Ford adds aluminum for new Super Duty pickup

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

All-New Ford Super Duty Is Toughest, Smartest, Most Capable Super Duty Ever.

Ford is doubling down on the use of aluminum-bodied vehicles with the unveiling of the 2017 F-Series Super Duty pickup planned for later today at the State Fair of Texas. The next-gen Super Duty’s front end gets evolutionary updates such as a wide grille with two large slats that stretch into a pair of vertical headlights.

The grille is not surrounded by a chrome frame, marking the end of a styling cue that has characterized Ford’s large trucks since the 1999 model year. As expected, the next Super Duty follows the path blazed by the smaller F-150 and gets a body that’s crafted entirely out of military-grade aluminum alloy. Then there was that leaked photo of an F-250 in all its chromed out glory in March, and just a month ago, Ford wrapped one in some promotional camouflage and paraded it around a bit. Ford took a risk when it converted the body and bed of the popular F-150 to aluminum, which required taking two assembly plants down for months and which dented sales in the final months of 2014 and well into this year as inventories of the new model slowly built up. Together, high-strength steel and high-strength aluminum alloy help reduce weight by up to 350 pounds while Ford is reinvesting additional weight savings everywhere it counts, to give customers more towing and hauling capability than ever before.

But converting the Super Duty lineup will not require downtime beyond next year’s normal summer shutdown at the Kentucky Truck plant in Louisville, said Ford spokesman Mike Levine. The cockpit’s basic layout is carried over from the outgoing model, but the 2017 Super Duty gains a new instrument cluster with a big configurable TFT screen, a revised center console and a sleeker-looking four-spoke steering wheel. Super Duty chassis cab features an all-new, high-strength steel frame with an open-C-channel design behind the cab to enable easy aftermarket body upfit and modification. It can also be ordered with a long list of high-tech features borrowed from Ford’s family of passenger cars, crossovers and SUVs, including a 360-degree camera, a lane departure warning system adaptive cruise control, a blind spot monitoring system and rear inflatable seat belts. This is the first all-new cab for the truck that was first introduced 17 years ago, said Dennis Slevin, vehicle engineering manager, and the first truck in the segment to have an all-aluminum cab.

Customers will benefit from a segment-first, in-cab trailer tire pressure monitoring system from the comfort of the cab while stopped or on the highway. Adaptive steering provides for increased confidence to help make towing the heaviest of loads easier and brings greater ease to navigating job sites and parking lots – with or without a trailer. The technology reduces the amount of steering input needed to change direction at low speed, while reducing sensitivity to steering input at higher speeds. If the driver does not hit the brakes, the brake system is pre-charged to stop faster when the brake pedal is pressed “As we remove weight, we’re making Super Duty more productive by giving our customers better towing and payload capability,” said Craig Schmatz, Super Duty chief engineer. “We’re backing up improved capability with a stronger gasoline and diesel Super Duty engine lineup.” The second-generation Ford-designed, Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 diesel engine is available for pickup trucks and chassis cabs providing the highest combination of horsepower and torque ever. The new cab is four inches longer with a new interior, seats and some innovative storage including a hidden and lockable compartment under the rear seats.

The bed features Ford’s BoxLink system of brackets and cleats that secure cargo and a remote lock and release for the tailgate is included on the key fob. Engines include the carryover 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine on the F-250 only, as well as the 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engines and there is a 6.7-liter V8 turbo-diesel engine. Ford hasn’t shared specific numbers for these new trucks, but in the 2015 Super Duty models, the 6.7-liter Power Stroke produced 440 horsepower and 860 lb.-ft. of torque.

Starting with the 2015 F-150 and accelerating heavily with the 2016 F-150 Limited, the automaker has made technology that increases driver comfort and safety a primary focus on its latest pickups. Another camera provides the view for trucks’ trailer reverse guidance and the final lens can be mounted to the rear of a trailer for added visibility when backing up.

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