Stronger Frame, Lighter Body, and Updated Powertrains Increase Appeal
The Ford F-Series pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for more than three decades. Now, just two years after revealing the aluminum-intensive 2015 Ford F-150, the Detroit automaker has unveiled the all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup with a stronger frame and aluminum body as well as upgraded powertrains.
Ford says the 2017 Ford F-Series, which is built on an all-new frame, offers more towing and hauling capability than ever. The fully boxed frame is constructed of 95 percent high-strength steel, which is up to 24 times stiffer than that of the outgoing model, according to a Ford press release. Ford also outfitted the new Super Duty with upgraded four-wheel-drive components, driveline, axles, and towing hardware. Like the current lighter-duty Ford F-150, the new F-Series Super Duty gains an all-new aluminum-alloy body. Ford says the high-strength, military-grade material is more dent- and ding-resistant than the current steel body. Aluminum also doesn’t oxidize like steel.
With its high-strength steel frame and high-strength aluminum-alloy body, the new F-Series Super Duty is up to 350 pounds lighter than the current model depending on cab and bed combination. Reduced vehicle weight increases towing and hauling capability. Chassis cab models feature an open C-channel design aft of the cab to make installation of aftermarket beds and bodies easier.
In addition to the stronger and lighter frame and body, Ford also increased Super Duty capabilities with stronger powertrains.
“As we remove weight, we’re making Super Duty more productive by giving our customers better towing and payload capability,” Craig Schmatz, chief engineer of the Super Duty, said in the release. “We’re backing up improved capability with a stronger gasoline and diesel Super Duty engine lineup.”
Engine options include the 6.2 liter V-8 and 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline engines and a new second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8. The second-generation Power Stroke was designed and is built in-house by Ford. Ford F-250 Super Duty models with the 6.2-liter V-8 feature a new TorqShift-G transmission. Ford hasn’t released power ratings for the 2017 F-Series Super Duty engines, but in the current models, the 6.2-liter V-8 is rated 385 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque, the 6.8-liter V-10 is rated 362 hp and 357 lb-ft, and the Power Stroke turbodiesel is rated 440 hp and 860 lb-ft.
In addition to the upgraded frame and mechanical bits, Ford also added new technology to improve the working environment. Ford claims the 2017 F-Series Super Duty comes with 16 segment-first new features. The redesigned pickup is available with up to seven cameras, including a 360-degree camera system with four cameras to show the area all around the truck, a center high-mount stop lamp camera to light up the cargo box and assist in hooking up a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailer, trailer reserve guidance for backing up a trailer, and a new camera that mounts to the rear of the trailer to improve visibility.
Driver assist technologies include Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment and connectivity system with an 8-inch touchscreen, its Blind Spot Information System with trailer tow and taillight-mounted sensors to include a trailer, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and adaptive steering that works with or without a trailer. Other standard and available features include an in-cab trailer tire pressure monitoring system and full LED exterior lighting, including new side mirror spotlights, quad-beam headlights, cargo box lighting, and taillights.
Available in Regular Cab, SuperCab, and Crew Cab models, the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty feature a revised interior with dual glove boxes and overhead console-mounted auxiliary switches for aftermarket equipment; the integrated trailer brake controller switch has been moved closer to the driver. SuperCab and Crew Cab models feature flat second-row floors. Cargo box features include BoxLink, which combines metal brackets and custom cleats to secure bed accessories, and remote tailgate lock/unlock and release.
Available in five trims (XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum), the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup will be built at Kentucky Truck Plant and will go on sale late next year.