Internal combustion is alive and kicking as Ford reveals more power than ever before for both its diesel and gas powertrains in the new 2023 Super Duty.
Ford’s top workhorse also gets a new 6.8-liter engine that will replace the 6.2, a revamped exterior, more technology for safer and more convenient driving, exportable power and superfast 5G connectivity.
Media outlets including this one got a recent look at the truck and a chance to talk with engineers including Ford Super Duty chief engineer Andrew Kernahan. (Unfortunately, reporters could not take pictures or video.)
Naturally, when Kernahan introduced the new high-output 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel questions came up about power. While Ford is not yet prepared to release exact numbers, when Kernahan was asked about roughly how much more power the high-output 6.7 has over the standard 6.7 he said, “20%.” Whether that’s in torque, horsepower or both, he wouldn’t say.
The 2020 6.7-liter PowerStroke is rated at 1,050 lb.-ft. torque and 475 horsepower. A 20% bump would elevate torque to 1,260 lb.-ft. and 570 horsepower.
Kernahan said 2023 Super Duty is expected to nail best-in-class towing and payload. Fuel economy for the brawny oil burner has yet to be seen.
“On fuel efficiency we'll be competitive with the segment,” Kernahan said. “We're not able to really say exactly where we'll be just yet.”
Increased power in the 6.7 comes courtesy of unique water-cooled turbo, upgraded cast aluminum exhaust manifolds and unique tuning targeting the best horsepower and torque in the class.
A larger oil pan on the 6.7-liter Power Stroke for model year 2023 increases oil capacity and allows for longer intervals between oil changes. New oil capacity has not yet been revealed.
The 2023 Super Duty diesel gets a new exhaust system but there’s no word yet on whether it will require less maintenance and exhaust fluid.
On the gas side, Ford unveiled a new 6.8-liter gas V8 which gets its DNA from Ford’s 7.3-liter, a.k.a. Godzilla V8.
“This replaces the 6.2-liter engine,” Kernahan told reporters. “It is based on the proven 7.3 that we currently offer. It has an in-block cam with variable timing. As you can see, it's a very compact design. It has 90-degree cylinders. It has core fuel injection and a forged crank shaft. This will be standard on XL and XLT.”
Not to be overlooked, the 7.3 liter is targeting segment-leading horsepower and torque thanks to improved air intake and tuning.
Of course, every Super Duty features a Ford-designed and built 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission, and every chassis cab model comes standard with a power take off connection to run added equipment, like boom lifts and plows. Four-wheel drive is now standard on XLT models and above.
While reporters will have to wait a while before driving the truck, Kernahan did give us a quick review of what it was like for him.
“The feeling of capability and power is really just unsurpassed,” he said. “You feel like the truck always has more to give. Even when you've got the heaviest of loads behind you, it just gives you that feeling of confidence and knowledge that you've got the capability should you need it.”
Workhorse with a high-tech pedigree
Ford announced a long line-up of new driver assist technologies for 2023 Super Duty that are designed to making towing easier and safer. The long list includes:
- Onboard Scales with Smart Hitch that estimates cargo weight in real time and provides guidance on trailer tongue weight distribution directly on the center touchscreen, FordPass app or within the tail lamps. Regarding onboard scale, Ford reps said that what happens in the truck, stays in the truck. Taillights illuminate sequentially to help reveal load capacity at a glance.
- 360-Degree Trailer Camera System provides a bird’s-eye view of the trailer to make maneuvering in tight spaces easier and with virtually no blind spots
- Blind Spot Information System for Fifth Wheel & Gooseneckcan be attached to a trailer to help identify when vehicles are next to a trailer and indicate this in the side view mirrors
- Industry-First Available Tailgate Down Camera and Tailgate Down Reverse Sensing System includes a new camera and reverse sensors in the top of the tailgate that provide visual and audible alerts when the tailgate is down to make backing up to a dock or hitching a gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailer easier than ever before. This is a welcomed addition that is long overdue.
- Pro Trailer Hitch Assist automatically backs the truck up and aligns the conventional hitch ball to the trailer receiver.
- Trailer Navigation plots routes that can be safely navigated with given trailer dimensions and weight to avoid potential issues with low bridges and tight turns
“Our goal was to leave drivers with zero blind spots, even when towing the longest trailers,” Kernahan said.“Camera views provide every angle, from simulating a drone to making sure customers can see behind the truck even when the tailgate is down. Hitching and towing has never been easier.”
There’s also new safety and security available technology that goes beyond camera angles:
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering automatically brakes and accelerates to a preset speed and helps keep the truck in its lane
- Trailer Theft Alert will send an alert via the FordPass app should anyone attempt to disconnect the trailer when the truck is locked. The system does not track trailer location.
- Vehicle Security, available with a Ford Pro Telematics subscription, uses sensors to monitor impact and towing events and sends alerts even when the vehicle is off.
- Fleet Start Inhibit allows Ford Pro customers to schedule timeframes for when the vehicle can be started to improve confidence around fleet operations
- Forward/Reverse Sensing System helps drivers by showing objects immediately in front of the vehicle and warns when objects are near the front or rear of the vehicle
- Front and Rear Brake Assist helps prevent low-speed collisions to help automatically protect against hitting objects that may otherwise be hard to see
- Full-color head-up display helps keep eyes on the road by showing information right in the driver’s line of sight that changes with driving mode
New design inside and out
An all-new exterior includes seven new grilles engineered to maximize cooling performance while under heavy loads. Signature “C-clamp” lighting creates a wide, planted look up front while LED headlamps are now available on all trim levels. Long side vents are functional, reducing under-hood air pressure for improved aerodynamics.
Customers looking to make a statement have new STX, Sport, and Black Appearance Packages that offer trim, wheel, and paint combinations for a bit more style. The new XL Off-Road Package available on F-250 or F-350 models with 4x4 single rear wheels adds 33-inch tires, a raised air dam, water-fording axle vent tubes, skid plates and an electronic locking rear differential.
The Tremor Off-Road Package includes a front-end lift and uniquely tuned suspension, a Dana front axle with limited-slip differential and axle vent tubes, 35-inch Goodyear tires, unique 18-inch wheels, Trail Control, selectable drive modes including a rock-crawl mode and new for this year, Trail Turn Assist.
The in-cabin experience is further enhanced with:
- 8-inch center display that comes standard on the XL model; and a 12-inch display standard with higher trim levels
- Customizable 12-inch digital instrument cluster
- Four USB power ports and available wireless charging pad
- Center console slot that holds a tablet upright to make using it easier when parked
- Max Recline Seats that fold almost horizontal and lift the seat bottom up for a nearly flat surface to maximize comfort during downtime
- 640-watt, eight-speaker B&O Sound System or an optional 1,080-watt, 18-speaker B&O Unleashed Sound System by Bang & Olufsen for a fully-immersive audio experience
- Alexa Built-in hands-free experience with complimentary connectivity to Alexa for up to three years
The 2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty is built at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, and Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio. The all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty goes on sale in early 2023 with some features and trim series available starting in spring 2023.