Downtown Detroit is a tough, hard place in the winter. The harsh winds and frigid temperatures make the Motor City’s familiar battle scars all the more visible. For someone who loves cars, trucks, and engines, all you can think about when you’re there is how great this place once was—and how great this place deserves to be again.
So late last winter, when we got a call that Ford was working on some new updates for its ’13 diesel Super Dutys, we jumped at the chance to see two of the prototypes on their home turf. Working with the Super Duty team, we established a clandestine photo shoot studio in the center of the city while the rest of the world’s automotive journalists were 300 miles away at the Chicago Auto Show.
We arrived at our secret location just in time to see the sun crest over the top of nearby Ford Field and eagerly awaited the two top-secret 6.7L-powered F-Series trucks that were being unloaded from their tractor trailer. One was the Ruby Red F-350 you see here, and the other was a black F-250 with a new Pecan interior. Come with us as we give you a glimpse into Ford’s future products.
Designed In Dearborn
Dearborn, Michigan, is seven miles west of downtown Detroit and is the home of Ford Motor Company. Though Ford Super Dutys are built in Louisville, Kentucky, they are designed, engineered, and torture tested in Dearborn. Since its ’99-model-year debut, the Super Duty remains one of Ford’s most successful products, and that success can rightfully be attributed to Ford’s constant evolution of its modern diesel pickup.
Platinum-Card Trim Package
For our exclusive first look at the ’13 Super Duty, Ford rolled out this new Ruby Red Platinum-edition F-350. The truck itself features the familiar styling and bodywork of the current product, but Ford’s Platinum trim level is reserved for its trucks with the highest level of features and options. The new Platinum Super Duty comes with all the amenities of the Lariat model and then ups the ante with chrome and satin-nickel-finished trim pieces. While the King Ranch package is currently top of the line, the Platinum edition is designed to take the Super Duty to the next level of premium.
Touch Screen in the Dash
For 2013, Ford will now offer a version of its My Ford Touch in the Super Duty. This 8-inch LCD touch screen controls the radio, navigation, climate controls, and the driver’s smartphone. The interface has been created specifically for traditional Super Duty customers and supplements the conventional radio and climate control buttons that are prominently featured in the center stack. This redundant configuration was chosen to reduce the learning curve that always comes with new technology, and we imagine many owners will end up using the system’s touch screen and voice-activated controls exclusively, while the people they lend the truck to may gravitate toward the knobs and buttons.
Nothing has been said about the powertrain of the 2013 Super Duty, but we crawled all over the trucks looking for clues of what’s to come. The only difference we saw for sure was that the cast-aluminum rear differential cover has been replaced with a simple stamped-steel cover. The 6.7L engine itself looks the same, though we noted a revised airbox housing, and a different power-steering reservoir. The transmission is still a six-speed, and the transfer case appears to be a carryover—yet the front axle seemed to have different brake calipers.
We have seen Ford testing its trucks for durability on the Eisenhower Grade on I-70 in Colorado. In one case, we noted an F-550 with a flatbed that had been loaded down with steel driving westbound. That suggests to us Ford is either working on new emissions strategies for the 6.7L Power Stroke, or it has been paying attention to our King of the Hill testing—and it’s getting ready for a rematch.
2013 Platinum Package Contains:
- Chrome handles with body-colored surrounds
- Body-color front and rear bumpers
- Bright body side moldings
- Bright chrome door and tailgate handles with body-colored surrounds
- 6-inch angular chrome steps with lights
- Satin chrome grille
- Chrome tailgate panel
- Raised chrome Platinum lettering on bedsides
- PowerScope trailer-tow mirrors with heated glass
- Chrome pickup box tie-downs (replaced with black tie-downs when spray in bedliner is added)
- Chrome tow hooks
- Bright exhaust tip
- 20-inch cast-aluminum wheels with painted pockets
- Platinum badge
- Remote starter system
- Leather-wrapped heated wood steering wheel with SYNC controls
- Platinum leather seating with 40/console/40 split
- Heated and cooled 10-way power-front driver seat with memory function and power-adjusted passenger seat
- Memory power adjustable pedals
- Navigation system with HD and satellite radio
- Easy entry/exit seat memory feature
- Rearview camera
- Universal garage door opener
- My Ford Touch 8-inch color LCD touch screen in center stack
- 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen in dash
- New collapsible media bin