It has been a long time coming, but it’s time to replace our flagship Ford F-350 project truck with a newer model. By the time you read this, our new Super Duty will already have a few thousand miles on it driving back across the country from Ford’s Detroit headquarters. The new F-Series truck is an entirely new beast when looking back at the first body style of the Super Duty. Everything from the engine to the fabric used in the interior has changed. A truck that was once known for simply being a solid tow machine has changed. Ford has delivered to its customers as promised, a class-leading truck that is quickly becoming known for its overall capabilities both on and off the road.
When talking about a big truck like the Super Duty, everyone always wants to know what’s under the hood. The new 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine delivers 800 lb-ft of torque and over 400 horsepower. All that power isn’t killing you at the pump either, as Ford’s Super Duty boasts fuel economy numbers ahead of its class. The new diesel is biodiesel compatible up to B20. One of the reasons Ford has been able to achieve these numbers is by using a compacted graphite iron (CGI) engine block. CGI is stronger than cast iron, which Ford has already been using in its other products around the world. The block structure was optimized for reduced weight and maximum strength to meet the demands of higher torque and more horsepower.
The unique inboard and outboard intake architecture is an automotive industry first for a modern production diesel. It reduces overall exhaust system volume, which leads to better throttle response. The reduced system surface area minimizes heat transfer to the engine compartment to improve noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The turbocharger features a dual-sided compressor wheel that works in a single housing. The unit is center mounted on a pedestal low in the back to improve NVH. This allows a single unit to deliver to advantages of a twin-turbocharger system in a small, more efficient package.
Another predominant feature of the new truck is the 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission was engineered for efficiency and fuel economy. Improvements include refined architecture to provide relatively low clutch speeds, which results in lower drag losses, and optimized fluid levels and drainback to reduce churning of fluid while also providing superior lubrication. In addition to hardware-based improvements, it also features enhanced tow/haul mode with integrated engine exhaust braking and SelectShift Automatic capability, which includes Progressive Range Select and a manual mode, allowing customers to select the gear to suit their needs. The new engine mated to the new transmission has given the F-Series trucks a towing capability of 24,400 pounds and payload capability of 7,070 pounds.
A few other towing and off-road control features include:
• Hill Start Assist, which applies brakes to prevent rollback
• Hill Descent Control, which uses the accelerator and brake to set, and then hold, the speed (this particular system was first used on the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor)
• Electronic locking differential, which provides maximum traction by forcing the rear wheels to turn at the same speed
• Standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System on all SRW models
• Trailer Sway Control, which uses the AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control systems to provide an additional layer of confidence and control while towing. When the system detects the trailert yawing in one direction, it applies selective brake pressure on the tow vehicle’s opposite side, which damps the yaw and reduces sway.
• 4.2-inch Productivity Screen has six basic menus to keep track of fuel, control features, engage unique truck applications, off-road controls and make decisions based on towing needs
There is so much more to talk about and a slew of features we just don’t have room to mention today. We have some big plans for the new truck and as always, you know we will put it through the ringer and report back if Ford’s new Super Duty is really all its cracked up to be. Now, if I can only convince our Editor in Chief from wanting to jump it off a sand dune!
For more information about the new F-Series pickup trucks, visit www.ford.com.
Do you already have a 2011 F-250? Send us some photos and tell us about the plans for your truck. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.