Another chapter in Ford F-Series Super Duty history has been written, delivering a message buyers of serious work trucks want to hear.
For the 2015 model year, Ford’s Super Duty pickup is more powerful and capable than its predecessor. Engineers improved on an already formidable truck with engine and chassis upgrades.
Ford’s new Super Duty pickups are available in Regular, SuperCab and Crew Cab configurations; two- and four-wheel drive; and dual-rear-wheel versions on F-350 and F-450 models. Regular-cab pickups have an 8-foot cargo box, and SuperCab and Crew Cab models are available with 6.75- or 8-foot boxes. Trim levels include XL, XLT and Lariat models, as well as luxurious King Ranch and Platinum versions. Base pricing starts at $31,045 and tops out at $68,790.
VIDEO: Texas State Photographer, Wyman Meinzer, shoots Ford and King Ranch.
Standard power for F-250 and F-350 models is provided by a 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine, which produces 385 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 405 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm.
The big news comes with improvements to the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel. The engine is an $8,480 option on F-250 and F-350 models, and standard on F-450s. Available axle ratios are 3.31, 3.55, 3.73 and 4.30.
Providing optimum grunt for 2015 Super Duty pickups is the second generation of the 6.7-liter Power Stroke, which made headlines when it was announced about four years ago as the first Ford-produced diesel after the end of a partnership with engine-builder Navistar that began in 1983.
The 6.7-liter Power Stroke is “Ford designed, engineered, tested and Ford built, it’s better in all respects.” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager, noting Ford is the sole manufacturer in this pickup segment that develops and builds its own powertrains.
Available across the entire Super Duty lineup, from F-250 to F-450, the 6.7-liter Power Stroke generates an impressive 440 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 860 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm. This trumps Ford’s first-gen creation by 40 horses and 60 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission mate for both the diesel and gas engines is a heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed SelectShift automatic.
Ford reports the engine upgrades make it basically mirror the turbodiesel powering its larger F-650 and F-750 trucks. Built with a compacted graphite iron engine block, which is lighter yet stronger and more durable than cast iron, the engine gets a power boost with a larger turbocharger. With shortened airflow from the exhaust system to the turbocharger, torque is more quickly available.
Adding a new temperature control system and nestling the turbocharger between cylinder banks, shielding it from the engine’s hottest temperatures, increase its efficiency and performance. Another plus of locating the turbo in the engine valley is reduction in noise, vibration and harshness. Also lessening NVH are new injector tips that spray a finer mist. The injectors partner with a new fuel pump, contributing to more power and reduced emissions.
The up-sized turbo helps improve engine braking, making braking on steep downhill grades more efficient. A push of a dash-mounted button activates engine braking, which reduces wear on wheel brakes. Stopping power for F-450s increases with larger brakes, which feature improved anti-lock calibration. Engineers strengthened the F-450’s steering system via beefier gears and linkages.
Developers of the 6.7-liter engine worked in unison with chassis engineers to build a “machine engineered for work,” Scott said. Improvements to the 6.7-liter combine with chassis upgrades to improve tow ratings. Opting for the High-Capacity Trailer Tow Package on the F-350 adds new heavy-duty front springs and a wide-track axle. The F-350’s fifth-wheel/gooseneck towing max increases from 23,200 to 26,700 pounds. The gross combined weight rating is 35,000 pounds, up 4,500 pounds.
F-450 towing capacity increases with commercial-grade 19.5-inch wheels and tires, and improved rear U-joints, rear leaf springs, front/rear stabilizer bars and shocks. Fifth-wheel/gooseneck towing capacity increases 6,500 pounds, resulting in a 31,200-pound rating. Gross combined weight rating grows to 40,000 pounds for a 7,000-pound gain.
F-250 towing ratings remain the same, 14,000 pounds conventional and 16,800 pounds fifth-wheel/gooseneck, but the improved turbodiesel offers better fuel economy.
The 2015 Super Duty is “purpose-built for best-in-class power and torque,” said Scott. “You can feel the result in the way it drives, especially when towing big loads.”
— Tim Spell, Motor Matters
Manufacturer Photo: The 2015 F-450 (Platinum shown) gets upgrades that increase fifth-wheel/gooseneck towing capacity 6,500 pounds, resulting in a 31,200-pound rating. Gross combined weight rating grows to 40,000 pounds for a 7,000-pound gain. The optional 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel engine powering the 2015 Ford Super Duty pickup delivers 440 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 860 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm. (Shown is the F-350 King Ranch model).
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2014