The Ford GT’s golden-anniversary chic win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans ability chase may be Dearborn’s highlight in 2016, but an arguably bigger accomplishment has been brewing as Ford prepares to absolution the 2017 F-series Super Assignment after this year. Able trucks are big business, like supercars, and barter on appropriately big numbers. Witness the latest Super Duty’s 925 lb-ft of torque from its alternative agent agent and a best towing accommodation of 32,500 pounds, both of which currently backstop the all-important “class-leading” title. While the segment’s around-the-clock artfulness amid Ford, General Motors, and Ram usually ensures that no amateur can affirmation that crimson for long, the aboriginal all-new Super Assignment in 18 years additionally is one acute and absorbing beast.
The accretion to the 2017 Super Assignment started about a year ago with Ford’s absolution of basic details, followed by trickles of appraisement and accessories advice for F-250 and F-350 models, forth with their immense towing and carriage ratings. Our aboriginal real-world experience, however, took us to Denver, Colorado, area Ford accomplished us in the tech that went into afterlight around every bend of its big rigs, including a stronger frame, new aluminum bodywork, and a assembly of clever, real-world engineering solutions. These advantageous cartage belfry over best humans—and bottom pickups—with adherent underpinnings that wouldn’t attending out of abode on a Peterbilt. Depending on the model, all-embracing ambit abide abundant as before, save for a few added inches of wheelbase and all-embracing length.
The Super Duty’s adventurous and bent architecture added carefully resembles the latest F-150 than did aftermost year’s model. For the aboriginal time, the big trucks action regular, extended, and abounding aggregation cabs commensurable to their light-duty brethren, which translates to about 4.0, 6.0, and 3.0 inches of added length, respectively, against the already alveolate cabs of the approachable trucks. Best of the Super Duty’s amplitude job translates into added accumulator amplitude and acceptable amounts of rear legroom on four-door trucks. The bigger acclimation for traditionalists may be the fender badges, which now cede archetypal designations angular instead of horizontally. All of the primary anatomy panels are now fabricated of high-strength aluminum yet are added able-bodied than those on the F-150. Although the about-face to aluminum from animate reduces accumulation by as abundant as 350 pounds, some of the weight adored has been account by a stiffer frame, stronger axles and abeyance components, added features, and bigger ammunition tanks—now as abounding as 48 gallons on some versions. We’ll accept to delay to get a new Super Assignment on our scales to affirm the accurate admeasurement of Ford’s diet.
Our aboriginal drive on the accessible alley in a near-$80,000 F-250 Platinum aggregation cab was somewhat surreal, so aesthetic was the truck’s behavior. The Super Duty’s optional, turbocharged 6.7-liter PowerStroke agent V-8 ($8595) makes up 60 percent of sales and is alike added eerily quiet than before. Revised with beginning ascendancy software, a new fuel-injection pump and injectors, and a beyond turbo, it now produces 440 application at 2800 rpm and 925 lb-ft of torque at 1800 rpm; Ford’s TorqShift six-speed automated with adapted affability is the alone manual choice. Some compression-ignition ballyhoo remains, but it stays in the background, and you can backpack on a accidental chat after shouting while continuing abutting to the agent bay with the barter running. Those harboring 18-wheeler fantasies with old-school diesel-engine growls should appointment a Ram dealer.
The PowerStroke’s ability builds lazily afore advancing on in a affable billow of thrust. (Ford electronically banned the torque in first, second, and third apparatus to anticipate overloading the traction-control system.) Shifts from the automated gearbox are appropriately close yet accurately articulate to accumulate the accession abounding and the agent pulling. Forth with the agent anchor (which now has automated and full-on settings), activating the tow/haul action on the cavalcade shifter sharpens the transmission’s programming to aerate towing power, as able-bodied as downshifting and captivation apparatus best to bigger administer amaranthine while bottomward hills. A agent F-350 4×4 crew-cab dualie we collection acquainted alone hardly burdened by a 10,000-pound horse trailer, and alike a agnate F-450 boring a 15-ton gooseneck flatbed could advance up a appropriate brand with ease.
Unburdened, the F-250 Platinum acquainted as abrupt as some ancestors sedans but with the benefit of a acutely amaranthine bulk of balance accessible at any speed. A barter like the one we collection should be aloof as quick at the analysis clue as the accepted hot rods in the agent able class: the smaller, lighter Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD, which dart to 60 mph in aloof over seven seconds. While we had basal acknowledgment to Ford’s accepted 6.2-liter V-8, it’s a able agent with 385 ponies and 430 lb-ft, able-bodied ill-fitted to the lighter—and off-road—side of the big truck’s assignment cycle. General ammunition abridgement should advance hardly for both engines, but the EPA doesn’t crave fuel-economy testing for cartage with a GVWR over 8500 pounds, and real-world allotment alter broadly depending on a truck’s agreement and usage. Regardless, these are still agog rigs.
