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2011 Ford F-250/350 Super Duty - First Drive
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2011 Ford F-250/350 Super Duty - First Drive

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About Ford F-250

Intro

The Ford F-250 is the medium-sized truck in the F-Series line, placed snugly in between the F-150 and the F-350. With its balance of power and comfort, the F-Series was considered by many to be the most popular and dependable line of pickup trucks in the world. While the F-150 is the most famous and coveted of the F-Series trucks, the Ford F-250 is a formidable vehicle, and an appealing choice for those looking for something a little heavier than a ½ ton pickup.

Origins

The Ford F-250 was introduced as one of the lighter models in the Ford F-Series lineup. Created all the way back in 1948, the F-Series featured eight models that ranged from the light ½ ton F-1, to the ¾ ton F-2 and F-3 pickup trucks, all the way to one-, one and a half-, and two-ton school buses and conventional truck models (the F4, F-5, F-6, F7, and F-8).

About

In 1953 the designation and concept of the F-Series changed, from a versatile line of automobiles to a collection of only pickup trucks. Similarly, the "2" designation expanded to "250", with the F-250 representing the middle ground, surrounded by the heavy F-350 and the lighter F-100 (later the F-150).

The F-250 continued to evolve with the other F-Series trucks all the way to 1999, when the F-250 and the F-350 split from the F-150 to form the basis of Ford's Super Duty pickup truck line.

Features

Like many modern F-Series trucks, the F-250 gives you a lot of options to choose from. F-250 fans can decide between a regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab, and can choose from a long list of trims: the base XL trim, the XLT trim with some added comfort and convenience features, the luxury-trim Lariat, and the western-style King Ranch trim. One truly exciting feature of the Ford F-250 is the choice of two engine options. Power is what you look for in an F-250 Super Duty, and the 2013 model has it. Drivers can opt for the 6.2-liter V-8 that cranks out 385 horsepower with 405 lb-ft of torque, or the 6.7-liter, TurboDiesel engine which delivers a staggering 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Evolution

Back in 1948, the truck that would become the Ford F-250 was merely the F-2, a ¾ ton two-door full-size pickup. The F-2 could be fitted with a 3.7-liter, six-cylinder engine that offered 95 horsepower or a 3.9-liter V-8 that bumped it up a barely-noticeable five horses. The engine was linked to a three-speed light duty, three-speed heavy duty, or four-speed spur gear transmission. The F-2, like the F-3, featured an eight-foot bed.

The second generation of Ford F-250 was produced from 1953 to 1956, and began to gain some footing in the automotive world as it developed its own identity. Now officially titled the F-250, it was no longer one small entry in a huge line of trucks, but the chief mid-level truck among an elite line of pickups. Bigger than the F-100 but smaller than the F-350, it was the perfect pickup for those looking for something right in the middle. Available engines included the 3.5-liter six-cylinder, the 3.9-liter Y-Block V-8, and by 1956, the 4.5-liter Y-Block V-8, which delivered 173 horsepower.

The third-generation F-250 (on the market from 1957 to 1960) saw new exterior styling, as did the other trucks in the F-Series line. There were now two types of pickup boxes: FlareSide, with a separate fender body, and Style Side, with a smooth side. A fresh chrome grille was also added. In 1959, a bigger engine option was added to the features list – a 4.8-liter Y-Block V-8.

In 1961, Ford attempted to introduce unibody trucks, with an integrated cab and pickup box. This experiment was not received well by consumers and is generally considered a failure, as the unibody trucks were discontinued after 1963. The 1965 F-250 featured an updated chassis, which would remain part of the F-250 until 1979.

The tenth generation (1967-1972) brought more changes to the F-250, including more trim levels, with trim options including the Ranger, the Ranger XLT, the Custom, and the Sport Custom, along with the base model. In 1969, a new engine became available, a 4.9-liter Windsor V-8 that generated 205 horsepower.

In 1975, the F-250 was pushed further into the middle of the lineup, with the introduction of the F-150 in between the F-250 and the F-100. However, the F-100 would soon be replaced by the F-150, clearing up any confusion regarding the proper placement of the F-250 within the lineup. Other than the introduction of this new model, the generation of pickups produced from 1973-1979 remained largely identical, save for some minor aesthetic changes to the exterior of the F-250.

The seventh-generation Ford F-250 was manufactured from 1980 to 1986, and featured a major redesign with a sharper, less rounded exterior, a brand new chassis, and new engine options. Trim levels included the Custom, the Ranger, the Ranger XLT, the Ranger Lariat, and the Explorer. In 1982 the trim levels were completely redesigned: the Ranger trims were removed, the Custom trim became the base model, and the Ranger Lariat became the XLT Lariat. Lastly, the XL, the XLS, and an Eddie Bauer trim were added.

The eighth-generation F-Series trucks were in production from 1987 to 1991, and had four models: the F-150, the F-250, the F-350, and the F- Super Duty, modeled after the old F-450. This F-250 maintained the same chassis, but had a more streamlined design, an upgraded interior, and anti-lock brakes standard on rear wheels.

The ninth generation (1992-1996) was the last time the F-150 would be coupled together with the F-250 and F-350 models. Subsequent versions would see the F-250 as part of the Super Duty line.

The F-250 truck is now referred to as the F-250 Super Duty. Super Duty trucks are heavier, stronger trucks with more powerful engines, and include the F-250, the F-250HD (Heavy Duty), and the F-350.

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