By on February 5, 2019

Image: Ford

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.

Image: Ford

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.

Image: Ford

“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.

Image: Ford

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.

Image: Ford

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.”

Image: Ford

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]

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59 Comments on “2020 Ford Super Duty: Power Promises, and Two New V8s...”


  • avatar
    FormerFF

    These trucks have grown in capability over the years to where they often can do the towing jobs that a medium duty truck used to do.

    I’m still wondering why Ford and GM stick with the V8 layout for their diesels, when nearly every medium and heavy truck uses an inline 6. Packaging maybe?

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      Packaging concerns is part of the reason. Heavy trucks have as much room as you want for a longer or taller engine. A V8 can be made shorter in height and length versus an I6. Weight is usually lower due to the more compact dimensions.

      Capital cost to build an engine plant that produces V engines is slightly higher as well. All these variables mean different things to Ford as to another company with different products such as Mack.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Everything else being equal, a V8 is a stiffer block than an I6, and as the crank is shorter it has less torsional vibration. Like the I6, a 90 degree V8 is also balanced for primary and secondary shaking forces, so is a smooth engine. There is really no advantage to an I6 over a V8 from a theoretical design basis.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The problem is, those towing jobs need to STAY with the Medium Duty rigs; Classes 4 and up. You need to have weight to remain safe when towing such a load and this Ford “light duty” F-350 is too light in weight to do it safely. It wasn’t that long ago that Ford had to take pieces like bumpers and other parts off just to stay officially under that Class 4 weight. The OEMs have gotten themselves into such a strait trying to out-do each other that it won’t be much longer before the F-350/3500-series trucks will be relegated to Medium Duty status and require a CDL just to drive them.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Medium duty rigs don’t necessarily add weight, over a “one ton” pickup. Truck/tractor weight isn’t a determining factor, as semi’s can typically weigh as little as 18K lbs, some even less with just a day-cab, and that’s with a total gross “combination” of up to 80K.

        Except pickups towing trailers as light as 10K lbs do require a CDL, just as over 26K combinations. At that point a driver needs the same DOT, MC, etc, permits (and insurance) as semi trucks, gets similar inspections, and go through “the scales” just the same.

        • 0 avatar
          bullnuke

          In what state do “pickups towing trailers as light as 10K lbs do require a CDL, just as over 26K combinations”? I routinely tow a 15k to 16k-lb trailer with a ’99 F350 in Ohio and Indiana and there aren’t any restrictions such as these on me (around 21k to 22k-lb combined). Is this a commercial use rating?

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      The new diesel inline-6 in GM’s half-tons will cause me to darken the door of one of their dealerships for the first time in 10 years…and I don’t have much in the way of brand loyalty. I just want to drive one. I haven’t driven the new V-6 from Ford, yet…not sure I want to.

      No diesel is better than an inline-6 configuration. For some reason, six-in-a-row is the winning ticket for diesels from all continents. I dare you to name a truly bad inline-6 diesel. Most are excellent, the rest tend to be better than average. Why? I have no idea. Some suggest that it is the need for seven crank bearings.

      I have heard that packaging is better and machining costs are much lower with V-8 diesels. Why lower machining costs? I can’t remember why.

      I’ve driven thousands of miles in V-8, I-4, I-5, and I-6 diesels in the past. I definitely prefer an inline-6. They just produce an exceedingly pleasant noise and vibration that says POWER.

      This new 7.3 intrigues me. Now that manual transmission in a Cummins-powered Ram is gone, a 7.3 gasser for my company’s needs may make a lot of sense.

  • avatar
    NoID

    I’m wondering when, instead of a giant engine with hella torque on-hand at all times, they’ll keep the (relatively) smaller engine for RWD, electrify the front axle, and implement “Push to Launch”, “Push to Tow”, “Push to Grade”, or something to that effect. Extra torque when you need it, better economy when you don’t. The only time you really *need* those huge torque numbers is on sustained grades or pulling out to pass. Gear reduction in the transmission and/or transfer case take care of launching and short-term gradeability.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Does the new 7.3 also go into the E-450 cutaway?

