In the endless game of one-upmanship in the pickup-truck market, Ford claims to be the heavy-duty king of the hill once again with the 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty.
The heavy duty version of the F-Series—the best-selling vehicle in America for more than four decades—now has more superlatives to spin into marketing, if not an actual difference in capability. The 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty claims best diesel towing, best diesel and gas performance, and best payload over the 2020 Ram 2500/3500HD and 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500/3500HD. However, most of those figures are for the F-450, which doesn't have a direct competitor.
Ford announced the Super Duty specs at the super-sized State Fair of Texas in the most super-sized pickup truck market in the nation on Thursday.
The F-450 Super Duty with rear-wheel-drive, dual rear wheels, the Power Stroke diesel 6.7-liter V-8, and gooseneck towing capability can haul 37,000 pounds. It's worth noting that other automakers quote their top heavy-duty towing figures for 3500 trucks, which compare to the F-350. However, the F-350 Super Duty tops them all as well, though just barely, with 35,750 pounds of towing capability. A similarly equipped Silverado 3500HD can tow 35,500 pounds, while a Ram 3500HD can tow 35,100 pounds. Will that marginal gain sway HD haulers? Whatever the case, towing such heavy loads typically requires a commercial driver’s license. Fifth-wheel towing in the F-350 Super Duty is 32,400 pounds when properly equipped.
In more common non-commercial towing circumstances, the 2020 Super Duty with the Tremor Off-Road package also outdoes the competition. The diesel V-8 makes 475 horsepower and 1,050 pound-feet of torque, good enough in the dually F-450 crew cab to tow up to 24,200 pounds in conventional bumper-hitch trailering. That’s at least 1,000 pounds more than the competition, though the F-350 Super Duty tops out at 21,200 pounds, which is less than the competition. The diesel engine comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The available 7.3-liter V-8 gas engine makes 430 hp and 475 lb.-ft. of torque, and can tow up to 21,000 with rear-wheel drive. The regular cab 8-foot bed claims a top payload of 7,850 pounds. The gas engine is also hooked to a 10-speed automatic and is not offered in the F-450.
The Super Duty lineup of trucks, encompassing the F-250, F-350, F-450, is available with Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which lets drivers use a dial in place of the steering wheel to back up the trailer. Turn the dial in the desired direction based on the guidance lines in the rearview camera, and it will turn the steering wheel in the opposite, appropriate direction. It makes backing up easier, especially for amateurs.
Other technological conveniences include USB-C ports and embedded 4G LTE with wi-fi access and connectivity for up to 10 devices. On XLT and above trims, active safety features such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and lane-departure warnings come standard.
Pricing will be announced closer to the delivery date near the end of the year.