2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty. Click image to enlarge
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Review and photos by Jil McIntosh
2011 Ford F-series Super Duty
Prescott, Arizona – When it comes to work trucks, only two things really matter: what the truck can do, and how much it’s going to cost to do it. In this narrow but essential segment, Ford has now thrown down the gauntlet: a 2011 Super Duty with all-new engines, including a diesel that makes up to 735 lb-ft of torque while delivering an astonishing improvement of up to 18 per cent in fuel economy over the outgoing model. Let the power wars begin.
Autos first saw the new model late last year, but only as a static display. This time around, I had the chance to really warm it up, with a program that included towing on mountain roads, a fuel economy challenge, off-road course, and several work exercises in a quarry in the middle of the desert.
This new Ford comes as the F-250 and F-350 pickup, as the F-450 in pickup or chassis cab, and as the F-550 in chassis cab only. With gasoline engines, base prices for the F-250 4×2 start at $35,499 for Regular, $38,599 for SuperCab, and $40,099 for SuperCrew; in F-350, make that $36,999, $39,599, and $41,299 respectively. Adding the diesel engine is a premium of $9,950.
2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty; top photo courtesy Ford. Click image to enlarge
The F-450 cab chassis with single rear wheel starts at $39,999 in 4×2, and $44,799 in 4×4. It’s a major jump to the F-450 pickup, which starts at $59,599, but that’s for a 4×4 SuperCrew with dual rear wheels.
Both the gasoline and diesel engines are new, as is a new six-speed automatic transmission. In gasoline, it’s a 6.2-litre V8 that produces 385 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, compared to the outgoing 5.4-litre V8 that made 300 horses and 365 lb-ft. E85 compatibility comes standard.
The torque wars really heat up with the new 6.7-litre Power Stroke V8 turbodiesel, which makes 390 horses and a jaw-dropping 735 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 r.p.m. Compare that to the previous 6.4-litre diesel, which made 350 horses and 650 lb-ft of twist. Should you be able to find the fuel, the diesel is also compatible with B20 biodiesel. The new engine marks the company’s first North American diesel designed and produced in-house, following a split from previous engine supplier International. Made in Mexico, and then shipped to the truck’s assembly location in Louisville, Kentucky, the engine features a compacted iron graphite block that’s stronger than cast iron, new intake and exhaust architecture, a small single-unit turbocharger that combines the features of a twin-turbo system, and most notably, a configuration that means you no longer have to remove the truck cab to service the turbocharger.