2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty – First Driving Report: Over 1,000 lb-ft Torque Roadshow

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The Ford Super Duty range of F-Series pickups is similar in many ways to the well-known lightweight F-150, In other critical respects, however, they are completely different. In addition to being larger, heavier, and more expensive, these "over 8,500 pound" heavy-duty trucks for private and commercial use take power and performance to a new level: an area where towability is not a thousand, but measured in tens of thousands of pounds, and where four-digit diesel torque is possible.

2020 will bring major changes to the Ford Super Duty, including a new engine, a host of feature and technology upgrades, a new tremor off-road package, and a dizzying number of class-leading.

The hardware

The 2020 Super Duty comes with three powerful V8 engines that are great for pulling trailers, pulling heavy loads, and – if you need it – pulling butts.

New for 2020 is an available 7.3-liter V8 petrol engine that consumes 430 hp and 475 pound-feet of torque. Ford says this is the most powerful gasoline burner they have ever pushed into the engine compartment of the Super Duty, and also the most powerful gasoline V8 in this class. The entire torque reaches the road via an automatic 10-speed TorqShift transmission. Available in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, this is better hardware than the 10-speed in Ford's smaller trucks and SUVs, but the gear changes and shift points are just as smooth and intelligent.

The previous 6.2-liter V8 petrol engine of the Super Duty is also planned for 2020 as standard. It still brings the group a remarkable 385 horsepower and 430 pounds of torque for owners who have decided to upgrade. The standard setup is no breeze with a maximum payload of 7,850 pounds. F-250 models with lower trim fit this basic V8 with a six-speed gearbox, but higher specifications and F-350 models get the TorqShift 10-speed.

The most powerful of the available 2020 Super Duty engines is the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbodiesel that gets one healthy Upgrade to 475 horsepower and 1,050 pound-feet of torque. This is not a typo – over a thousand pound-feet! Also matched to the 10-speed TorqShift transmission, this is the trio's dump truck that can tow up to £ 37,000 with a gooseneck, £ 32,500 with a saddle and £ 24,200 with a conventional trailer hitch – best-in-class for everyone three methods, according to Ford.

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Of course, that's all maximum Skills that depend on the drive train, the axle ratio, the chassis configuration and the optional equipment. These trucks are offered in a ridiculously large selection of available combinations.

Antuan Goodwin / road show

The tremor

It's no surprise that the F-series super-duty pickups are massive towers and dumpers, but I didn't consider them to be stone crawlers. That was before I hit that new super duty tremor package, Ford's response to the Ram Power Wagon, the $ 3,975 tremor option for 4×4 models with cabin crew, increases the off-road capability of the large pickup when the rubber hits the road (or not) with a massive set of 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac-wheel drive vehicles. Off-road tires on 18-inch matt rims. Ford says these are the largest tires ever built in a production heavy duty pickup.

To make room for all this rubber and further improve air circulation, the Tremor models also offer a 2-inch stroke thanks to special twin-tube dampers with a 1.7-inch diameter and new progressive springs. Other changes include a re-tuned rear stabilizer bar that enables better articulation over radically uneven terrain, a shortened front air dam that improves the approach angle, and off-road running boards attached high to the body for maximum clearance.

I was able to experience the Super Duty Tremor's 10.8-inch ground clearance and an approach angle of 31.65 degrees and a departure angle of 24.51 degrees on an off-road route, starting with a rather aggressive creep at low speed. With the help of the special "rock crawl" mode of the tremor package, which optimizes the torque at low engine speeds with a creep ratio of 53: 1 for gasoline or 44: 1 for diesel, and a certain caution when braking the left foot pushing and articulating the massive truck over some pretty gnarly boulders without ever smashing or scratching the underbody protection panels. Not everyone who started the course was so lucky that it was a difficult start.

The tremor got up with the help of its Dana limited slip differential, the brake controlled traction control, the locking of the rear differential and of course the torque surges. I gently went down steep descents and used the Trail Control software – a kind of slow speed control for off-road use that I had adopted from the F-150 Raptor – to keep my pace automatically. The optional 360-degree camera system came in handy when I moved through tight bruises and searched my lines over obstacles. The additional space and articulation made it possible to work carefully but easily with deep trenches and humps. The Ford even requested 33 inches of water – another best-in-class – thanks in part to the Tremor's extended axle ventilation pipes.

Tremor models can be equipped with the Warn tremor winch, which has a pulling power of 12,000 pounds and a wireless remote control. This option, installed at the factory or by the dealer, is seamlessly integrated into the front bumper of the Super Duty and will be available in mid-2020 for $ 3,000.

