Ford stakes claim as King of The Hill

Since 1998, the Super Duty has lead Ford’s truck segment in towing, payload, and sheer power. That original design, with its vertical door handles, rectangular grille, and sloping window slots, have remained almost unchanged. Unlike the competition, the Super Duty wore different bodywork and interior as compare to the half-ton offering. In Ford’s case, it was the F-150.

However, that’s all about to change. All-new for the 2017 model year, the Ford Super Duty takes after its F-150 little brother’s cab section while still wearing different sheet metal. Well, at least the sheet metal is shaped differently. The 2017 Super Duty has adopted the 2015 Ford F-150’s all-aluminum body in an effort to cut weight.

Also like the F-150, the Super Duty uses an all-new frame constructed out of 95 percent high-strength steel. The backbone is fully boxed like the F-150’s and is said to be up to 24 percent stiffer than the previous Super Duty’s fully C-channeled frame.

Though no regular truck guy will gloat about how light his heavy-duty truck is, Ford says the new Super Duty is up to 350 pounds lighter than before. Of course, that’s thanks to the aluminum body and high-strength steel frame.

The 2017 Super Duty is a large departure from the one it replaces, not only in design, but also in technology. Keep reading for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford Super Duty.

  • 2017 Ford Super Duty
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic (Est.)
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    385
  • Torque @ RPM:
    430
  • Displacement:
    6.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    110 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    35000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
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Well, here it is – the all-new, 2017 Ford Super Duty. At first blush, the truck looks much different, especially in the front grille and headlights. But on closer inspection, the truck still carries several of its original 1998 styling cues. The large, twin-bar grille has vertical side vents just inside of the headlights, the front bumper still has its closed-loop tow hooks in the same place, and the front windows still have the downward slope for easier viewing of the large rearview mirrors.

At first blush, the truck looks much different, especially in the front grille and headlights. But on closer inspection, the truck still carries several of its original 1998 styling cues.

The cabin, on the other hand, is a big departure for the Super Duty lineup. It shares its design and nearly all its parts with the F-150. That helps cut development and repair costs. Also totally different are the side “vents” that show trim level and chassis rating. They now stand vertically just ahead of the front doors.

Ford has given the Super Duty a new lighting package, too. Quad-beam LED headlights are a class exclusive, along with LED side spotlights mounted within the side mirrors. The cargo box is also lit up with LED lights for those working past dusk.

Like the front, the rear takes a huge departure from the smaller F-150. Tall taillights follow the accent lines in the tailgate while the Super Duty name is stamped in the aluminum, recalling a similar treatment on the 2008-2016 trucks.

The bumper now holds the integrated trailer wiring harness (both the four- and seven-pin connectors) while a heavily reinforced, frame mounted receiver hitch resides below. F-350 and F-450 models now have a redesigned dually fender that’s more squared off than before.

The Super Duty is offered in three cab configurations: regular, SuperCab, and SuperCrew. Like the F-150, the SuperCab features a suicide-style rear door that opens up 170 degrees for easy entry. Both the SuperCab and SuperCrew feature flat rear floors and foldable bench seats that allow for added cargo capacity. And speaking of the interior….

Side-by-side comparison between 2016 and 2017 Ford Super Duty

2017 Ford Super Duty
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Interior

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Interior
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2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Interior
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2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Interior
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One peek inside the 2017 Super Duty’s interior reveals a very familiar environment. In fact, it’s basically a carbon copy of the current F-150. This not only saves Ford time and money in developing a separate interior, it also lets the Super Duty benefit from all the improvements found in the F-150. For example, all the materials are low-sheen, keeping glare down for easy daytime driving. Ergonomic placements of switches, TFT display screens, and Ford’s latest in SYNC technology help keep occupants happy and owners satisfied with their purchase.

One peek inside the 2017 Super Duty’s interior reveals a very familiar environment. In fact, it’s basically a carbon copy of the current F-150.

There are a few differences between in the F-150 and the Super Duty’s cabin. For one, the Super Duty has a second glove box finished in aluminum trim with the “Super Duty” logo stamped on. The F-150 only has a self. Also, the Super Duty still offers its optional auxiliary switches, but they have been relocated to the overhead console. Finally, the trailer brake controller is moved upward a few inches, making it easier to operate.

