The latest salvo in the heavy duty pickup arms race comes from Ford, and it's a shot fired up the noses of Ram and General Motors.
Ford announced Monday that its new 2017 Ford F-350 would top the range of current and be able to tow 32,000 pounds when dragging a gooseneck trailer. When towing a fifth-wheel trailer, that rating is 27,500 pounds. The former figure is 800 pounds more than a Ram 3500 and the latter figure is 5,000 pounds more than a Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, when all three are equipped with diesel engines.
It's extreme capability goes beyond dragging, too. According to Ford, the F-350 is rated for a maximum payload of 7,630 pounds, which is higher than the 6,578-pound payload rating of the diesel-powered Ram 3500 and the 5,573-pound payload rating of the diesel-powered Silverado 3500HD (the gasoline version is rated at 6,723 pounds).
Ford noted that the total Gross Combined Weight Rating for the new Super Duty tops out at 41,800 pounds, which is about half the rating for an 18-wheeler semi-tractor trailer combination, which begs the question: What do you own that weighs 20 tons and needs to be moved? (Weight is nature's way of telling us how to keep things where they are.)
Powering the new Super Duty will be a new 6.7-liter turbodiesel V-8 that's optional in all heavy duty pickups. Ford rates the engine at 440 horsepower and 925 pound-feet of torque. A gas-powered 6.2-liter V-8 is standard and makes 430 lb-ft of twist and 380 hp. All engines are paired to a 6-speed automatic that shifts power to the rear or all four wheels (or six with a dual-rear wheel setup).
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By comparison, the 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 in the 2016 Chevy Silverado HD makes 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. The Ram's 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-6 makes 385 hp and 900 lb-ft in high-output configuration.
A spokesman for Ram said their heavy duty offering still leads in areas such as suspension options. A spokesman for Chevrolet did not immediately comment on the story.