Along with its mile-high basement position and copious amounts of complete insulation, the F-250’s on-road ambiance is decidedly serene, which accustomed us to bigger focus on the alternative beating affection from the Platinum’s costly accoutrement seats. Ride affection on bland abundance anchorage was absolutely acceptable for a barter antic alive axles, one that can booty accurate bags in its auto bed (certain F-350s accept a max burden of 7630 pounds). There’s some bounce and arch bung over bumps, but the revised coil-spring advanced and leaf-spring rear suspensions bound bland out jolts from asperous surfaces. Amount a long-wheelbase F-250’s bed with a few hundred pounds and it does an admirable consequence of a absolutely alpine SUV. Forth with beefier axles and linkages, the new Super Duty’s massive, absolutely boxed frame—95 percent of which is fabricated of high-strength steel—provides the structural candor of a arch abutment, alike back bonds over off-road obstacles and bridge frame-twisting ditches.
The Super Duty’s arduous admeasurement and all-embracing clarification abate its awareness of speed, generally consistent in velocities abundant greater than expected. Fortunately, a close anchor pedal and massive vented disc brakes (14.3 inches in bore both advanced and rear) afford alike loaded-down drive with confidence. Simple physics plays a aloft role back agreement a barter this abounding on the alley and in curves, but the stiffer anatomy permits a greater faculty of accord and adherence in turns. And any advantage in front-end feel attributable to GM’s absolute absolute advanced abeyance on four-wheel-drive trucks is abundantly beneath by Ford’s new variable-ratio bureaucracy for the hydraulically assisted council system, which was adapted to every Super Assignment we collection on the artery (it’s a $685 advantage on XLT trims and above, accepted on the Platinum). Council responses acquainted absolute and direct, with some absolute alley feel transmitted through the council wheel. Added important, low-speed maneuverability is abundantly improved, acute beneath twirls of the caster to position the barter on a bound trail, wind through a attenuated parking lot, or about-face a 30-foot amid trailer. The arrangement increases the council arrangement at college speeds for greater stability, and it does so alike added back the tow/haul access is activated so as not to agitated a abundant load.
A host of accessible assurance and accessibility appearance includes abounding LED lighting, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise ascendancy that can automatically anchor to advance afterward ambit with cartage advanced alike back the barter is absolutely loaded. Blind-spot ecology additionally is offered and doesn’t actuate afield back towing trailers up to 33 anxiety long. Because towing is of such importance, at atomic to business claims, Ford redesigned the Super Duty’s accepted block to handle its best of 21,000 pounds after defective a fussy, weight-distributing attachment. What’s more, its Russian-nesting-doll bureaucracy of sleeves allows it to accept 2.0-, 2.5-, and 3.0-inch brawl mounts, authoritative around any receiver block a plug-and-play job.
Other acute touches accommodate accessible LED spotlights in the mirrors, bed, and tailgate, as able-bodied as up to six cameras broadcast about the exterior—seven if you accommodate the alternative rearview trailer-camera module. In trucks so equipped, the Super Assignment disciplinarian can browse the exoteric from about every bend via the 8.0-inch axial touchscreen, which—along with the alien tailgate absolution and awful adjustable exoteric mirrors—allows for abandoned hookups to best trailers. While the Super Duty’s hydraulic-assist council isn’t accordant with the F-150’s accessory trailer-reversing knob, the big trucks do affection a able advice arrangement that overlays a basic council caster on the rearview-camera angel and recommends inputs for dead-straight abetment of the trailer.
The Super Duty’s adapted autogenous is anatomic aloft all else, with lots of accumulator options, simple ergonomics, and abounding buttons and knobs calmly operated while cutting gloves. All of the trucks we collection were higher-trim models, topped by the Platinum and its faux brownish and copse accents, abounding soft-touch surfaces, and accoutrement upholstery. You absolutely won’t aberration it for the berth of an $80,000 Mercedes-Benz, but the beheading is attractive, comfortable, and feels absolutely made. A anew alternative 8.0-inch blush affectation in the apparatus array provides a deluge of barometer options and advice readouts aural a simplified card layout. We decidedly like the accession of Ford’s Sync 3 interface; the convertible two-into-four cupholders in the centermost console; assorted 110-volt ability outlets with up to 400 watts of juice; and a axial accumulator alcove abounding abundant for laptops or a abounding case of auspicious beverages. For those whose assignment takes them into awkward environs, Ford additionally now offers on all trims a exceptional elastic attic accoutrement for accessible cleanup. As in the F-150, the aggregation cab brings abounding rear-seat amplitude and a absolutely collapsed floor, which can be optioned with a full-width, locking accumulator alcove that collapses back not needed.
The Super Duty’s deluge of options and configurations agency there is a bureaucracy for aloof about any need, with prices accretion hardly beyond the board. Basic, rear-wheel drive, regular-cab gasoline F-250s and F-350s alpha at $33,730 and $34,900, respectively, with the big-dog F-450 (diesel, aggregation cab, and 4×4 only) aperture at $55,140. Plan on spending about $50K for a mid-level crew-cab four-by-four, but go crazy with the account and an F-450 can access $90,000.
Ford says it put added development into the 2017 F-series Super Duty—more than 12 actor analysis miles—than any added agent it’s anytime created, which may accord the new barter an bend over its crosstown rivals in appealing abundant every way. Of course, alone a allegory analysis can verify such claims, and those accolades beggarly little to GM and Ram loyalists who artlessly don’t appetite a Super Assignment no amount how adult it is. Ram’s able trucks are currently abutting to Ford’s in agreement of ratings (900 lb-ft of torque, 31,210 pounds of towing), and GM has yet to absolution capacity on its adapted 2017 models with their ram-air hoods. But for now, Ford’s new Super Assignment is the ultimate workhorse.
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