It's workhorses on parade in the industry right now. Yesterday, Chevrolet unveiled a new Silverado HD with improved capabilities and revamped styling. A Sierra HD should inevitably follow suit with GMC in the coming weeks.
Today, it's in the blue oval's camp that things are happening, with the new Ford Super Duty that gets new looks, new engines and on-board technologies that aim at facilitating life on the road for the driver, but also integrating the tools he or she needs for the job.
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With its redesigned exterior, the new Super Duty also offers a few customization packages, including the XL Off-Road, which adds 33-inch tires, skid plates, a raised air intake and an electronic locking rear differential.
The Tremor package is still available, with a suspension lift that comes with its own calibration, a Dana front axle with a limited-slip differential, unique 18-inch wheels wrapped in 35-inch rubber and other specific features.
Capability is the Name of the Game
Mechanically, the engine lineup has been revamped with the addition of two engines. The new standard mill is a 6.8-litre V8 generating 405 hp and 445 lb-ft. of torque. The 7.3-litre V8 is back, now with 430 hp and 485 lb-ft. of torque, which is unmatched among gasoline engines in the segment.
In the diesel camp, you’ll find the well-known 6.7-litre PowerStroke V8 that again delivers 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft. of torque. But it now comes in a high-output version with a recalibrated turbocharger, new exhaust manifolds and an improved calibration. The result is a whopping 500 hp and 1,200 lb-ft. of torque, also best-in-class.
The mechanical quartet relies on a 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission to channel power to the wheels. And get this: maximum towing capacity is increased to an insane 40,000 lbs (F-450 with gooseneck towing). Maximum payload, meanwhile, is up to 8,000 lbs.
Still available with a choice of three cabs and two bed sizes, the new Super Duty doesn't offer a "Swiss Army knife" type tailgate like GM. However, a new camera has been integrated above the said tailgate, which can be very useful when backing up when it’s down (instead of looking at the ground). It can also be opened or closed from the cabin.
The box can be equipped with a Pro Power OnBoard power source that provides 2 kW to feed tools and equipment. Finally, it is possible to equip the rear lights with weight indicators that give an overview of the remaining payload in the box.
Ever More Intelligent and Connected
In the almost completely redesigned interior of the Super Duty, occupants will be treated to a new look, as well as a central infotainment screen that can go up to 12 inches diagonally. However, Ford has left most of the mechanical levers around to provide an analog experience for those who want it. Max Recline seats are offered optionally in the front, and these can recline into a flat bed.
Ford gave the Super Duty plenty of new towing tools for long hauling days on the road. For example, a navigation tool specially designed for towing allows the driver to find the optimal route according to the dimensions of the trailer in order to avoid unpleasant surprises such as low bridges, or turns that are too tight for the trailer.
For fleets, a new Upfit integration system gives OEMs better access to the Super Duty's electronic systems to allow them to integrate operating controls for equipment such as a snow shovel or crane into the centre screen interface. The new Super Duty is also geared with 5G connectivity, a first in North America for a pickup truck.
Pricing for the 2023 Ford Super Duty lineup will be announced at a later date.