2020 Ford Super Duty: Power Promises, and Two New V8s

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Ford’s next-generation Super Duty line saw the light of day Tuesday, with similar (but not blinding) light shed on the automaker’s new 7.3-liter gasoline V8 — a pushrod mill that replaces the old 6.8-liter V10 in Ford’s engine roster.

For 2020, the F-250, F-350, and F-450 don upscale skins, refined faces, and revamped interiors stocked with added content, though it’s what’s beneath the hood that has everyone talking. In addition to the 7.3-liter, there’s a new 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel on board, mated, like its gasoline stablemate, to a new 10-speed automatic.

Is Ford about to wrestle the torque crown away from Ram?

Time will tell, as there’s no power figures available just yet. You’ll recall that Fiat Chrysler just took the podium with an available 1,000 lb-ft in the beefier of its two Cummins straight-six diesels for 2019.

Ford claims the 7.3-liter offers best-in-class gasoline power, outfitting the new mill with all the meaty bits necessary for hard use: cast iron block, forged steel crankshaft, oil jets. This engine calls the Windsor Engine plant home. Scroll down for an image.

The third-generation Power Stroke keeps the same displacement as its predecessor but adds a 36,000-psi fuel injection and new injectors for better combustion. It isn’t just Ford North America President Kumar Galhotra’s promise of “more payload and towing capacity” that suggests a challenge to Ram’s torque supremacy.

“Structural enhancements increase the strength of the cylinder head, block, connecting rods and bearings to handle higher cylinder pressure and increased output,” Ford states. “New steel pistons provide higher firing pressure capability and less friction – meaning improved performance and more horsepower and torque than ever.”

The current 6.7-liter Power Stroke generates 450 hp and 935 lb-ft of torque.

Also available in the 2020 Super Duty line is the preexisting 6.2-liter gasoline V8, which can be paired with a 10-speed that Ford describes as being the same size as the older six-speed unit, and just 3.5 pounds heavier. A wider gear ratio spread should boost the 6.2L’s performance and highway fuel economy to some degree. The TorqShift tranny offers drivers four drive modes: normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery, and deep sand and snow.

While more powah should aid in towing (again, no specs on that front), drivers stuck maneuvering a cumbersome rig gain an ally in Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist. When guiding a trailer via backup camera and knob (it’s a hands-off-the-wheel affair), the system’s Trailer Reverse Guidance system shows trailer angle and direction and offers steering suggestions.

Other tech joins the fray for 2020, with a 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi standard on all Super Dutys. XLT trims and above gain lane-keeping, blind spot monitoring with trailer coverage monitors, and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Like the line’s towing and power specs, Ford isn’t revealing the full range of trims, bodystyles, and bed lengths until a later date, though their language suggests there’ll definitely be an XL trim for entry-level buyers. Perhaps that’s it down below?

Pricing for the full Super Duty line should span the gamut from “anyone’s guess” to “stratosphere.”

XLT, King Ranch, Lariat, Platinum (which gains Onyx Argento wood trim … snazzy), and Limited are mentioned, as is the high-airflow grille found exclusively on dually trucks. Engine cooling was top of mind when Ford redesigned the front bumper and air dam for all other versions. Out back, you’ll find a redesigned tailgate, taillamps, and bumper.

For now, Ram’s status is perilous but intact, though Ford has yet to reveal all of its cards. The 2020 Super Dutys head to dealers this fall.

[Images: Ford]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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