Beyond the aesthetics, Ford has loaded the Super Duty with electronic gadgets that help the driver avoid trouble. Seven, yes seven cameras can be had, keeping an eye on ever corner of the truck. This gives the Ford a 360-degree, overhead viewing angle, as well as the standard backup camera view.

Also included is a camera on the center high-mount stop light that peers into the cargo bed. This makes backing up to a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer a snap. The last camera doesn’t offer the driver a view, but allows the computer to operate the Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control systems. Ford is also offering a wireless camera that can attach to the rear of a trailer, giving the driver a great view when backing up. Frequent trailer towers will also like Ford’s integration of a tire pressure monitoring system for the trailer tires directly into the dash.

Like other new Ford vehicles, SYNC 3 is coming standard. The infotainment system software has faster performance, improved conversational voice recognition, and a more intuitive interface. The eight-inch screen is also where all the camera views are projected.

Side-by-side comparison between 2016 and 2017 Ford Super Duty

2017 Ford Super Duty
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Drivetrain

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
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Though the body, frame, and interior are new to the Super Duty, the powertrain is familiar. Returning are the 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 and the mighty 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8. Chassis cab customers also have the option of the 6.8-liter gasoline V-10. Ford didn’t just carry over the 2016’s powertrain, however. Both the V-8 and Power Stroke are heavily massaged for the 2017 model year.

The 6.2-liter V-8 continues to make 385 horsepower as before, but torque is up 25 pound-feet to an impressive 430 pound-feet of torque. Bigger improvements came to the turbodiesel. The 6.7-liter V-8 now makes 440 horsepower and a class-leading 925 pound-feet of torque. What’s more, Ford does not require some “high-output” package to a specific weight classification to reach those specs. The Power Stroke is unchanged throughout the Super Duty lineup, meaning the F-250 gets the same mechanicals as the mighty F-450.

Transmissions have also been improved. The gasoline-powered F-250 comes with Ford’s TorqShift-G six-speed automatic gearbox. Ford says this transmission helps with fuel economy while still providing excellent towing and hauling characteristics. All other versions of the Super Duty get Ford’s TorqShift six-speed SelectShift automatic.

Of course, both 2WD and 4WD can be had in the F-250 and F-350. The big F-450 comes standard with 4WD. Ford says the transfer case and subsequent driveline parts have been upgraded for more strength and better durability.

Frame and Suspension

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Drivetrain
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The 2017 Super Duty actually offers two separate frame designs, not counting wheelbase and bed length configurations, of course. The standard F-250, F-350, and F-450 offer a fully boxed frame that has more strength and rigidity than the previous truck.

However, chassis cab trucks – those with no cargo box and meant for aftermarket upfit – come with a two-section frame. Under the cab is a fully boxed section, just like the standard truck, but the rear frame section has an open C-channel design. Ford says this will make aftermarket upfits and modifications easier. Examples are wrecker bodies, flat bed, dump beds, and enclosed box bodies.

The standard Super Duty pickup’s fully boxed frame also comes with fully boxed cross members that are through-welded on both sides of the main frame beams, adding strength. Also upgraded are the disc brakes and suspension components, designed to cope with the Super Duty’s huge towing and payload capacities.

Towing and Payload

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The 2017 Super Duty has been designed to surpass both Ram and GM for the highest payload and towing capacities in the industry. Ford succeeded by an impressive 1,290 pounds with the F-450’s gooseneck rating, with the truck capable of towing a whopping 32,500 pounds. Fifth-wheel users can tow 27,500 pounds, 2,500 pounds more than the next best competitor, according to Ford. The F-450 is also capable of towing 21,000 pounds via its conventional receiver hitch. What’s more, Ford says owners won’t need a weight distributing hitch to hit this max rating. Ford fanboys will love boasting that 1,000-pound advantage over the competition.

The F-250 and single-rear wheel F-350 aren’t slouches, either. Ford rates the trucks at towing 18,000 pounds at the receiver. The F-250 does require the new Trailer Tow Package to hit that weight, though.

For those curious about the Super Duty’s Gross Combined Weight Rating, the F-450 is rated at 41,800 pounds. That’s more than half of the legal weight an 18-wheeler can weight. That’s a lot of weight. In fact, drivers will need a commercial driver’s license in order to tow anything beyond 26,001 pounds.

