Ford Super Duty raises the towing bar
Meet the pride of the 2017 Ford Super Duty fleet, the F-450 with 6.7-litre Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel with enough power to tow up to 32,500 lb.
THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: Unsurpassed towing and payload capability with a new level of technology designed to make things much simpler to get the job done.
- What’s Worst: Not knowing what the fuel consumption figures are.
- What’s Interesting: Ford offers a centre console cupholder with space for up to four cups.
DENVER, CO: Ford calls the 2017 Super Duty pickups the “toughest, smartest, most capable” in the business.
Believe it or not, the F-250, F-350 and F-450 are the first new Super Duty trucks in 18 years.
In the U.S., 60 per cent of oil and gas companies use the Super Duty; 48 per cent in heavy construction; 42 per cent in manufacturing and 58 per cent of the electric, gas and sanitation industries.
ALSO READ: Top 10 features of the 2017 Ford Super Duty
In designing the new Super Duty, Ford had a number of goals such as: highest ever towing and payload, stronger fully boxed frame; more capable hitch design; bigger and stronger axles; upgraded steering and suspension; larger brakes; increased fuel and diesel urea tanks and all of this while concentrating on saving weight to aid in fuel consumption.
The first thing Ford did was adopt the military-grade aluminum cab and box from the current F-150 light duty pickup and strengthened it in key areas.
These are fitted to a new frame boxed from front to rear with up to 10 cross members.
Next they came up with new 2.5- and 3.0-inch hitch receivers with the first accommodating a 2.0-inch nested insert and the 3.0 taking 2.0- and 2.5-inch inserts.
Brakes, shocks, stabilizer bars and bushings were all upgraded.
The mighty 6.7-litre Power Stroke turbo diesel V6 now pumps out 440 hp and a whopping 925 lb/ft of torque thanks to new injectors and larger turbocharger. It can run on B20 biodiesel.
Also offered is the 6.2-litre gasoline V8 with 385 hp and 430 lb/ft of torque and it is E85 flex fuel capable and there is a package for CNG/propane. There is a third engine available on chassis cab models, a 6.8-litre V10 with 228 hp and 424 lb/ft of torque.
This results in awe-inspiring towing.
For example, the F450 4X4 has a maximum gooseneck tow rating of 14,742 kg (32,500 lb). Maximum fifth wheel towing has been upped to 12,474 kg (27,500 lb).
Total conventional towing with a hitch on the F-450 is increased to 9,526 kg (21,000 lb). Maximum conventional towing on the F-250 with trailer tow package and F-350 single rear wheel have both been increased to 8,165 kg (18,000 lb).
Payload on the F-350 is now 3,461 kg (7,630 lb) and 1,905 kg (4,200 lb) on the F-250 with payload on the F-450 listed as “per application.”
Super Duty now comes with adaptive cruise control and collision warning brake support which makes it possible to climb mountain grades while holding speed steady even with the maximum 14,742 kg being towed.
That is just one of the incredible list of new technology built in the Super Duty. For a complete, separate story on these advances, please see Wheels.ca.
To introduce the Super Duty to the media, Ford staged an information intensive and demonstration filled event in Denver, starting with driving through a closed course on a parking lot of Mile High Stadium, home of the NFL champion Denver Broncos.
Various exercises included going through a slalom course to test the new Adaptive Steering against its competitors and then, one another section where the objective was to accelerate and then brake as hard as possible with a full payload in the bed. The Fords won hands down.
Next it was out on the streets and highway in a F-350 4X4 Crew Cab XLT diesel towing 10,000 lb. Acceleration off the line was far from sluggish and driving it was more like a F-150 because of the responsiveness of the new power steering and the large brakes when stopping.
Then it was out to an off-road course to test the 4X4 capabilities. One of the fun parts was coming to a water/mud hole about 30 metres long where the instructor said, “give ‘er” and I did shooting up muddy water everywhere, and a lot of fun, I might add.
But the best part had to be in a toptrim F-350 King Ranch diesel model single rear wheel, where it definitely drove and felt like a F-150 especially with the familiar F-150 cab we were in.
Because the Super Duty trucks use essentially the same cab as the F-150, all the luxury fittings and connectivity come with it like King Ranch.
Driving in a lovely state park with rock climbers all over the place was a fitting ending to a very long but rewarding day, where Ford proved all the claims they are making for its 21st century Super Duty.
Because there are millions of ways to configure a Super Duty, the best prices I can give you are the base for each model which are: F-250, $39,849; F-350 $41,849; F-450, $64,599.
Coming in the fall, the 2017 new Super Duty is set to maintain Ford’s position of popularity among those who understand what towing is all about.
Ford Super Duty 2017
BODY STYLE: full-size heavy duty truck
DRIVE METHOD: front-engine, rear-drive and four-wheel-drive with six-speed TorqShift automatic transmission, single or double rear wheels
ENGINES: 6.7-litre Power Stroke single turbo diesel (440 hp, 925 lb/ft); 6.2-litre gasoline V8 (385 hp, 430 lb/ft); 8.6-litre gasoline V8 (228 hp, 424 lb/ft)
PAYLOAD: F-250, 1,905 kg (4,200 lb); F-350, 3,461 kg (7,630 lb); F-450 per application
TOWING CAPACITY: Maximum gooseneck towing (F-450) 32,500 lb; maximum gooseneck towing (F-350 dual rear wheels), 32,000 lb; maximum fifth wheel towing (F-450); maximum conventional towing (F-450) 9,526 kg (21,000 lb); Maximum conventional towing (F-250 with trailer tow package, F-350 single rear wheel), 8,165 kg (18,000 lb)
FUEL ECONOMY: Not Available
PRICING: (Starting) F-250 $39,849; F-350, $41,849; F-450, $65,589