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Five Hard-Working Features of the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on September 25, 2015
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Ford proudly claims “We Own Work” in a number of its advertisements and press materials, so it’s not surprising that the company is including a number of advancements to its all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty to back up that claim. Here, in no certain order, are five of the Truck Trend Network’s favorite hard-working features on the new truck.

1. Fully Boxed High-Strength Steel Frame

We know, General Motors has had a fully boxed frame in its HD trucks for some time now. That the previous-generation Super Duty was able to compete using a C-channel frame is impressive in its own right. However, Ford is bringing the frame fight to GM’s front door with the 2017 Super Duty’s boxed frame, comprised of 95 percent high-strength steel.

When launching the 2015 F-150, Ford was quick to point out that in addition to the aluminum bodywork, the light-duty pickup used more high-strength steel in its frame than any other 1/2-ton. We’d wager the same is true of the F-Series Super Duty. The frame is 24 times stronger than the previous-generation Super Duty’s, and Ford proved its mettle during the live launch yesterday, suspending eight F-150s and one gigantic Tonka truck from the F-Series Super Duty’s frame.

For easier upfitting, lower repair costs, and increased flexibility, Ford will continue to offer the Super Duty chassis cab with a frame that’s fully boxed under the cabin before transitioning to a C-channel chassis (shown above).

2. Cameras cameras cameras

Ford is offering seven cameras on the 2017 Super Duty, all of which will make hard work a bit easier. The most interesting, “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” solution is the remote trailer camera, which mounts to the back of a trailer and projects the image of what’s behind the rig to the Super Duty’s display screen. Anyone who regularly backs a big boat down a crowded launch ramp will be sure to appreciate this feature, and it’ll also make lots of sense when maneuvering campers, toy haulers, and equipment trailers into place.

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Another useful feature is the cab-mounted rear camera, which displays the contents of the bed and can help the driver guide a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer into place. A 360-degree camera system also displays the objects directly around the truck for better visibility.

3. Military-Strength Bodywork

Ford loves calling its aluminum body panels “military grade,” although that appellation may be truer for the Super Duty than any other vehicle. The aluminum sheets in the bed are thicker on the Super Duty than in the F-150, befitting the bigger truck’s higher payload ratings. Ford claims the new Super Duty’s bodywork is more dent-resistant than that of its predecessor, and since it’s constructed of aluminum, it’s almost impervious to corrosion.

The alloy body and high-strength steel frame combine to help the new Super Duty lose about 350 pounds compared to the current truck.

4. Power Galore

Ford hasn’t released hard data yet, but it promises that both the gasoline and diesel engines available on the 2017 Super Duty will be more powerful and torquier than those of the current truck. That means more than 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of torque from the 6.7L Power Stroke diesel V-8 and probably at least 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque from the 6.2L gas V-8.

It’s only a rumor at this point, but the local scuttlebutt suggests that the 6.7L diesel will be the first mass-produced car to get a four-digit torque rating. More than 1000 lb-ft of torque available at any corner dealership? We’ll see…

5. Where the Rubber Meets the Road

So, if the F-150 lost 700 pounds in its transition to aluminum, why did the much larger Super Duty only lose 350? Wouldn’t the bigger truck yield bigger savings?

Ford’s answer to that is simple. They took a good portion of the weight saved and reinvested it in more rugged components. Larger brakes, tougher suspension components, and 2-inch-taller frame rails do weigh more, but they provide greatly added strength and capability. Again, we have no hard numbers, but Ford claims higher payload and towing ratings of any Super Duty yet. Since the segment-leading Ram 3500 only bests the Super Duty’s max tow rating by just 10 pounds, expect Ford to retake the towing crown.

As a side note, those higher frame rails also endow the Super Duty with a king-of-the-road driving position that will be instantly familiar to fans of the Blue Oval. Expect the Ford-trademark amazing outward visibility to make the jump to the new generation.

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We’re beyond excited to get behind the wheel of the Super Duty and put it to the test with a trailer and a few of our toys. We’re also excited to see if the Super Duty’s interior improvements will stack up against the Sierra HD’s fantastic trimmings, or if it will match the ride refinement of the Ram Heavy Duty. Ford has a lot riding on this truck, so they need it to come out of the gate strong.

Just based on what we know so far, we’re confident the Super Duty will continue to own work.

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