F-250 tremor

The off-road capable tremor package is optionally available for the XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum Crew Cab 4X4 variants of the F-250 and F-350 and goes well with either the 7.3 liter petrol engine V8 or to the 6.7 liter power stroke diesel.

Ford Motor Co.

The Super Duty Tremor was surprisingly powerful off-road without really sacrificing a lot of power on the road. The higher driveability and articulation-friendly suspension components make driving around bends a little softer – this probably also has an aerodynamic impact on fuel consumption – but the pickup still feels quite good at high speeds and retains the generous pulling and pulling capabilities of Not – Tremor models.

Towing

Next, I tested towability with various Super Duty models and F series trailers. I started with a 7.3 liter all-wheel drive petrol that was connected to a 4-horse trailer (about 500 pounds empty) with a gooseneck coupling. Well within the 19,100-pound trailer capability of this specification, the Super Duty certainly pulled the load up a fairly long and steep climb.

Later, behind the wheel of a Power Stroke F-350, I put on a £ 11,000 luxury travel trailer in the same class – still a little over a third of the saddle capacity of this example. When I drove back downhill, I found out that the "towing" drive mode uses the braking of the diesel engine intelligently to control the speed on downhill gradients. OK, the towing part of the day was a bit of a no-brainer, but without the commercial driver's license required to get anything close to the Super Duty’s maximum performance, how could it not be?

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Ford and other pickup manufacturers want to remind us that 90 percent of truck owners use their trucks to tow them.

Ford Motor Co.

As a beginner in towing, especially when reversing, I was happy to test some of the available driver assistance features to make maneuvering a trailer less strenuous. Ford's Trailer Reverse Guidance uses the Super Duty’s side and rear cameras to help the driver steer a trailer accurately when reversing. Pro Trailer Backup Assist technology goes one step further. After calibrating for the dimensions of your trailer, he can automatically handle the reverse steering while the driver selects the direction with a small button on the dashboard.

The cabin

After we dragged the day away and crawled, it was time to drive home for the evening. On the way, I liked the spacious cabin of the Super Duty and the intelligent dashboard technology.

From the driver's seat, the functions of the F-250 and F-350 are almost identical to those of the well-known Ford F-150. The same available Ford Sync 3 technology looks back at you through an 8-inch touchscreen, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, which complements the equally excellent optional OEM navigation software. In 2020, the FordPass 4G Connect Wi-Fi modem hardware is now standard on all SuperDuty models and offers subscription-based hotspot internet access for up to 10 devices. The cabin is also littered with USB and USB-C ports, 12-volt outlets, a 110-volt AC outlet, and an available charging station for cell phones to dispose of these devices.

Upper equipment variants – XLT and higher – receive new standard driver assistance functions such as automatic emergency braking and pre-collision warning as well as lane keeping assistant and monitoring of the blind spot with a trailer cover. Improve the equipment level of the totem pole to enable additional optional driver assistance functions such as adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering and automatic high beam.

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Cabin Tech is always great, but I was just as impressed with simple, well-thought-out design elements as this clever, foldable underbody storage space.

Antuan Goodwin / road show

As much as I love smart tech, I particularly liked the well thought-out detail and the intelligent storage design. For example, a sliding center console trim allows passengers to adjust the division of the space between cup holders and storage baskets. I especially enjoyed playing with the collapsible shelves under the rear seats, which can be collapsed like a Honda Fit. Ford has taken the loading capacity of the interior of the F series into account as well as that of the exterior.

The price

Not that it was missing previously, but Ford's Super Duty F-Series pickups have improved it for the 2020 model year and have come up with a list of the best in the class based on these claims, trust inspiring performance.

The 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty starts at $ 33,705 for the simplest F-250 XL 4X2 single cab I could configure. Call it $ 35,300 outdoors if you include the $ 1,595 target fee. Depending on the equipment variant, chassis, engine options and packages, a fairly wide price range is foreseeable.

Almost 50 different configurations were available at this event alone, ranging from appropriately equipped to loaded and leather and suede covered F-250 Limited 4X4 Power Stroke Crew Cabs, which are offered for tested $ 88,240. Hell, Ford's online configurator doesn't take much to break the $ 95,000 mark. For most, however, I think the Value Sweet Spot is the medium-weight F-250 Lariat Crew Cab, which starts at $ 50,525 including the destination or around $ 60,000 with good equipment. That's still a lot of money, but also a lot of trucks for the money for those who need this skill.


Editor's note: The travel expenses associated with this story were borne by the manufacturer, which is common in the auto industry. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow employees are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.