, Mich.
Participating in Sports Car Club of America road racing events – in a wide range of vehicles from a near-stock Improved Touring C Ford Mk. I Fiesta to a vintage H Production MG Midget and a GT3 Mazda RX-7 – has given Harrison the on-track, behind-the-wheel perspective to lead the development of successful engines. Next up are new V8 engines for the 2011 Ford F-150.
New – yet familiar – for the 2011 Ford F-150 are the 5.0-liter V8 and the 6.2-liter V8. The 5.0-liter, gaining accolades on the 2011 Mustang GT, was re-engineered for tough truck duty cycles. The 6.2-liter also is the base engine for the all-new 2011 Super Duty.
“The 5.0-liter is the workhorse of the 2011 F-150 lineup and will deliver outstanding fuel economy and performance,” said Harrison. “The 6.2-liter is proving itself in the tough applications of customers of both Super Duty, with its maximum towing and payload, and the F-150 SVT Raptor, in harsh, off-road environments.”
Harrison is a native of the town of Nelson in Lancashire, England, and graduated from Loughborough University of Technology in the U.K. He started at Ford in 1983 as an undergraduate intern, and then advanced to engine calibration engineer when he accepted a full-time position. His tenure with the company has provided assignments in the U.K. and Germany as well as the United States.
“We’re really having fun at Ford these days,” Harrison said. “For a performance and motorsports enthusiast, this is a wonderful place to be.”
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- Mike, his wife Sharon and their four children – ages 8 to 16 – enjoy spending off-hours outdoors in Northern Michigan
- He is a golfer and is currently restoring a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. For 20 years, Mike has owned a 1972 British Racing Green MGB
- He has been an active SCCA competitor and once campaigned a Mk. I Fiesta in the Improved Touring C class
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 159,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Sept. 20, 2010