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2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty Preview

2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2010
2011 Ford F-Series Super DutyCritical Knowledge:
  • New 6.2-liter V-8 engine with E85 compatibility
  • New 6.7-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel V-8 engine with B20 biodiesel compatibility
  • New heavy-duty TorqShift 6-speed automatic transmission offers Progressive Range Select, Tow/Haul mode, SelectShift manual gear selection, and, when paired to the PowerStroke turbodiesel, Line Drive Power Take-off feature
  • New, optional factory-installed fifth-wheel and gooseneck sub-structure attached to the frame
  • New Trailer Sway Control system integrated into the standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (single rear wheel models)
  • New Hill Start Assist system
  • New Hill Descent Control system
  • New electronic locking differential
  • New MyKey programmable safety system
  • New configurable 4.2-inch LCD Productivity Screen navigated using steering wheel buttons
  • Optional side-impact and side curtain air bags
  • New flow-through center console, 110-volt power inverter, locking underseat storage
  • New seats with available 10-way driver adjustment, heating/cooling
  • Updated Sync with 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Reports
  • Restyled exterior with new hood, grille, bumper, headlights and wheels
  • New steering, updated frame and re-tuned suspension
  • Available in XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch trim levels
Introduction
Ford understands that F-Series Super Duty buyers rely on their trucks, day in and day out, to tow, haul, and to serve as a mobile office. To differentiate the work truck from the light-duty F-150 lifestyle truck, Ford created a distinct model called the Super Duty back in 1998, sporting the appearance and attitude (and nearly the size) of a Class 8 semi, in F-350 crew cab dually format. Since then, the Super Duty has undergone several improvement programs, and the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty receives a thorough massage from the wheels up. According to Ford, the new 2011 Super Duty has increased towing and payload capacity, and fuel economy is improved with two new engines. The 2011 Super Duty's ride, handling and steering are better than before, says Ford, and the Super Duty receives several new technologies aimed at improving safety and functionality.

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2011 Ford F-Series Super DutyDesign
Heralding the changes to the 2011 Ford Super Duty are styling modifications to the front of the truck. The SD receives a new hood, revised grille with giant Ford oval, freshened bumper, the biggest headlights ever put on a Ford pickup, and new wheel designs ranging from 17 inches to 20 inches in diameter, depending on trim level selected: XL, XLT, Lariat or King Ranch. The Super Duty's new grille can be finished in a charcoal appearance, chrome, or body color, depending on trim and packages.

Inside, the Super Duty gets new seats with available 10-way power adjustment on the driver's side, available heating and cooling functions, upgraded materials, and underseat storage boxes. Ford also notes that the Super Duty's new cupholders can be configured to hold anything from a 12-ounce can of soda to, in one case anyway, a 64-ouncer of Dew.

The truck also has a new flow-through center console with 60-percent greater storage capacity, 110-volt power inverter, and two 12-volt power outlets. Ford says the new console organizes as much as $7.53 in loose change, can be set up as file storage, and includes nooks and crannies for such things as pens, business cards, small flashlights, and-we're sure Mike Rowe, Ford's TV commercial pitch man and star of "Dirty Jobs," loves this-facial tissues. Maybe in a floral package, scented with lavender and infused with lotion for smoother, softer skin.

Model Lineup
Ford plans to sell the new 2011 Super Duty in F-250, F-350 and F-450 model ranges. Depending on model range, expect a selection of regular, extended (SuperCab) and crew cab body styles equipped with short or long bed lengths underpinned by single- or dual-rear-wheel axles with 2- or 4-wheel drive. Ford has announced XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch trim levels; today's Cabela's and Harley-Davidson special-edition trucks are not on the roster at this writing. Put simply, the XL is the least expensive truck, the XLT is the most popular truck, the Lariat is the upscale truck, and the King Ranch is the luxury truck.

2011 Ford F-Series Super DutyHardware
It might have tissue storage inside, but the new 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty is endowed with nothing but manliness under the hood. Buyers can choose between two new engines: a 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 or a 6.7-liter turbodiesel V-8.

The E85-compatible, 6.2-liter V-8 makes more horsepower and torque than the old 5.4-liter V-8, and despite its added displacement is more fuel efficient, but we need to take Ford's word for it because as this is written in early October of 2009, official specifications have not been released. For comparison purposes, the old V-8 made 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,750 rpm.

