The Ford F-150 is making headlines by offering an electric variant, but the next generation of the bigger F-Series Super Duty trucks and chassis cabs are sticking with gas and diesel engines. New tech and connectivity options promise to make the work day easier for small businesses and fleets.
Ford revealed the 2023 Super Duty on Tuesday with a pair of new engines, improved hauling and towing, and a full suite of connected features for businesses.
The new base engine is a 6.8-liter V-8 based on the available 7.3-liter V-8. It has a smaller bore and stroke than its bigger companion, and while Ford isn’t sharing specifications yet, expect it to make more than the outgoing 6.2-liter V-8’s 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. It also comes hooked to a 10-speed automatic transmission instead of the outgoing 6-speed automatic.
Ford also isn’t quoting power figures for the 7.3-liter V-8, which makes 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque in the outgoing model. However, Ford does say it is targeting best-in-class gas horsepower and torque thanks to a new air intake and better cooling. It also comes with the 10-speed automatic, as does the carry-over 6.7-liter diesel V-8, which receives an optional high-output version this time around. Last year’s base version made 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft of torque, and the high-output version will feature a new turbocharger, upgraded exhaust manifolds, and revised tuning. Ford says the diesel will also be able to go longer between oil changes.
The new Super Duty will use the same ladder frame as the outgoing model but with minor changes to make it a little stiffer. However, Ford says it has upgraded the rotors and calipers to handle the best-in-class towing and hauling capability it aims to achieve. That’s not only conventional towing, but also for towing with fifth-wheel and gooseneck designs.
The look is an evolution of the current imposing truck. The grille now wraps around the C-clamp headlights, and the grille design and finish have seven different options based on model. The truck has bigger side steps, available steps in front of the rear wheels, and bumper steps at the rear corners. An available camera and rear parking sensors are added to the tailgate so drivers can use the rearview camera and parking sensors when backing up with the tailgate down.
The F-250 and F-350 lineup will once again include regular, extended cab, and crew cab body styles with bed lengths of 6-feet-9 and 8 feet.
The model lineup will consist of XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trims, with successively higher levels of equipment. All but the XL will come standard with four-wheel drive. Ford will also offer three off-road packages, including a new XL Off-Road package and a Tremor Off-Road package. The Tremor package will include a front end lift, an off-road suspension tune, 35-inch Goodyear tires on 18-inch wheels, a Dana front axle with a limited-slip differential, skid plates, axle vent tubes for better water fording capability, and Ford’s Turn Assist system that locks the tires on one side to help the truck turn more easily in slippery off-road situations. A 12,000-lb Warn winch from Ford Performance will be optional.
Inside, the new Super Duty will offer an 8.0-inch touchscreen on the XL and a 12.0-inch touchscreen on all other models. The truck will be available with a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone charging, a driver seat that folds down nearly flat like a futon, and 8- or 18-speaker B&O audio systems. The center console will sit 1.4 inches lower, and every truck will come with a new upper glove box.
The Super Duty will come with front and rear automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and active lane control.
Ford will outfit the Super Duty with all kinds of standard and optional features to help fleet managers and jobsite workers.
Several trailering options will be available, including blind-spot monitors that detect when vehicles are next to the trailer; a trailer backup assist system to automatically back up to the hitch; and trailering navigation to set a route that will avoid bridges set too low. A Smart Hitch function helps drivers optimize the weight distribution in their trailers, and owners will be able to wire available cameras inside their trailers and monitor them from the cab. Ford also offers an app that warns owners of possible trailer theft.
Other available features will include Pro Power Onboard with two outlets and up to 2.0 kw of output to power tools and electronics, and an onboard scale to measure payload and hitch weight. The latter can be monitored via an app, the center screen, and even a bar on the taillights that shows how much of the truck’s tongue weight capacity is being used.
A 5G wi-fi hotspot will enable over-the-air updates and a connection to fleet services via Ford Pro software. Ford Pro Data Services can analyze fleet vehicle data and integrate with third-party providers. A Vehicle Security feature will let fleets set timeframes for operation, and send alerts when the vehicle isn’t running, when it’s towing, and when it has an impact or accident. Fleet management software can digitize vehicle reports and track real-time cost of ownership. Ford is partnering with Salesforce for a field service management tool, and ADT for security services. Ford will also offer an upfit integration system that will give aftermarket companies improved access to the truck’s electrical system and allow integration with the digital displays.
Ford Pro will also assist with financing, title and registration services, and record checks for drivers.
The 2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty will be built in Kentucky and Ohio, and it will go on sale early next year. Look for full specs and pricing closer to launch.
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