Safety

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The 2017 Super Duty offers a host of upgraded safety features over the outgoing model, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and collision warning with brake support.

On top of the blind spot monitoring system keeping tabs on the truck’s blind spot, the system now monitors a connected trailer’s blind spots, essentially extending the system’s viewing range. The lane departure warning system warns the driver with succinct vibrations though the steering wheel that feels like the rumble strips along major highways.

The Adaptive Cruise control not only keeps the truck moving with traffic at varying speeds, it also works with a fully loaded trailer. What’s more, if the driver fails to brake within the system’s allowable distance limit, the computer pre-charges the braking system, making it ready for hard braking.

Prices

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Ford has not released prices for the 2017 Super Duty, but it’s a sure bet costs will increase. For 2015, the F-250 Super Duty start at $32,385 and increase well into the $60,000 range for the high-end trim levels and heavier-capacity models.

Competition

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD/2015 GMC Sierra HD

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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For as long as anyone can remember, General Motors has been competing with Ford in the heavy duty truck segment. With both gasoline and diesel powerplants, two- and four-wheel drive, and various cab configurations, the trucks have usually fought a clean fight.

Now with the 2017 updates, GM will have to bring its A-game in the next iteration of its heavy duty trucks. Both the current Silverado HD and Sierra HD offer a 360-horsepower, 6.0-liter gasoline V-8 and the venerable 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 rated at 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque. Both engines will need significant upgrades to stay competitive, to say the least. Still, Chevy and GMC offer solid trucks that are capable of moving enormous loads.

Pricing begins at $32,980 for the base Chevy Silverado 2500 HD.

Toy can read more about the Silverado HD here and about the Sierra HD here.

2015 Ram Heavy Duty

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Ram, along with Dodge before it, has offered solid trucks with industry exclusive powertrains that make truck guys weak in the knees. Yes, the well-respected Cummins inline-six turbodiesel has been a staple of the Ram HD for more than 20 years. Now in its latest iteration, the big Cummins kicks out 385 horsepower and a massive 900 pound-feet of torque. That gives the Ram 3500 HD the ability to tow an impressive 31,210 pounds on its fifth-wheel hitch.

Though Chevy and GMC sell more trucks combined than Ram, the Ram offers more options when it comes to cab configurations. Beyond the 3500 series, Ram has the 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs that are technically medium duty trucks.

Pricing for the base Ram 2500 starts just over $30,000 and increase well into the $60,000 range.

You can read our full review here.

Conclusion

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The all-new Super Duty is leaner and meaner than before thanks to its aluminum body, fully boxed steel frame, and more powerful engine lineup. The addition of driver aid systems like lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and the innovative camera system help push the Super Duty ahead of the competition. Though Ford has yet to release pricing, the Super Duty should be competitive against the GM and Ram offerings. We do expect the Super Duty’s prices to rise across the board, however.

Though some will mourn the loss of the Super Duty’s unique cab and interior styling apart from the F-150, the shared digs help keep costs in check and make Ford’s development time count for double. Of all people, Super Duty owners should understand that.

  • Leave it
    • * Magnetic signs won’t stick to aluminum body
    • * Bound to be more expensive
    • * Does the average HD buyer need this much truck?

Press Release

Ford, America’s truck leader, today introduces the all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty – the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty truck lineup ever.

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“Ford Super Duty is the truck America’s hardest-working men and women trust and depend on,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. “We are helping these customers build a better world by delivering a new generation of pickups that set new benchmarks in capability, performance and efficiency.”

Using advanced materials to reduce weight, 2017 F-Series Super Duty pickup truck and chassis cab feature all-new, segment-exclusive smart technology to help increase customer productivity, comfort and convenience.

“While Super Duty is America’s best-selling heavy-duty truck, we never take our leadership for granted,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer. “Our team is using relentless innovation in materials, technology and Built Ford Tough engineering to deliver customers our best Super Duty yet.”

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Toughest
The backbone is an all-new, fully boxed frame comprised of more than 95 percent high-strength steel that offers up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame – enabling the most towing and hauling capability ever delivered by Super Duty. The new truck line features heavier-duty four-wheel-drive components, driveline, axles and towing hardware.

