Sometimes big just isn’t big enough. Following the redesign of its F-150 pickup truck, Ford now unveils the all-new 2011 Super Duty, with new diesel and gasoline engines that deliver double-digit mileage improvement.
The Super Duty comes as the F-250 and F-350 pickup; in pickup or chassis cab as the F-450; and as the chassis-cab-only F-550.
The new 6.2-litre gasoline engine produces 385 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, versus the 300/365 of the outgoing 5.4-litre V8. The big news is the 6.7-litre Power Stroke turbodiesel, at 390 horses and a house-pulling 735 lb-ft of twist. That’s 85 lb-ft more than the previous 6.4-litre diesel, although General Motors has recently announced that its upcoming all-new diesel will make a segment-topping 765 lb-ft of torque.
The new Power Stroke is also Ford’s first North American diesel designed and built in-house, following an acrimonious divorce from previous engine supplier, International.
Trucks this big are exempt from government fuel ratings, but Ford claims an improvement of 18 per cent better on diesel, and 15 per cent improvement on gasoline versus the old engines.
Using the vehicle’s trip computer, and carrying four people and a 1,000-lb load, my diesel F-350 single-rear-wheel test truck registered the equivalent of 8.1 L/100 km (35 mpg) in mostly highway driving.
The fuel savings should help offset the diesel’s hefty premium of $9,950. Equipped with gasoline engines, and available in Regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew, the Super Duty’s starting prices range from $35,499 for a base Regular cab, to a high of $59,599, which gets you the F-450 dual-wheel SuperCrew.
The diesel is so quiet that it sounds like a gasoline engine, and the truck rides with big-car smoothness, even when there’s no load in the bed. The days of trucks that rattle and bounce over every little bump in the road are over.
Towing enhancements include trailer sway control, integrated brake controller, a diesel engine brake, and hill start assist. Conventional towing maxes at 7,257 kg (16,000 lbs), while fifth-wheel goes up to 11,067 kg (24,400 lbs); a factory-installed optional fifth wheel/gooseneck package adds an additional crossmember, laser-cut holes for the hitch, and a harness plug inside the bed.
A new optional driver information screen even keeps mileage records on various trailers entered in its memory.
The heavy-duty segment is small but vital, and buyers are looking for ability and economy.
With this new truck, Ford is coming to the job site with both.