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The Ford F-8500 is remembered as one of the brand's biggest failures in Brazil; This truck, launched with great expectations, ended up not conquering the market and was discontinued after just two years of production

Written by Rafaela Fabris
Published 13/06/2024 às 15:14
The Ford F-8500 is remembered as one of the brand's biggest failures in Brazil; This truck, launched with great expectations, ended up not conquering the market and was discontinued after just two years of production
The Ford F-8500 was introduced as Ford's first mechanical horse in Brazil. Equipped with a Detroit 6V53 engine, which generated 202 horsepower at 2800 RPM and 61 Nm of torque at 1800 RPM, the F-8500 looked promising. However, technical problems and lack of public acceptance sealed its fate. Image: Passionate about roads/Disclosure

The Ford F-8500 was introduced as Ford's first mechanical horse in Brazil. Equipped with a Detroit 6V53 engine, which generated 202 horsepower at 2800 RPM and 61 Nm of torque at 1800 RPM, the F-8500 looked promising. However, technical problems and lack of public acceptance sealed its fate.

Even though Ford no longer makes trucks in Brazil, it is important to remember the history of models like the Ford F-8500. This truck was launched in the 70s, when Ford tried to regain its market share with a new line of trucks, including the F-350 and F-700.

The Ford F-8500 was notable for its Detroit 6V53 engine, which operated on a two-stroke cycle. This meant that the four stages of engine operation – intake, compression, combustion and exhaust – were carried out in a single rotation of the crankshaft, which made the process more efficient in theory. However, in practice, this feature required gear changes at higher revs, which did not please Brazilian drivers.

Additionally, the F-8500 had a maximum towing capacity of 30,5 tons and a mass of 4712 kg when ready to operate.

It could carry up to 19.785 kg of payload, in addition to fuel and driver. The front suspension used semi-elliptical spring beams and telescopic shock absorbers, while the rear had a spring arrangement that supported up to 10.430 kg.

Same with these impressive specifications, the Ford F-8500 faced significant difficulties. The two-stroke engine was not well accepted, possibly because of the need to operate at higher speeds and the lack of qualified professionals to maintain it. Furthermore, the lack of adequate technical support and the resistance of the national market contributed to its failure.

The Ford F-8500 was discontinued in 1979 after just two years of production. Although it was an ambitious project, it failed to achieve the success Ford desired. This story highlights how even large companies can face unexpected challenges when introducing new technologies to the market.

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Rafaela Fabris

Talks about innovation, renewable energy, oil and gas. Updates daily on opportunities in the Brazilian job market.

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