Texarkana, TX 67° Tue H 77° L 58° Wed H 74° L 63° Thu H 74° L 59° Weather Sponsored By:

Ford cranks up huge V-8, towing capacity for 2020 Super Duty pickups

Ford cranks up huge V-8, towing capacity for 2020 Super Duty pickups

February 10th, 2019 by Detroit Free Press in Features

Ford introduces the next level of Built Ford Tough heavy-duty pickup truck capability, power and technology with the new 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickup. (Ford Motor Co./TNS)

The pickup wars are about to get bigger and badder. Ford is unveiling a massive new V-8 engine and what the automaker says are the most powerful versions ever of its F-series Super Duty medium-duty pickups to face challengers from Chevrolet, GMC and Ram.

Medium-duty pickups can tow and haul more than light-duty pickups like the F-150. They're mainstays of construction, agriculture and utilities, but many are also loaded with luxurious interiors and advanced driver assistance features for personal use. They can cost more than $100,000.

Automakers don't report medium-duty sales separately from light-duty pickups like the F-150, Ram 1500 and Silverado 1500, but they are believed to account for around 30 percent of total full-size pickup sales, and a disproportionate share of profits at Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler.

"The next chapter of truck wars unfolds this year. It will be ferocious," Autotrader executive analyst Michelle Krebs said. "These vehicles make up the bulk of vehicle makers' profits in a year in which overall vehicle sales are expected to slip."

The Chicago auto show will be ground zero when it opens to the public Saturday. Buyers will be able to compare the 2020 Ram 2500 and 3500 HD pickups that debuted at the recent Detroit auto show with the Silverado and Sierra HDs and F-series Super Duties, all of which bow at the Chicago show.

"The Super Duty is a big part of the reason the F-series has been America's No. 1 vehicle for 37 years," Ford group truck marketing manager Todd Eckert said. "That's why we're taking it to the next level."

That means a new 7.3-liter gasoline-powered V-8, an upgraded 6.7L diesel, 10-speed automatic transmission and more towing and payload capacity than ever before.

Ford won't reveal exact numbers for the 7.3L gasoline and new diesel V-8 but the existing 6.2L V-8 gasoline engine that powers what's now the "base" Super Duty produces 385 horsepower, while the 2019 diesel produces 450 hp and 935 pound-feet of torque.

Easier towing

The Super Duty's new top towing capacity will be more than a 2019 F-450 diesel pickup's 34,000 pounds, the ability to tow 33-foot-long trailers up mountain highways, multihorse trailers and luxury RVs.

The 7.3L gasoline V-8 is for owners who tow a lot, but not quite enough to need the diesel, Eckert said. "The new engines will deliver outstanding performance at all speeds."

Automakers aren't required to publish fuel economy figures for medium-duty pickups because the government considers them commercial vehicles like ambulances and delivery vans. Despite that, fuel efficiency is a selling point for the vehicles, which run all day in business use, and tow boats and other luxury goods long distances in recreational service.

Ford is aggressively promoting driver assistance features, particularly those that make towing big trailers easier.

A knob on the center console that's linked to backup cameras makes reversing with a big trailer feel more natural than using the steering wheel, and guidance lines offer steering suggestions.

Automatic braking to avoid front collisions and pedestrians are also available. Exterior changes include new grilles, headlights, bumpers and tailgate.

Ford will offer six trim levels of Super Duty from basic work trucks to personal luxury.

The competition for medium-duty pickup bragging rights promises to simmer through much of this year.

The formerly sleepy midsize pickup segment is also heating up.

"The midsize Ford Ranger is off to a fast start, with loads of orders in hand and overtime scheduled," Krebs said.

Look for that battle to intensify when the aggressively styled Jeep Gladiator joins the fray in the spring.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com