Last year, the buildup for the release of Ford’s new F-150 was immense. Spy shots were everywhere, and the company strategically provided a slow trickle of information that ultimately led to its official rollout. There was good reason for this — the F-150 is far and away a crucial component of the best-selling vehicle family in the country. The other side of that family, however, doesn’t generally get as much attention.
Case in point: With little fanfare, Ford unveiled the 2017 F-Series Super Duty this week. While it doesn’t depart from the current model as much as the F-150 did, there’s a lot happening beneath the new sheet metal.
Immediately noticeable is the new front fascia and rear quarters. The truck looks more or less the same between the two, but the flat, brickish nose exudes masculinity and makes us question what kind of aerodynamic magic Ford had to work out to shore up its mileage. Around back, it adopts some beefy taillights that take cues from those found on the F-150. Even in the swanky King Ranch trim, it looks pretty rough-and-tumble.
The new F-Series — which includes the F-250, 350, and 450 — looks like a logical evolution of the current generation, but it’s also a notable shoutout to trucks of Ford’s past. It doesn’t take long to see some old Ford Courier in the grille, as well as no subtle inspiration from the squared-off F-Series trucks of the early 1980s. Despite the nod to its history, the new Super Duty looks like a thoroughly modern truck.
The new truck features an all-new, high-strength steel frame with a segment-first high-strength military-grade aluminum-alloy body (similar to the new F-150). The axles have been strengthened, as have the springs and suspension. Where the F-150 was able to save over 700 pounds over its previous generation, the Super Duty saves a still-significant 350 in the right trims.
It’s built around a fully boxed frame that’s made up of more than 95% high-strength steel, which can be as much as 24 times stiffer than the previous frame, which Ford notes “enables 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,” it added.
In keeping with the times, the new F-Series will be available with all the amenities one could possibly need in a work truck, and many that you don’t. Ford showed off the King Ranch edition, but there will be Platinum and maybe Limited trims as well, which could end up scraping the $100,000 mark once loaded — indicating that the ceiling on the luxury truck market hasn’t yet been reached.
Ford is playing it close to the chest with details for now, but we’ll know more as it gets closer to launch next year. Pricing and exact engine details are still unknown, but Ford is saying that it will feature a class-leading 31,200 pound towing capacity — which the folks at Ram might not be too pleased with. The company did note that the engine lineup will remain the same, offering a 6.2 liter gas V8, a 6.8 liter gas V10, and 6.7 liter turbodiesel V8 — though Super Duty marketing manager Brian Rathsburg told Autoblog all three have been “improved and upgraded.”
For futher emphasis that this is, in fact, a 21st century truck, Ford has gone the extra mile and bestowed all the tech you’d expect to see on a Mercedes S Class on its toughest workhorse. It has advanced coaching and camera technology for easier towing, 16 segment-first new features from LED lighting to adaptive cruise control, as many as seven cameras for monitoring all sides of the truck, a 360-degree camera system with four digital cameras for a bird’s-eye view, trailer reverse guidance, and that’s all before we get into the cabin.
It also comes with Ford’s new SYNC 3 system, Blind Spot Information System, lane departure warnings, and then, of course, all the interior amenities — in the higher trims, expect heated seats, leather all around, a premium stereo system, and more. We’ll have more details on all that as time progresses.
In all, you can expect Ford’s new Super Duty to be everything the current one is and more. As we’ve seen with the new F-150, the inclusion of aluminum alloy hasn’t deterred any prospective buyers from the brand, and we wouldn’t expect it to do so with the Super Duties either.