While Ford has been shipping all trims of its all-new 2023 Super Duty pickup line to customers since May, production issues have delayed things and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone that’s actually driven one. Fortunately, the Blue Oval invited us to take a gander at the new trucks at the Ford Michigan Proving Grounds earlier this month.
As first impressions go, the Super Duty led off with a firm handshake and proved that it can be slotted into a myriad of roles. Ford offered up an impressive resume and a sound business plan and allowed us to beat on a few examples to prove its rigs were the correct vehicle for any job.
Anyone blessed with the gift of reading comprehension has noticed an influx of stories about Ford and its recent quality control issues. Top brass Jim Farley is on record lamenting the problems and pledging to turn things around in this area. One of the first out of the gate with a quality control (QC) overhaul? The brand’s important (and profitable) new Super Duty.
Just like the scientists at Jurassic Park kept coming up with new and increasingly terrifying raptors (weaponized heat-seeking Indoraptor, anyone?), Ford seems content to infuse Raptor DNA into most of the trucks it sells – even the mighty Super Duty, according to a fan forum.
Since roughly the dawn of time (or at least the dawn of manufacturing in Detroit), pickup truck makers have enjoyed beating each other over the head in a perpetual game of one-upmanship. Torque, towing, interior appointments – it’s rare for any stone to be left unturned when one brand decides to move the goalposts.
After the Bowtie Brigade showed off a refreshed Silverado HD last night in Michigan, you just knew the Blue Oval Brutes would clap back in short order with a new take on their Super Duty workhorse. Ed. note: Arguably, Chevy crashed Ford's party. Though this story was assigned to Mr. Guy, yours truly saw an embargoed briefing held by Ford the day after the Detroit Auto Show. So perhaps Chevrolet caught wind and decided to be an interloper.
If any readers have a certain spec of Blue Oval workhorse in their fleet, they best pay attention to a recent recall from Ford. The company is recalling 223,628 Super Duty pickups to deal with an issue of faulty powertrain components. At fault are driveshafts that can apparently fracture under a specific set of conditions.
While Ford’s F-150 is slated for electrification, Super Duty versions of the F-Series are not. On Monday, the automaker told industry analysts that HD EVs weren’t in the cards — adding that customers can still expect all-electric versions of the Mach-E “Mustang” and Transit van.
“Our goal is to build a profitable electric vehicle portfolio,” John Lawler, Ford chief financial officer, explained during the forum hosted by Dan Levy of Credit Suisse. “To do that, we need to leverage our strengths and the scale that we have. We’re being very strategic about the platforms that we choose.”
Ford is recalling over 700,0000 vehicles in North America over poor electrical connections that can put the rearview camera display on the fritz. The feed runs the risk of providing drivers a corrupted image or cutting out intermittently, raising crash risks, and violating present-day vehicle safety mandates. While the tried and true method of turning one’s head and using the mirrors should allow for drama-free parking, Ford is still under obligation to repair these systems.
Documents submitted to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) have indicated that affected models include Ford’s Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, Mustang, Ranger, and Transit vehicles from the 2020 model year. Lincoln will also be recalling the 2020 Lincoln Corsair and Nautilus.
It’ll not have escaped your notice that the pickup truck segment is a murderously competitive arena. In fact, if it were an actual arena, it would be much like the Roman Coliseum — or at least the upcoming 49er/Chiefs tilt in Miami — with bodies strewn across the playing field and the crowd roaring for more.
This helps explain why the Detroit Three are intent on beating each other over the head with towing and torque numbers that have climbed to dizzying heights. For 2020, Ford has unleashed a Super Duty pickup with available four-figure torque or a monster V8 the size of which hasn’t been produced by Motown in decades.
Occasionally, the Ace of Base award will be trotted out not because a particular vehicle is the most desirable in its range, but because of the remarkable amount of kit or capability it offers for its entry level price. The truck you see before you definitely falls into the latter category.
Consider this: a base model F-250 serves up a 385 horsepower V8, 78.5 cubic feet of space in its 8-foot cargo box, and the ability to tow up to 13,300 pounds — all for less than the price of a loaded Camry.