For the first time, the Super Duty body uses high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy, which is more dent- and ding-resistant than the outgoing steel body and not subject to red rust corrosion.

Together, high-strength steel and high-strength aluminum alloy help reduce weight by up to 350 pounds while Ford is reinvesting additional weight savings everywhere it counts, to give customers more towing and hauling capability than ever before.

Super Duty chassis cab features an all-new, high-strength steel frame with an open-C-channel design behind the cab to enable easy aftermarket body upfit and modification.

Smartest
Towing is core to the Super Duty mission. All-new advanced coaching and camera technology makes conventional and gooseneck/fifth-wheel towing easier and more efficient than ever.

There are 16 segment-first new features – from LED lighting to adaptive cruise control – that assist Super Duty drivers to make driving and work situations easier and more comfortable.

As many as seven cameras help customers see more angles and monitor conditions surrounding the truck, and provide better trailering than ever before.

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
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A center high-mounted stop lamp camera provides visibility into the cargo box, especially for easier hook-up of gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailers. A 360-degree camera system uses four digital, high-definition cameras to give the driver a bird’s-eye view surrounding Super Duty. Trailer reverse guidance provides visual cues and tips to help ease backing up a trailer. A first-ever, factory-available trailer camera can be attached to a trailer to improve visibility backing up.

Customers will benefit from a segment-first, in-cab trailer tire pressure monitoring system from the comfort of the cab while stopped or on the highway.

Adaptive steering provides for increased confidence to help make towing the heaviest of loads easier and brings greater ease to navigating job sites and parking lots – with or without a trailer. The technology reduces the amount of steering input needed to change direction at low speed, while reducing sensitivity to steering input at higher speeds.

The all-new F-Series Super Duty is available with numerous driver-assist technologies:

SYNC® 3 – Ford’s all-new communications and entertainment system features faster performance, conversational voice recognition and an easier-to-understand graphical interface, along with an intuitive smartphone-like 8-inch touch screen

Blind Spot Information System with trailer tow is optimized for Super Duty to include the length of the trailer; BLIS® uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver

Lane departure warning provides a warning when a driver strays from a lane through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic rumble strips

Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support use sensors to detect slower vehicles moving in the same direction. If another vehicle is too close, red lights flash on the windshield and a warning sound chimes. If the driver does not hit the brakes, the brake system is pre-charged to stop faster when the brake pedal is pressed

Advanced light-emitting diode technology sheds light all around the new Super Duty, including:

New LED sideview mirror spotlights enable illumination surrounding the truck to light up a work site or camp site

Class-exclusive quad-beam LED headlamps and taillamps

New LED cargo box lighting

Most capable
Light-weighting and improved capability work hand-in-hand in the all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty.

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
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“As we remove weight, we’re making Super Duty more productive by giving our customers better towing and payload capability,” said Craig Schmatz, Super Duty chief engineer. “We’re backing up improved capability with a stronger gasoline and diesel Super Duty engine lineup.”

The second-generation Ford-designed, Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 diesel engine is available for pickup trucks and chassis cabs providing the highest combination of horsepower and torque ever.

The 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine comes equipped with the new TorqShift-G transmission for the F-250 pickup – allowing for improved capability.

The Super Duty chassis cab lineup offers a choice of 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel, 6.8-liter V10 gasoline or 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engines.

“The bottom line is Super Duty customers will be able to tow and haul more than ever before,” said Schmatz.

Interior and cargo box
All three cabs – Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab – are longer and feature a new interior design, including dual compartment glove box, overhead console-mounted auxiliary switches to operate aftermarket equipment, and completely flat SuperCab and Crew Cab second-row floors that make loading large items in the cab easy. Vital controls are close at hand, with the integrated trailer brake controller switch located even closer to the driver.

Customer accessibility and ease of use extend outside the truck as well, with the cargo box offering customers these class-exclusive features:

BoxLink™: Ford-patented combination of metal brackets and custom cleats that can be used to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box

Remote tailgate lock and release: Tailgate can be locked/unlocked and opened with the key fob, eliminating manual locking and increasing convenience and security. The tailgate is damped – dropping gently down, hands-free, to a flat position when opened

There are five models in the Super Duty lineup – XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
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The all-new Super Duty will be built at Kentucky Truck Plant, and goes on sale late next year.

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