DETROIT – Ford is adding massive 7.3-liter gas engines and modern technological upgrades to its newest vehicles in the F-Series Super Duty pickup truck line, the company announced at a recent press event.
The new vehicles, set to hit the market later this fall, can be powered by the all-new V8 gas engine and a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Customers can also choose a 6.7-liter diesel engine or the standard 6.2-liter gas V8 once the trucks hit dealerships.
“The 7.3-liter V8 hits a sweet spot, we believe, for the customer,” said Dave Filipe, the vice president for Ford’s powertrain engineering. “It (has) the right balance to give you more torque and maximum torque at the low speeds, and we’re going to make it compatible so that it works well within an F-250 Super Duty all the way up to an F-750. That’s so important to our fleet customers.”
The vehicles also feature enhanced technology like Pro Trailer Backup Assist to help drivers navigate tight spaces for all types of trailer styles, such as fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers. The pickups also include an embedded 4G LTE modem standard across every Super Duty, which will provide Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices. The trucks will have wireless charging and USB-C ports as well.
The technology isn’t just for convenience and comfort – safety features like lane-keeping alerts will also notify the driver if they’re veering outside yellow lines. The trucks will again feature a Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage and Pre-Collision Assist.
“When your truck is your livelihood, it’s not just yourself you’re protecting – you’re protecting your assets,” said Michael Pruitt, Super Duty chief engineer.
Pruitt also said there were a handful of landscape contractors on Ford’s 25-person Fleet Advisory Board, which features a cross-section of Ford commercial customers. Their feedback helped identify what the F-Series trucks had been missing in previous years, as well as features other trucks had that were ideal for landscapers.
“Sometimes in that landscaping area, you’ve got a pretty healthy trailer in the back,” Pruitt said. “Negotiating those trailers in driveways or where you’ve got to go can be a big task. I think our [backup assist] will be a big help, and of course, any time we’re bringing more power and more capability to those guys, that’s more they can put on that trailer. That’s work efficiency.”
Other features on the new Super Duty trucks include an electronically controlled transmission that allows drivers to pick drive modes like slippery, tow/haul, eco, deep sand and snow. There’s also an enhanced high-airflow grille on the front of the vehicles to improve powertrain cooling and new LED headlamps.
“We’re fortifying our truck lineup. We’re doing so with more power, more capability, more efficiency, no compromises,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford North America. “Today’s story is all about work: How do we help our customers be more productive in their work, be more efficient in their work?”