Ford also says the 6.7-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel, which replaces the current 6.4-liter turbodiesel in the powertrain lineup, is stronger, stouter, and thriftier than before. Additionally, it is cleaner, designed to meet tough new 2010 standards for nitrous-oxide emissions. Again, no solid specifications are available for this new engine, but Ford is tossing around "best in class" descriptions for fuel economy, towing and payload capacity. As a reminder, the current PowerStroke turbodiesel makes 350 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm. The new turbodiesel is also biodiesel compatible up to a B20 rating.

Paired to the new engines is a new automatic transmission. The 6-speed TorqShift transmission features Progressive Range Select, which allows the driver to reduce the range of gears while driving. There's also a Tow/Haul mode, and Ford's SelectShift manual gear selection feature. When paired to the PowerStroke turbodiesel, a Line Drive Power Take-off (PTO) allows the transmission to power auxiliary equipment such as a snow plow, tow-truck lift, or cement mixer.

Ford has also made an electronic locking differential available on the new Super Duty. With the flip of a switch, the driver can lock the left and right axle shafts together for 50/50 power distribution, which helps maintain momentum and optimize traction when driving off-road or in the muck.

Ford engineers also optimized the Super Duty's frame, refined its suspension, and replaced its steering with a new symmetrical setup that aims to improve feel, response and precision. Modifications to spring rates and shock valving refine the ride quality while managing even greater towing and payload capacities. Speaking of towing and payload capacities, when properly outfitted, a 2011 Ford F-450 will have a 33,000-pound gross combined weight rating. Schnikes!

2011 Ford F-Series Super DutySafety
Every 2011 Ford Super Duty with single rear wheels will be equipped with AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control. Additionally, this stability system includes Trailer Sway Control, which monitors the Super Duty's yaw motion and can detect if the trailer is swaying. If the system detects a swaying trailer, it automatically takes steps to correct the problem through reduction of engine torque and/or selectively and asymmetrically applying the brakes.

Ford is also rolling its MyKey technology out to the F-Series Super Duty lineup in 2011. With MyKey, an owner or fleet administrator can program the truck to limit top speed, engage a persistent seat belt warning chime, or ensure that the traction control cannot be defeated.

Additionally, Super Duty buyers can opt for side-impact and side curtain air bags for the first time, and the 2011 Super Duties will also be available with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, to hold the truck and its load still when starting off on a hill and to limit speeds when descending a steep off-road grade, even in reverse gear.

2011 Ford F-Series Super DutyTechnology
Ford Work Solutions is nothing new to the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty, but deserves mention nonetheless because people who use their trucks for work need to know what it is and how it works. Ford packages four features into its Ford Work Solutions package: an on-board computer with high-speed Internet access and available printer; Tool Link; Crew Chief; and Cable Lock.

The Super Duty's on-board computer is integrated into the dashboard and can be linked to an office network or home computer via a cellular broadband connection. The driver can then access and open files, make updates, or print documents on a Ford-certified, Bluetooth-enabled ink-jet printer.

Tool Link uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to scan the truck for the presence of properly tagged tools and equipment, verifying that everything is on-board against a pre-programmed inventory. If the inventory in the system and the inventory on the truck don't match, Tool Link can tell you what's missing.

Crew Chief is a telematics and diagnostics service designed for commercial fleet operators. It allows for remote access to the vehicle's real-time location, its maintenance requirements, and other diagnostic checks of the truck. It can also allow a fleet administrator to program specific user-set alerts, such as unauthorized vehicle use, whether the seat belts are in use, whether the engine has been idling for too long, or whether the truck has been driven outside of specific geographic boundaries.

Cable Lock is a built-in, 10-foot braided steel cable wrapped in plastic that can be wound around items that must be stored in the pickup box while the Super Duty is parked-such as a toolbox, air compressor, or a large power tool-and secured to the truck using a cuff-style clasp.

On an unrelated note, Ford has also upgraded its Sync technology for the 2011 Super Duty, adding Vehicle Health Reports and 911 Assist to an already impressive communications system. The Vehicle Health Reports can give the Super Duty's owner a complete rundown of a diagnostic check at any given time, but the more interesting addition is 911 Assist. With this technology, which works only when a cell phone is detected and paired with the Super Duty's Bluetooth hands-free communication system, in the event of an accident involving air bag deployment, the on-board telematics system automatically contacts a 911 operator who can immediately summon emergency rescue personnel to the truck's specific location.

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