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Ford trucks pulling it to the next level

Wed, 05 Mar 2014

With the heavy-duty truck segment heating up, Ford is breaking out some tough new vehicles and an upgraded 6.7-liter diesel engine.

The second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel packs a manufacturer estimated 440 hp with 860 lb-ft of torque. This is a gain of 40 hp and 60 lb-ft over the first-gen 6.7 oil burner. It will certainly get anything from an F-250 to an F-450 up and moving.

The design of the 6.7 Power Stroke remains the same at the core, though it does receive a larger turbocharger and a more advanced block comprised of compacted graphite iron. To top it all off, there's a new set of injectors to supply a finer mist of diesel.

Topping the Super Duty charts is the F-450 with a class-leading maximum towing capacity of 31,200 pounds -- a gain of 6,500 pounds. With the gross combined weight moving up to 40,000 pounds.

The 2015 F-350 is also gaining some capability with an additional 3,300 pounds of towing capacity, for a combined tow rating of 35,000 pounds.

“Our chassis people work in unison with our powertrain people to develop more than a great truck; it's a machine engineered for work,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “We're the only manufacturer that develops and builds our own powertrains in this class, and when you combine that with a chassis that's purpose-built for best-in-class power and torque, you can feel the result when it drives, especially when towing big loads.”

Some serious improvements have been made over the past decade.

The all-new 2016 F-650/F-750 lineup will be available in the spring of 2015. Available in three cab layouts -- regular, super and crew -- the frame will also have options. The rigid backbone of the trucks will be offered in straight frame, dock height and as a tractor model for heavy duty towing. The chassis are also designed to accept a variety of work bodies like a tow truck or even an ambulance.

Inside and out, the trucks will receive a new look. The front end will feature a mesh grille. The fenders and headlamps are also getting some aerodynamic upgrades to present a sleek appearance and improve fuel-economy.

Both medium-duty commercial rigs will be offered with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 or an industry-exclusive 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine. The 6.8-liter V10 can be factory prepped to run on compressed natural gas or liquid propane.

By Brad Wiley