heavy-duty pickup:

2020 Ford Super Duty Aims to Stay Ahead of Competition

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2020 Ford Super Duty - All New King Ranch Super Duty

2020 Ford Super Duty King Ranch – F-250 Model

Detroit, Michigan, January 30, 2019:  Ford Commercial vehicles generated over $70 billion in revenue in 2018.  That’s equivalent to a Fortune 40 company.  Thought differently, Ford Commercial vehicle revenue was larger than that of Procter and Gamble.  No wonder, Ford is on the accelerator to keep their Super Duty line, Transit vans and Transit Connect small vans more than competitive.  The 2020 Ford Super Duty is the big news, but information on the rest of the Commercial Vehicle lineup will follow.

The Ford Super Duties were all new in 2016 when they adopted the F-150’s cab and many aluminum body and chassis components. The 2020 Ford Super Duty will be released later in 2019, but their competition hasn’t been standing still.  Both General Motors and FCA’s Ram brand will launch their new Heavy Duty trucks earlier in 2019.  2019 is definitely the year of the Heavy Duty pickup.

This mid-cycle change comes four model years following its major change.  Ford management hints that the next major change will be in three years giving this Super Duty generation a seven year cycle.

Consider the 2020 Ford Super Duty changes to be a mild mid-cycle freshening.  The grilles (ten of them; styled differently) are new, headlamps are new, taillamps are new.  You can tell the difference if you are a devoted Super Duty buyer.  The interiors of the three highest trim levels – Lariat, Limited and Platinum have been updated significantly to bring  a more upscale experience for the buyers of these very expensive trucks who want only to spend more.

Ford has gone to town in the powertrain arena as well.  There is an all new 7.3L big block V8 for the F-250 through the F-750.  Ford believes it will be the most powerful V8 available in heavy duty applications.  The 3rd Generation 6.7L V8 turbo diesel is more powerful and has more torque than the 2019 version.  The base engine for these trucks is Ford’s 6.2L V8 that continues as the affordable alternative.

Each engine gets Ford’s excellent 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission that has everyone impressed with its smoothness and durability.  The 10-speed includes five selectable drive modes – normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery and deep sand and snow.

The Super Duties get safety and convenience features picked from the Ford ProPilot 360 system.  Things really needed in a truck this large like blind spot monitoring, lane keep alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking are either standard or available depending on trim level.

Ford has a substantial lead in the heavy duty pickup market and has enhanced the vehicle offerings to attract government, construction, horse haulers, boat haulers, RV haulers and any other vocation needing a heavy duty pickup.  After all, when you check all the boxes, Ford offers a lineup that can be priced over $100,000 per truck.


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Super Duty – Ford’s Super Capable 2017 Pickups

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Ford’s F-Series Super Duty pickups are all new for the 2017 model year.  The Super Duty line includes the F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 heavy duty pickups.

All-New For Real  The term all new here is an actual fact because the last time the Super Duty was all new was over a decade ago.  The high volume F-150 light duty full size pickup was all new and all aluminum for 2016.  The Super Duty follows a year later, but Ford says the product update cadence should be shorter for both the F-150 and the Super Duties in the future.

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch

Image by: George Peterson

Borrows from F-150, Then Goes on Steroids  For this iteration the Super Duty pickups share the aluminum cabs of the F-150 – regular cab, Super Cab and Crew Cab.  Each of these cabs is longer than that on the old Super Duty.  Then everything changes.  The front end styling is very different, tougher and stronger looking than the pretty darn strong looking F-150.  The pickup box is upgraded to handle the more severe workload of a vehicle designed for construction crews and trailer towing.  The fully-boxed frame has been substantially upgraded with the center section frame rails 1.5 inches taller than previously.

Venerable Twin-I-Beam Suspension Retained and Upgraded  The Twin-I-Beam front suspension has been upgraded and remains a very important Super Duty unique selling proposition.  According to Doug Scott, head of Ford truck marketing, there was a lot of discussion about retaining the venerable, but very strong Twin-I-Beam front suspension.  There was one contingent within Ford that wanted a more contemporary front suspension similar to Chevrolet Silverado.   But buyers of the Super Duty rely on the over-designed Twin-I-Beam for durability in extreme abuse situations.  Super-computer simulations of the suspension design have eliminated the quirkiness of the previous set-up that tended to wander a bit on the open road.

Unique Interior  Although the Super Duty shares the F-150’s cabs, the interior in the Super Duty is unique to the line.  The “Active Motion” seats are designed for heavier duty application and long seat time.  They are comfortable for hours on the road.  The instrument panel is unique and much more industrial looking than in the F-150.  There is a wide center console that can accommodate files or a laptop computer.  The console top is an armrest in normal driving or a desk when necessary.

Feature Laden  The list of available advanced features is an arm long.  Most would be expected in an up-market car, but in a heavy duty pickup they are extraordinary.  Super Duty gets Sync 3 available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  There is a 360-degree camera set-up that is extremely useful when parking or off-roading.  Activating the camera allows you to see the obstacles near the vehicle and avoid them.  The Super Duty can have as many as SEVEN cameras.  Lane departure warning, blind spot information and adaptive cruise control systems are available.  Adaptive steering is available that adjusts the steering ratio based on driver input.

Powerful Power Stroke Diesel is the Volume Engine Choice  The available powertrains include the second generation Power Stroke diesel that will be the high volume engine.  The 6.7L V8 diesel has 440-horsepower and 920 lb. ft. of torque.  That’s right – 920 lb. ft.  The diesel is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.  The diesel pulls, and pulls, and pulls.  There is a 6.2L V8 gas engine with 385-horsepower and 430 lb. ft. of torque.  On chassis-cab models Ford’s 6.8L V10 is available.

Driving the Super Duty  The Super Duty is a delight to drive for such a big truck.  The 4×4 King Ranch F-250 Crew Cab (~$78,000) was easy to drive and easy to maneuver if you have a lot of space.  The unloaded ride was good depending on road surface.  Because of the stiff 4×4 suspension the ride over choppy roads was a bit uncomfortable.  The power of the 6.7L Power Stroke diesel was very impressive.


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