When the '99-model-year Ford Super Duty debuted in 1998 it reset the benchmark for 3/4- and 1-ton diesel pickup trucks. Then the '03-model-year Super Duty brought us the not-so-loved 6.0L Power Stroke but also introduced us to the world-class 5R110 TorqShift automatic transmission. When the '05-model-year Super Duty was launched, it came with an all-new front suspension, an upscale interior and exterior, and brought us the first integrated electric trailer bake controller.
For the '08 model year, the Super Duty received a radically revised (and substantially cleaner) 6.4L Power Stroke that addressed all of the 6.0L's issues and moved the Power Stroke engine into the modern era with common-rail injection. The '08-model-year truck also received an all-new interior, gave birth to the F-450 pickup, and came with a new front-end treatment that has finally grown on us.
The 2011 Super Duty
In 2010 Ford will debut its '11-model-year Super Duty, and for the first time, Ford will use its own diesel engine under the hood. The all-new 6.7L Power Stroke (which we showed you last month in "Code Name: Scorpion," Oct. '09) was designed to meet, or beat, the 6.7L Cummins' reliability and the 6.6L Duramax's refinement. Based on our initial findings, the new 6.7L Power Stroke looks poised to give Dodge and GM a run for their money.
This month we bring you the next piece of the puzzle and give you a sneak peek at an '11 Ford F-350. We spoke with Chris Brewer, the chief engineer of the Super Duty, to bring you up to speed on what the new truck has to offer. Brewer, a 23-year veteran of Ford Motor Company, was actually on site at the Louisville Truck Plant-where the Super Duty trucks are built-during our interview. Here's what we found out.
6.7L Power Stroke Engine
In order to meet 2010 federal emissions standards, Ford needed to reduce the NOx emissions of the 6.4L Power Stroke by 80 percent. Meeting those standards required such an investment that Ford chose to take its diesel engine program in-house. In a nutshell, the new Ford-built 6.7L Power Stroke features a compacted graphite iron block, aluminum heads, a 30,000-psi Bosch piezo injection system, and a radical single-shaft Garrett twin-turbo system. Ford won't release the power ratings until just before it launches the truck, but we expect 370 to 400 hp and 700 to 750 lb-ft of torque from this super-quiet, biodiesel-compliant (B20) diesel engine. The 6.7L will also meet California's new idling requirements, so the F-450 and F-550 won't have to shut down after five minutes of idling on the jobsite.
The 6.7L Power Stroke is the first diesel Ford has ever built for a pickup in North Americ
The 6.7L will use the most advanced turbocharger in the segment. It's a single-sequential
6R140 TorqShift Six-Speed
The new 6R140 TorqShift six-speed transmission is a larger version of the 6R80 found in the '10 F-150. The Ford-built transmission features an enhanced Tow/Haul mode with progressive range-selection and a full-manual mode that will allow the driver to limit transmission shifting and lock out the high gears for better vehicle control. The First gear ratio is an extremely low 3.9:1, and the transmission offers two overdrives, Fifth (0.86:1) and Sixth (0.67:1). This large gear spread will allow Ford to offer 3.55 axle gears (a rear locking differential is optional) for improved fuel economy without sacrificing capability or performance.
The new transmission also offers a Live Drive PTO (power take-off) that couples the PTO output to the engine's crankshaft. Operators will now be able to use the PTO while the vehicle is in motion.
The official towing capacities will be released closer to the on-sale date, but we expect Ford's best-in-class ratings to increase across the board. A turbo-based exhaust brake will now be activated automatically when the driver presses the Tow/Haul button. A fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitch prep-package, which offers a factory-engineered hitch subframe connected to the chassis, will be available as an option. All '11 Super Duty trucks will come with a rear-mounted receiver hitch as standard equipment.
In addition to the factory-installed trailer brake controller, the new Super Duty will feature a Trailer Sway Control (TSC) system that uses the vehicle stability hardware (Roll Stability Control, or RSC) to help limit the dreaded trailer-sway condition.
Inside, the Super Duty will now use F-150-based seats that will offer optional heating, cooling, and 10-way power adjustment functions. Tilt and telescopic steering will be standard equipment. New under-seat lockable storage compartments will be available, and the truck will offer 12-volt and 110-volt power outlets in the center console.
A new 4.2-inch LCD screen will be positioned prominently in the gauge cluster to communicate a number of vehicle functions. The driver can toggle this display through an off-road vehicle function readout, fuel economy averages, trailer tow tutorial, oil and transmission fluid temperatures, as well as other vehicle data with a five-way button mounted to the steering wheel.
When Can You Get One?
We expect the '11 trucks to go on sale in the first quarter of 2010. As we went to press, some readers were already reporting they were able to order the new truck. Stay tuned for Diesel Power's first road test, as well as a Ford vs. Dodge vs. Chevy shootout in an upcoming issue.
Ford Motor Company
P.O. Box 685