RICK KRANZ

Ford powers up for pickup bragging rights

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News
Kudos to Ford Motor Co. — those early buyers won't be penalized. Ford announced this week that everyone who purchased a diesel-powered 2011 Super Duty truck this year is being offered a free software upgrade that will boost engine performance.

The 2011 truck and the new diesel engine went on sale in April. About 35,000 trucks are eligible for the upgrade.

Ford said a software change at the dealership will give the engine a boost in torque -- 65 pounds-feet -- and another 10 hp. The end result will give Ford's new 6.7-liter turbocharged V-8 a whopping 800 pounds-feet of torque and 400 hp. Ford says it will take just 30 minutes at the dealership to make the software change.

Beginning this week, diesel-powered Super Dutys coming off the assembly line will receive those same enhancements.

This is all about bragging rights, of course. Which pickup has payload and towing leadership? Ford says its F-350 is stronger than the 2011 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 3500 models. Those vehicles offer a re-engineered turbocharged 6.6-liter V-8, which has a dramatic increase in horsepower and torque over the 2010 engine. GM's Duramax diesel puts out 765 pounds feet of torque and 397 hp.

Kudos go to Ford for taking care of its early 2011 Super Duty customers. The automaker could have easily ignored those buyers and said, “Sorry, guys.”

Instead, the guys and gals who drive those Fords will be bragging at the town bar, construction site or Farm and Fleet about the free, unexpected boost in torque and horsepower.

And, 35,000 -- that's a lot of surprised and happy Super Duty drivers singing the praises of Ford!

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