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    7.3L will likely be a beast. IMO this is the start to move away from oil burners due to emissions. Would like to see how the new Big Block Ford will stack up against the still unbeatable 385 Lima. All hail to the altar of the 460! Look for electric boost, cylinder deactivation and brake regeneration all in this package.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      The mind boggles. Drag racing? Crate motor, stuffed into all kinds of insane hot rods?

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      Lets just pray it will be offered in WT and base models. I hope Ford does not step on its own sausage and offer it only with premium trim levels.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Jon, come on the whole pickup truck/BOF SUV profit model is based on making people add $10K in gingerbread to a $30K truck and selling it for $60K+.

        The 6.2 will be standard and the others will be upgrades. I wouldn’t be surprised if minimum XLT trim required to upgrade the engine to diesel (at least on the F350 non-chassis cab). Chassis cab models will probably be allowed to have whatever engine they want. I would be surprised if the 7.3 is Lariat and above for F350 as it sits on non-fleet dealer lots.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Nah, Ford is very friendly to fleets, hotshots, etc, that often buy very basic tow rigs, crank window and whatnot, above a half ton of course. The 3.0 Power Stroke is more of a fashion statement anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          @Dan, I would think not. Ford is not GM with their 6.2L limited availability nonsense.

          Right now the 6.7L PSD is available on any trim level down to the crank window regular cab 2wd XL. The F150 can spec almost any engine with any trim, there are some exceptions but you can again get a 5.0 or 3.5TT on an XL. Certainly no limitations on a mid-range engine (which is what the 7.3L will be). I would be shocked to see any of this change on a mere midcycle refresh.

        • 0 avatar
          Jon

          Yep, but one can hope… or spend his money elsewhere, on the pickup that provides what he wants (and nothing more).

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      IIRC, the 7.3 is the old 460cu inch block, downsized to 449cu inch.

      The 430 I had in my 1960 Mercury Montclair was the same downsized block, and it was HUGE.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Lol *eye roll*

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I don’t think any of the engines you mentioned are related HDC. The 430 was from the Mercury Edsel Lincoln family (MEL). It had its roots way back in the 50’s and I believe were gone by the late 60’s. IIRC it was the old Y block replacement.

        The 7.3 you are thinking of, I believe anyway was a 385 series V8…at least that is what the 460 was. It was basically Ford’s answer to the hemi and in fact had hemispherical combustion chambers. The “downsized” one was the 7.0 429, but I think its the other way around…the 429 came first and the 460 is an “upsized” version. I think there was some weird 80’s version for big trucks that was under 400 c.i., but I’m not sure. Then of course the later gigantic sized Ford crate motors.

        The only 7.3 I know of in Ford land was the old truck diesel which is a legendarily reliable motor.

        The new gas 7.3 is a clean sheet design.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’m dying to see cutaways and specs for the 7.3 gas engine. I know it’s going into a truck, but I’m wondering if this could also be turned into a crate motor.

    And, *steel* pistons in the Power Stroke? I’m trying to think of anything else that uses steel pistons. Wow.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    I hope this Powerstroke holds up better than the 6.0 that made lots of users Ford haters. It made the older 7.3 litre engine very desirable on the used/recon market.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      The 6.0L has been out of production since 2007.

      The 6.7L is completely unrelated, since it was designed in-house by Ford where as the 6.0L was a Navistar design. There have been no major issues with the 6.7L since it was introduced in 2011, certainly nothing like the 6.0L.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The 7.3 Power Stroke is legendary but we’re talking aging relics. The trucks are OK for around the farm or showing off in town, but the pros (that know) and actually work their trucks, local/long distance, but don’t want a huge payment (nor SCR emissions, and related downsides ) are seeking out the the later 6.0s, 2005-7, with or without “bulletproofing”.

      They’re not afraid to drop $30K or more for rebuilt, upgraded 6.0s (head studs etc) and cosmetic/mechanical restored Lariat/King Ranch 4X4s, even when KBB says they’re only worth half that.

      6.0s are easily 500K mile trucks, sound awesome, make great power, variable geometry turbos, and ride great, thanks to coil front suspensions. Their 5-speed Torqueshifts are very robust.

      The 7.3s have tiny turbos, box bodies had no intercooler, diagnostics are very primitive, many parts are obsolete and no one’s re-popping them, like wiring harnesses.

