2017 All-New Ford Super Duty: Toughest, Smartest, and Most Capable Super Duty Ever

2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty in off-road duty. (Coutesy of Ford)

When it comes to building trucks, Ford knows it really well. And Ford makes the Super Duty trucks, which may just well be the hardest-working trucks out there.

The 2017 Super Duty has a significantly improved body construction, capabilities, and driving performance. With the upgraded powertrain and components comes the best-in-class towing capability (21,000 pounds conventional towing when properly equipped). All these attributes are combined into 17 class-exclusive features.

The new Ford Super Duty comes in five trims in terms of equipment: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum. With 250/350/450 capability grades, multiple cabin and box configurations, plus two engine choices on top of so many trims, that works out to a staggering number of possible combinations. I just want to focus on the F-250 XL.

The 6.2 L 2-valve SOHC NA V8 flex fuel engine is the gasoline powerplant for the Super Duty with the other engine being the 6.7 L 4-valve turbo diesel V8. This powerful 6.2 L V8 offers best-in-class performance among gasoline engines, with 430 lb-ft of torque and a standard 385 hp. The all-new TorqShift G 6-speed automatic transmission offers enhanced efficiency in the F-250.

The second-generation 6.7 L Power Stroke turbo diesel V8 delivers a best-in-class combination of 440 hp and a staggering 925 lb-ft of torque. New fuel injectors and pump contribute toward the increase in torque. Also, the turbocharger is larger than the one found on the previous generation, with a distinctive “cobra head” down pipe that reduces exhaust gas restrictions to improve engine performance.

The 2017 Super Duty gives you the confidence to get the job done.

While this power ensemble provides plenty of “go,” it is complemented by 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS that provides the “stop.”

Ford’s goal has been to reduce weight, upgrade components, and increase capability. This has been accomplished, yet it goes further with upgrading steering and suspension, building a bigger, stronger, more capable axle, and manufacturing a stronger, fully-boxed, high-strength steel frame.

The Super Duty frame is built with 95 percent high-strength steel—or six times more than the previous generation—and resulting in a 24 times stiffer frame.

There has been a lot of talk in the auto industry about Ford’s entrance into the use of aluminum alloy rather than common steel for truck body. Aluminum alloys such as 6022 aluminum alloy have a better strength-to-weight ratio than common steel.

The ungauged (thicker) aluminum body panels are more dent- and ding-resistant than the outgoing steel models while drastically cutting pounds.

Aluminum alloy also does not rust like steel. Ford uses specialized coating and epoxy layers to inhibit corrosion and prevent contact between different metals.

Even with the use of such premium material, there is still a fully boxed frame front to rear. The middle frame rails are 1.5-inch taller than the previous generation. Finally, up to 10 cross members are used to create a rigid ladder structure, and the through-welded closed section cross member help increase torsional stiffness.

The 2017 Super Duty has a super interior. The new instrument panel places controls within easy reach. The 4X4 selector and integrated trailer brake controller are now mounted high and angled toward the driver.

Ford Super Duty flexes its towing muscles. (Coutesy of Ford)
Ford Super Duty flexes its towing muscles. (Coutesy of Ford)

Center stack controls and buttons are designed for use with gloves, plus dual large glove box has more storage than a U-Haul franchise.

The new center console storage can be used as a spacious mobile office. It provides expansive storage with both open and covered bins. Sliding cup holders provide two or four openings. A Big Gulp fits right into the massive holders. There are large storage pockets on both lower sides of the console. The wide center armrest can also be used as a large “desktop” area.

The cavernous armrest storage can hide a large laptop or accommodate handling file folders. Even the comfortable back seat offers monstrous storage underneath.

Cameras, cameras, cameras everywhere. Front cameras look forward 180-degrees to help with seeing the sides of the truck. Side view mirror cameras give a view along both sides of the truck for Trailer Reverse Guidance system. The center high- mounted stop lamp camera provides a clear view of the cargo bed while aiding in fifth wheel/gooseneck trailer corrections.

A tailgate camera helps with guidance in backing up and connecting trailers. The zoom provides a close-up of the hitch. There is a 360-degree view using the side mirror cameras and front cameras. And finally it detects trailer angle for Trailer Guidance.

Oh yes! The XL’s tailgate is removable with key lock, and Tailgate Lift Assist makes closing the tailgate easier.

The F-250 XL has numerous standard safety features. Underhood safety light, SOS Post Crash Alert System, Individual Tire Pressure Control, front seat frontal airbags with passenger side deactivate switch, front seat side airbags, plus Safety Canopy System with roll-fold side curtain airbags, just to name a few.

Whether it’s normal driving, towing, or hauling, the 2017 Super Duty gives you the confidence to get the job done. A quiet cab, an extensive set of technologies, a roomy environment, and the work ethics of a mule train hauling a dam of beavers—this Ford truck helps to accomplish your task quickly and safely.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the base F-250 XL starts at $32,535.

Durhl Caussey writes an automotive column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net

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