Ford Announces Class-Leading Power and Capability for 2017 Super Duty
Predictable One-Upmanship Begets Impressive Numbers
Ford announced the power and capability ratings for the upcoming 2017 F-Series Super Duty today and predictably, they leave the competition floundering in its wake. Trust us, you might get tired of reading “best-in-class” in the text below.
That phrase describes the towing capacity of a 2017 F-450. Properly equipped, it is able to yank a trailer weighing 32,500 pounds from a gooseneck hitch, outstripping the current champ (Ram 3500) by 1,290 pounds. Fifth-wheel and bumper-pull towing is likewise impressive at 27,500 and 21,000 pounds, respectively. A max payload rating of 7,630 pounds brings home the gold in hauling.
Enabling all that heavy-hitting capability is Ford Trucks’ flagship engine, a 6.7L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8. Heavily updated for 2017, Ford says its new diesel engine produces 440 hp and 925 lb-ft, and yes, those numbers are best-in-class. Ford claims that even gas-engined Super Duty pickups will produce segment-leading torque, at 430 lb-ft from the 6.2L V-8. Admittedly, that’s not a huge increase over the Ram Heavy Duty, whose 6.4L Hemi V-8 makes 429 lb-ft.
Notably, Ford says all versions of the Power Stroke will have the same amount of power, whether installed in an F-250, F-350, or F-450. The former torque king, Ram Trucks, only offered the 900–lb-ft Cummins turbodiesel I-6 on the 3500 pickup when equipped with the optional Aisin six-speed automatic. In the Ram’s favor, it is the only fullsize truck still available with a manual gearbox, although in that configuration the engine makes just 660 lb-ft.
With those numbers on the table, we can draw a few conclusions. First off, the capability wars are in full swing. The domestic truck manufacturers have been one-upping each other since they first came into existence, and with this last volley, Ford has established itself on the top of the heap—for now.
Secondly, Ford took all of its crowns from one manufacturer. That raises the question: How long will Ram rest before it releases a truck that beats out the 2017 Super Duty? And furthermore, where has General Motors been in all of this? With an updated Duramax V-8 engine on the way, are Chevrolet and GMC poised to overtake the Super Duty and Ram in the torque wars?
One thing’s true, no matter what happens. When companies go to war like this, truck buyers are the real winners.