DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. used the weight savings from an aluminum body to beef up the capabilities of its Super Duty pickups, which it says will beat the competition in towing, payload, torque and diesel horsepower ratings.
The redesigned F-250, F-350 and F-450, slated to be on sale this fall, weigh as much as 350 pounds less than the outgoing models, Ford said. That’s about half the weight savings Ford gained by switching the light-duty F-150 from steel to aluminum body panels.
Ford said the Super Duty’s frame, composed of 95 percent high-strength steel, is 24 times stiffer than the current generation’s frame to support heavier loads and trailers.
“We listened to our customers and created the toughest, smartest and most capable Super Duty ever,” Doug Scott, Ford’s truck marketing manager, said in a statement.
The F-450 SuperCrew 4x4 can tow 21,000 pounds with a conventional hitch -- 1,000 pounds more than its closest rival, Ford said. Its tow ratings are 32,500 pounds for a gooseneck trailer, 1,290 pounds more than its top competitor, and 27,500 pounds for a fifth-wheel trailer, 2,500 pounds more than any other heavy-duty pickup.
The F-250 and F-350 with a single rear wheel can tow a class-leading 18,000 pounds with a standard hitch, Ford said. Ford said the redesigned Super Duty will be the first pickup to offer adaptive cruise control and a collision-warning system with brake support for trailers up to 32,500 pounds.
The maximum gross combined weight rating for an F-450 SuperCrew 4x4 and a trailer is 41,800 pounds, more than any other heavy-duty pickup and more than half of the weight limit for an 18-wheel semitractor-trailer on most federal highways, Ford said.
Payload capacity for the F-350 is a class-leading 7,630 pounds, while the F-250 can haul 4,200 pounds in its bed, 600 pounds more than any competitor, Ford said.
Diesel versions of the Super Duty, equipped with the second-generation of Ford’s Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged engine, are rated at 440 hp and 925 pounds-feet of torque without special tuning or hardware, Ford said.
The standard gasoline engine, a 6.2-liter V-8, produces a class-leading 430 pounds-feet of torque and 385 hp. That beats the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 on both numbers and tops the heavy-duty Ram 2500’s torque rating by 1 pound-foot, but the Ram has a more powerful rating of 410 hp.
Ford said the Super Duty will offer improved fuel economy ratings, but it has not released specific numbers.