      Don’t believe they negative hype about the 6.0s and know Ford really straightened them out before the EPA demanded full DEF emissions. The 6.4 PS was a real disaster, nothing you can do for it. Pure junk.

      The later 6.0s were so good (out of the box), they had about the least warranty claims of any contemporary pickups, gas or diesel, fullsize or midsize. That’s what everybody forgets and a big part of why they’re highly sought after/coveted.

      • 0 avatar
        paladin54692

        What? How certain are you that the 6.0s are sought out at all? Resale values of the 6.0 is easily the poorest out of any of the U.S. manufactured diesel trucks in production spanning the last 30 years. Beat to hell 7.3s still bring 20k retail while a later production nicer 6.0 can be had for low to mid teens. Ford sure sold a bunch of them but head gasket and EGR issues have given them a very poor rep. Yeah you can bullet proof them but the same money into any other platform should make for just as a reliable vehicle.

  • avatar
    redapple

    7.3 home is Windsor? Not Essex?
    Windsor used to be the home of many engines – all aluminum.

    7.3 is iron. Probably C G . Wonder where they are buying the blocks. GIS I ll bet.

    Finally, GM s new diesel for pickups is an I 6. NOT a V.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      The 351W in my ’69 Mustang GT was an iron block as was the 302W in my ’85 Mustang GT. The 302W was made in Windsor well into the ’90s, if memory serves.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        If anyone remembers the Dodge Viper V10, it was aluminum, while the RAM V-10 was cast iron.

        The trend these days is toward aluminum engines for weight reduction, either with or without cylinder liners (like nicasil or ceramic).

        But the better wearing engines have always been cast iron, that could be rebuilt numerous times by honing cylinders to oversize.

        Among the best was the Mopar 426 HEMI, the engine of choice for many drag/rail racers.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          To my knowledge there has never been an aluminum block engine in an HD truck. Heat management, especially while heavy towing/hauling, is the main reason.

          Vehicles like the Viper can afford to have the expensive thermal management systems required to run for hours at high loads on the track, but even that is a different challenge than towing 15,000 lb up a mountain pass in 100 degree heat. In such cases, iron is a cheap and simple fix. It’s tough to remember when all the advertisements show $80K diesel Platinums, but the gas engines are offered in trucks that start around $30K and are expected to last for 200,000 very hard miles or more.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      GM’s Duramax diesel for HDs is a V-8. The I-6 is//will be for half-tons.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Certainly much uglier than before (which is a feat itself.) but still a little better than the new GM HDs

  • avatar
    1500cc

    Anyone know what the 7.3 is based on, or is it all-new?

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      It is all new. Ford’s first new pushrod design in decades.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        What is old is new again. I believe this to be a new iteration of an old block, probably with new hi-tech heads and engine/fuel/valve/cylinder management to bring it into today’s automotive world.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          I’m curious why you say that. Everything I find on this engine says it’s all new.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            FormerFF, you could be right but a block is a block, as in why change the angle from 90-degrees to 60-degrees, for instance?

            Bore and stroke can certainly be changed, heads and airflow angles can be improved, number of valves can be increased, pushrods can be activated/deactivated by oil or electrically.

            So improvements can be made, yes. But an all-new engine?

            I could be wrong, but I believe any manufacturer would built on existing engine architecture.

            When BMW brought out the iteration of their V12 in the 8-series, they stated that adding more valves would not improve or enhance performance over the 16-valve setup. But they did make a ton of improvements to that engine.

          • 0 avatar
            cdotson

            hdc,

            No disrespect but you’ve demonstrated some profound ignorance of engineering requirements for engine architecture. Reasons to use a new engine design rather than dig up old tooling are myriad: the last big block Ford built was engineered prior to the fuel crises. Computational design methods and material science have advanced sufficiently since then that Ford would be monumentally negligent to put that ancient block back into production if the tooling to even do so still exists. In all likelihood said tooling is long gone.

            Admittedly I’ve seen few sources of information on this engine aside from the minimal coverage here at TTAC and the TFLTruck video I referenced in my previous comment. In that video the engine’s program manger (or chief engineer, can’t recall) state it is all-new. In fact he stated it is a 6-bolt main cap design with 4 vertical bolts and 2 cross bolts that does not match previous big block designs produced by Ford as far as I know.