If you have less than one thousand foot-pounds of torque, are you even driving a truck? That seems to be the message Ford tried to convey during its spec reveal of the 2020 Super Duty line on Thursday.
In an event held on the sidelines of the State Fair of Texas, where attendees view all things large and powerful with the same rapturous admiration as a Ziplock bag of pills discovered at Burning Man, Ford detailed the output and towing capability of its revamped, third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8. A diesel, Ford was proud to relay, that tops Ram’s torquiest Cummins by 50 lb-ft.
Earlier this year, Ford teased a bunch of updates for its 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickups — including the all-new 7.3-liter V8 the automaker planned on offering.
Timed perfectly to coincide with the exact moment we forgot the motor was supposed to be coming, Ford released some specs this week. They don’t look half bad. Designed to be as hardwearing as possible, despite not being a diesel, the Windsor-built V8 will be made broadly available — making its way inside F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis models and the upgraded E-Series van.
The new Tremor off-road package will bring a new 7.3-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission to the heavy-duty F-250 and F-350 lineups. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel V8 will also be available, paired with its 6-speed automatic.
Ford’s Tremor package is a shot across the bow of the RAM Power Wagon. The 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires are the largest diameter rubber available on any HD pickup and a 2-inch lift of the front suspension and shorter air dam enable real off-road prowess for the Super Duty trucks.
In early August, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled 1.1 million Ram pickups after owners reported losing their loads, the fault of a tailgate that wouldn’t stay latched. Ford now seems to have a similar problem, only in this instance the tailgates carefully lower themselves under electric power.
A ghost in the machine? More like an electrical issue that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to get to the bottom of. This week, the safety agency announced the launch of an investigation into consumer complaints related to the wonky gates, possibly heralding a recall of 2017 F-Series trucks.
Of course the majority of my childhood toys were wheeled in nature. How else did I end up here? From tiny Matchbox cars, to plastic Tamiya kits, to an expensive lesson in destroying a high-end Team Associated remote control car, the playthings of my youth neatly foreshadowed the obsession that would consume my life.
My favorites, of course, were the seriously solid Tonka trucks that invariably ended up rusting over the winter because I left them in the sandbox. Otherwise indestructible, I imagined myself hauling tons of whatever to build whatever… not realizing that upon reaching adulthood, such work would require physical labor on an already-sore back.
So, when physical labor presented itself in the Tonn homestead — namely, a brick patio project — I looked to my past for inspiration. Fortunately, a 2018 Ford F-550 Super Duty with a Rugby dump bed recently appeared in the press fleet, which piqued both sandbox Chris’ and aching-back Chris’ interest.
Are you an automaker that’s currently producing, or has ever produced, a diesel engine? If so, the odds are pretty good you’ll eventually be sued over its existence. A new lawsuit by truck owners, filed on Wednesday, alleges Ford Motor Company installed emissions-cheating software in F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks — built between 2011 and 2017 — to ensure they passed federal testing.
At this point, all of the Detroit Three manufacturers have been accused of some form of diesel deceit. Which makes us wonder how warranted these lawsuits are. Volkswagen’s scandal started when an independent source tipped off U.S. regulatory agencies, but these truck cases frequently begin as class-action suits on somewhat specious grounds.
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- ToolGuy "Mr. President, no government agency, no think tank, and no polling firm knows more about the automobile customer than us. We talk to customers every day. As retail automotive dealerships, we are agnostic as to what we sell. Our business is to provide customers with vehicles that meet the needs of their budgets and lifestyles.”• How many lies can you fit into one paragraph?
- Spamvw Three on the tree, even Generation X would have a hard time stealing one of those.
- ToolGuy This trend of cyan wheels needs to end NOW.
- Kwik_Shift Interesting nugget(s) of EV follies. https://x.com/WallStreetApes/status/1729212326237327708?s=20
- SaulTigh I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you really cared about the environment you'd be encouraging everyone to drive a standard hybrid. Mature and reliable technology that uses less resources yet can still be conveniently driven cross country and use existing infrastructure.These young people have no concept of how far we've come. Cars were dirty, stinking things when I was a kid. They've never been cleaner. You hardly ever see a car smoking out the tail pipe or smell it running rich these days, even the most clapped out 20 year old POS. Hybrids are even cleaner.