Stop, or I'll Separate You Two: Ford Delivers Another Ram Beatdown in the Ongoing Torque War

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
stop or ill separate you two ford delivers another ram beatdown in the ongoing

It’s become a trend. The annual who’s-got-more-twist competition between Ford and Ram is now so regular, so expected, we can even predict by exactly how many foot-pounds the new victor will reign.

Five lb-ft.

Recently announced by Ford, the 2018 Super Duty line’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 wrestles the torque crown back from the Ram Heavy Duty, which had held it for just a year. The exact same scenario played out in the leadup to that particular upset. At this pace, it shouldn’t be too long before American buyers are laying down greenbacks for twist numbers in the four-figure range.

Recall that in 2015, a lifetime ago, Ram’s 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel topped Ford’s Super Duty in terms of torque — 865 lb-ft to Ford’s 860. Ford then upgraded its Power Stroke to 925 lb-ft, forcing Ram to boost the Cummins’ output to 930 lb-ft for the 2017 model year. General Motors, of course, was in the back of the heap, trying in vain to catch up.

Not happy with this situation, Ford’s latest salvo returns it to the top podium. For 2018, the Super Duty’s top engine generates 450 horsepower (an increase of 10 hp) and an all-important 935 lb-ft of torque. The uptick in output comes by way of a cylinder head redesign and a change in fuel and turbo boost calibration.

Regaining the high ground means more bragging rights for the fourth-generation Super Duty, launched (and lightened) for the 2017 model year. Ford now claims best-in-class payload, gooseneck towing, and conventional towing. A 4×2 F-450 model appears for 2018 to bring up the line’s maximum towing capacity. With a gooseneck hitch, this particular model carries a 34,000-pound tow capacity, beating out the Ram 3500’s 31,210-lb capacity. Max payload for Power Stroke Super Dutys stands at 7,630 lbs, squeaking out Ram’s 7,390 lbs (when equipped with the 6.4-liter gas V8).

With a conventional hitch, Ford beats Ram’s towing capacity by 1,000 lbs.

Ownership of that 34,000-pound figure, which necessitates buying the rear-drive 2018 F-450 dually, starts at $54,125 for base XL trim. Availability begins this winter. The model’s newly updated engine mates to a six-speed TorqShift automatic transmission.

Your move, Ram and GM.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Join the conversation
12 of 52 comments
  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Dec 07, 2017

    I remember learning that a semi made 300-500 horse and wondering how it was possible to pull those trailers. The miracle of torque, obviously. At the time they were making 750 to maybe 1000 pound feet.

    • See 9 previous
    • Mason Mason on Dec 08, 2017

      @Scoutdude Contrary to Ford's delusional and somewhat troubling advertising, very few of them make it anywhere near that long in MD trim. I always wondered how they got away with those statements.

  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Dec 09, 2017

    "Raw pulling ability is really about horsepower, not torque." Still so wrong. We drive torque on this continent, not horsepower. I've been to Europe and the U.K. five times each - they drive horsepower. Redlined in every gear and gloriously so. Their cars are engineered for it. Ours aren't.

  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down.
  • Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
  • Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro today's vehicles?
  • Ravenuer The Long Island Expressway.
  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.