Vehicle Research

Ford's All-New 2017 F-Series Super Duty

September 2016, Work Truck - Cover Story

by Mike Antich - Also by this author

The all-new 2017 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab 4x4 single-rear-wheel pickup is the most popular model in the Super Duty lineup. It offers a combination of conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing capability. (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)
The all-new 2017 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab 4x4 single-rear-wheel pickup is the most popular model in the Super Duty lineup. It offers a combination of conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing capability. (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

Ford has begun shipping the all-new 2017 model F-Series Super Duty, built with a high-strength aluminum body and box for all body styles. The first of the all-new Super Duty models rolled off Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky., early last August.

This is the first all-new Super Duty in 18 years and includes the F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550 models. The new Super Duty is available with three cab choices — Regular Cab, SuperCab, and Crew Cab — in five trim levels ranging from the base XL up to the top-of-the-line Platinum model.

The new generation Super Duty has its highest-ever payload capacities. Maximum payload is 7,630 pounds.

The heart of the all-new Super Duty is its new frame, which is fully boxed from front to rear for increased strength while reducing noise, vibration, and harshness. The frame is built from 95% high-strength steel that is 24-times stiffer than the prior generation frame, which allows for increased towing and payload. Up to 10 crossmembers are used on the frame to create a rigid ladder structure. The through-welded, closed-section crossmembers help increase torsional stiffness. Middle frame rails are 1.5-inches taller than the previous generation.

By building the body and box from a high-strength aluminum alloy, using high-strength steel for its frame, and many more weight saving actions, engineers achieved a weight savings of up to 350 pounds.

Engineers reinvested the weight savings by adding more robust drivetrain components and bigger axles. The larger drivetrain components include a new transfer case on four-wheel-drive models, larger drive shafts with higher-capacity U-joints, as well as axles with thicker axle shafts and bigger ring gears.

The 2017 F-450 model also has new, larger brakes than before with increased front and rear rotors and calipers. There is a new 4-channel ABS on the dual rear wheel (DRW) and Chassis Cab models. Also included are AdvanceTrac with RSC and trailer sway control capability.

Pickup Powertrain Upgrades

Another enhancement for the new generation Super Duty is more horsepower and torque than its predecessor.

One engine choice is the second-generation 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V-8 that boosts horsepower to a class-leading 440 hp and torque to a staggering 925 lb.-ft. for all models — from F-250 to F-450 — without requiring special tuning or unique hardware. The 6.7L Power Stroke has a larger turbocharger than the previous generation engine. Also contributing to the increased torque are new fuel injectors and pump. In addition, the diesel engine is B-20 biodiesel capable.

Super Duty models are also available with an updated 6.2L FFV V-8 gasoline engine with 385 hp and 430 lb.-ft. of torque, which is more torque than before. The 6.2L V-8 is E-85 Flex-Fuel capable and is available with a CNG/propane autogas prep package.

In addition, the Super Duty Chassis Cab is available with a 6.8L V-10 gasoline engine.

Both diesel and gasoline engines are mated to the TorqShift 6-speed automatic transmission.

CHASSIS CAB OFFERS UPFITTING FLEXIBILITY

The Super Duty Chassis Cab is offered in eight wheelbases, three series options, and three trim levels. Fleets are offered three engine choices - 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V-8, 6.2L V-8 gasoline engine, and 6.8L V-10 gasoline engine.  The Chassis Cab has a  C-channel aft-of-cab frame built of 95% high-strength steel. The frame , which is 8 times stiffer than the prior generation model, is boxed under the cab. The 2017 Chassis Cab has best-in-class attributes, such as a 40,000-lbs. maximum gross combined weight rating (GCWR) and a 7,500-lbs. maximum front gross axle weight rating (FGAWR), giving the flexibility to spec larger upfits.

More Towing Capability

The No. 1 application for Super Duty customers is towing, according to Ford, which nine out of 10 buyers utilize.

The all-new F-Series Super Duty can tow heavier trailers and haul heavier cargo than ever before, with maximum gooseneck towing capacity raised to 32,500 pounds on F-450, fifth-wheel towing capacity boosted to class-leading 27,500 pounds, and conventional towing to class-leading 21,000 pounds.

A center high-mounted stop lamp camera provides visibility into the cargo box, which is especially helpful when hooking up gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers.

When towing, there are seven cameras available for driving guidance, including a 360-degree view. Side-view mirror cameras and rear cameras work in tandem to project images on the interior monitor or provide information from the “smart towing assistance technologies.”

Trailer Reverse Guidance provides visual cues to help ease backing up a trailer. A first-ever factory-available trailer camera can be custom-placed on a trailer to improve visibility backing up. There is also Jackknife Warning and Straight Line Backup Guidance, which has a dynamic steering wheel icon with arrows to indicate the direction of turn.

In addition, trailer towing fleets benefit from a segment-first in-cab trailer tire pressure monitoring system.

Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with trailer tow is optimized for Super Duty to include the length of a trailer up to 33 feet long. BLIS uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver.

Also, there are new 2.5-inch and 3-inch hitch receivers that increases weight-carrying hitch capacity. There is extensive use of high-strength steel in the hitch designs and surrounding structure. The platform extends under the truck frame to create a strong and secure foundation. This eliminates the need for a weight-distributing hitch when towing up to the maximum conventional trailer rating of the truck.

Driver-Assistance Technologies

The Super Duty is available with high-tech options, such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support.

Adaptive cruise controls acceleration and slows to keep pace with traffic using preset distances and adding brake support, even when towing a trailer. The Super Duty is the first truck to offer adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support for heavy trailers, allowing drivers to traverse steep mountain grades while maintaining speed. Also, the adaptive cruise control utilizes the engine brake, when a truck is equipped with the 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V-8.

The 2017 Super Duty offers adaptive steering with a variable ratio that adjusts how far the steering wheel must be rotated to turn the front wheels. The steering ratio continually changes with vehicle speed, optimizing the steering response in all conditions. At low speeds, the system reduces the amount of steering input needed to change direction. At highway speeds, the system reduces vehicle sensitivity to steering input. 

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