The Ford F-Series Super Duty has been a common staple of the truck market since its debut for the 1999 model year. However, prior to the introduction of the dedicated HD model, Ford experimented with some unusual variants that straddled the fence between 1/2-ton and HD. From 1997-1999, Ford sold a non–Super Duty F-250 based on the F-150 with unusual 7-lug wheels, a heavy-duty rear axle, and load-leveling rear suspension. After the debut of the dedicated Super Duty line, the name was changed to the F-150 “7700” model, designating its higher GVWR compared to a standard F-150. Well, 15 years later, it appears Ford hasn’t completely abandoned the idea of a “heavy half” if these spyshots are any indication.
Although heavily cladded, a few takeaways from these spyshots indicate a two-wheel-drive F-150 chassis, based on its low ride height and low-profile frame. The 8-lug wheels suggest a higher load capacity than a standard F-150. The grille design, from what we can glean from beneath the mesh camouflage, is different from both the 2017 F-150 and Super Duty. Although somewhat hard to see from these shots, it appears the top of the grille has some sort of embossed writing on it, possibly saying “Super Duty.”
Some in the industry have questioned Nissan’s approach with the Titan XD, believing most buyers would gravitate to either a 1/2-ton or a full-fledged HD. However, when Ford does anything in the truck market, it could have potentially tectonic repercussions, and if Dearborn thinks there’s a market for a heavy-half, there very well could be. Would you consider an F-150 “Super Duty,” or should Ford focus its efforts on its dedicated F-150 and Super Duty programs?