Ford seems determined to make sure each member of the Village People has a personalized ride. And why not? The cowboy and the leather-daddy already have their own trucks (the King Ranch and the Harley Davidson, respectively). I'm just having trouble deciding if the F250 Outlaw is aimed at the construction worker or the cop. No matter really, as there is plenty of room inside for both of those fabulous men and all their haute couture.
Let's not beat around President Bush’s truck; the Outlaw brings new meaning to the word "huge." It’s so tall the Ford website leaves the spec box blank. So I made my 6’7” friend stand next to it. He was shorter. Yukons, Lexus GX470s and Grand Cherokees look positively diminutive from the F250's high perch. MINIs? Fits? Yari? Like the big Ford lost a wheel.
Intimidation, thy name is Outlaw. I'm scared just imagining the primeval fear other drivers experienced as our seven-foot tall, all-black leviathan bore down on them. Even the boldest drivers wisely “chose” to swing to the right. And check out this apple; I was in the right lane and signaled to indicate I wanted into the fast lane. The BMW in my mirror did not speed up and attempt to pass me. No, he stayed put and let me over. In Los Angeles. It’s like driving Mike Tyson. Sure the Outlaw’s a guilty pleasure, but let’s be honest about this. What other kind of pleasure is there?
Inside, the seats are bright red leather, just like a bordello. I love it. But FoMoCo didn't take it far enough. Everything needs to be red leather, especially the steering wheel. The seats themselves are garbage as is the rest of the interior. However, garbage dressed up to look like the Bunny Ranch would be A-OK in my (degenerate) book. Unfortunately, aside from the seats, the rest of the interior looks (and feels) like a mid-90s Dodge Stratus.
Pay it all no mind, as your eyes will be busy taking in scenic vista after epic sunset. The F250's outward visibility is so good that this uber-truck is easier to park than certain sedans (I’m looking at you, Stratus). The side mirrors may stick out fourteen inches off the body, but they are the most useful I've ever peered into.
I wouldn't have called this truck Outlaw. I would have called it Torqueamada. The 6.0L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel stumps up 570lbs. ft of the good stuff at a laughable 2,000rpm. The turbocharger is the size of a pumpkin. Not that I saw it (At 5'11" I can’t see over the hood) but judging by the two-second lag-time, it must be.
Once it spools however, the forward thrust is, to quote John Wayne, re-god-damn-diculous. Especially considering that the Outlaw is so heavy (6,395lbs) the EPA does not require mileage numbers to be listed on the sticker. So Ford doesn't. However, as it is a burner of oil, I averaged just over 15mpg in mixed, unburdened city/highway use. Which is amazing, as the Outlaw is larger than my old Manhattan apartment.
For a passenger vehicle the ride and handling are atrocious. But for a tugboat? Not bad. Let's not kid a kidder; even baby-butt smooth highways created enough raucous NVH to make me nauseous. I needed a triple bacon-cheeseburger just to settle my stomach. Turning the rudder, er, wheel of this twenty-foot big boy is hilarious. I neglected to count, but let’s assume 22 turns-to-lock. I felt like Sandra Bullock in Speed (and no, not because of the red leather). Eventually you'll get around a corner, and your forearms will be thankful for the workout.
The brake pedal is much more a suggestion that the Outlaw might want to think about slowing down than a direct order to halt. It's like tugging on a St. Bernard's leash. Maybe the big dog will stop? Or maybe it will get tired and lay down? Besides, should someone cross the Super Duty’s path, it's really their problem.
Towing, you want to talk towing? Is 15,000lbs. enough? It's not? Well, you can add a fifth-wheel which bumps the figure up to 18,800lbs. And I imagine for those of you that need to haul the Space Shuttle around your ranch in Montana, this is very exciting news. Plus, with four-wheels driven through a transfer case you'll handily get through whatever presents your Buffalo herd leaves you, no sweat.
If you're left scratching your head as to why I love such a hulking mass of extroverted madness, I am too. Especially since this week top scientists from 113 countries said, "there can be no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are dominated by human activities." Could it be that one man’s environmental nightmare is another man’s ideal ride? Yippie kay-ay mother******!
[Listen to RF and JL discuss the F250 below.]