The long-awaited addition of the 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine to Ford Motor Co.’s F-650 medium-duty chassis is now reality as the automaker began building V10-equipped models Aug. 15 at its plant in Escobedo, Mexico.

Ford added that production of its F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks will shift from Escobedo to its Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, OH, after the Avon Lake plant stops building E-Series cargo and passenger vans over the next several years.

The addition of the 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine option to Ford’s F-650 truck is part of an effort to give a variety of fleets – especially municipalities – a lower-cost medium-duty truck option, Mike Levine, Ford truck communications manager, told Fleet Owner.

“There’s a cost savings of about $8,300 for the gasoline engine versus a comparable F-650 with a Cummins diesel,” he explained. “We expect to see municipal fleets on tighter budgets opt for the 6.8-liter V10, as well as rental and utility companies.”

Levine added that the three-valve V10 gasoline engine produces 362 hp and 457 lb.-ft. of torque with a Ford 6R410 six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive gears helping boost fuel economy. He also noted that a gaseous prep kit is also available for the 6.8-liter V10, which could mean lower operating costs for fleet buyers running on compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane.

Ford said that its F-650 6.8-liter V10 equipped “Pro Loader” model, featuring 19.5-inch wheels, starts with a base sticker price of $54,840, while the F-650 6.8-liter “Dock Height” model with 22-inch wheels starts at $55,065.