            FYI bank angle on a V-design engine is chosen to reduce harmonic vibrations based on cylinder count. A 90-degree block works perfectly for an 8cyl (720 degrees of crank rotation per power stroke, 8 power strokes evenly divided 90 degrees of crank rotation apart). A 60 degree block works for 6- or 12-cylinder engines. A V10 should be 72 degrees, which Ford used in their 6.8. Dodge used a 90-degree V10 to save money on tooling so they could build the V10 as a V8+2, but it provided additional vibrations.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            cdotson, thank you for taking the time to put all that in writing. I didn’t want to take it that deep.

            Maybe as time passes we’ll know exactly what is all new with this engine. I am always interested in learning something new.

            In any case, such an engine would be my first choice if ever I would purchase a 3/4ton pickup truck. Or a V10.

            I remember fondly the ’99 F250 V10 I bought used, only to foolishly sell it in order to make payroll for my workers.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Because he’s talking out of his @$$ as usual. I’m surprised he didnt find a way to make this all the result of fierce competition from the Toyota Tundra.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Yeah, as much as it would make many posters happy to read Ford was dusting off the 385 series V8 tooling, the fact is they haven’t built a pushrod motor since the mid 90’s and those were of a 30 year old design then. This won’t be your Father’s 460.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “A V10 should be 72 degrees, which Ford used in their 6.8.”

            The Ford V10 is 90 degrees like the other mod motors.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    The Fast Lane Truck had a decent video about this engine and interview with the program manager. From what was mentioned in the video I bet it’s only a matter of time before someone grabs one of these, slaps it into a drag car and turbos it to the stratosphere. I bet it’ll hold 30+psi boost stock and with MPFI (no GDI) make an easy methanol conversion. Not to mention since it’s cam-in-block it’ll probably fit in a Mustang.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “new 7.3-liter gasoline V8 — a pushrod mill”

    Holee sh*t. I think I might cry.

  • avatar
    PM300

    Count me also shedding a tear of joy for this new 7.3. I miss the V10 Ram’s, 454’s, and 460’s from the 1990s growing up. A friend’s parent’s had an early 00s 2500HD with the 8.1 vortec back in the day for pulling a camper and I recall them being quite fond of it aside from its oil consumption.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    All this engine talk, and the article mentions not blinding light.

    Has this lack of blinding light been confirmed? I sure hope so. I am not one to normally be bothered by blinding incoming headlamps but I’ve noticed repeatedly that the Ford Super Duty’s are downright horrendous in the blind other drivers department. Might be the only vehicles I consistently know are gonna sear my retinas.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      We are talking about 7.3 Liters of clean sheet, pushrod actuated goodness with a forged crank and oil jets on the pistons and you are yammering on about headlights. Man nobody cares if this thing Acetylene headlights that you have to get out and light…It is a new big block and Ford’s first pushrod since the Clinton administration.

  • avatar
    desmo21

    Most Super Duty lights are under powered. The problem is when they level (raise front) or lift the truck changing the direction of the output. Another issue is ebay led lights that have a scattered pattern do to the stock halogen reflectors.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “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.”

    No quad-turbo Ecoboost? I am disappointed.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    My brother will be so excited! He is a tree guy and long ago gave up on one ton diesel trucks for stake bodies, chip trucks etc. The maintenance expenses were out of hand, he transitioned his fleet to Fords largest gas engine and that was that, with a 7.3 available yes please!

    I am certain their are several individuals business owners and fleet managers who will be delighted to stop buying Ford diesels and go back to gas. This is bad news for county maintenance mechanics….a fleet of Ford diesels provides consistent year round work.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    You do have to wonder, if we are talking a CGI Block, Forged crank and Oil Jets, what the upper limit on this thing would be in a no BS all in performance tune…maybe with some boost.

    Also wonder if any version will find their way into lighter duty trucks or “gasp” a car.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I want the 7.3 in a Navigator or Expedition.

  • avatar
    GM JUNK

    Congratulations Ford on another winner! Ford just hitting them out of the park left and right. The new Ranger is just flying off the lots. Great job!

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