Ford Takes Early Lead In 2015 Heavy-Duty Pickup Power Rankings
It’s official: The power wars and bragging rights are heating up as more information is revealed about the 2015 pickups coming to market.
Ford claims its 2015 F-Series Super Duty will deliver best-in-class horsepower, torque and towing capacity with all the changes coming in the new models.
Ford’s second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel now boasts 440 horsepower, up from 400 horsepower, and 860 lb.-ft. of torque, up from 800 lb.-ft, across all Super Duty models from F-250 to F-450.
The 2015 F-450 tops the F-Series Super Duty pickup truck lineup with maximum towing capacity increasing to a class-leading 31,200 pounds, a gain of 6,500 pounds.
The truck’s gross combined weight rating increases to a class-leading 40,000 pounds, a gain of 7,000 pounds.
F-350 increases maximum towing capacity as well, to 26,500 pounds, from 23,200 pounds, and the gross combined weight rating goes up 5,000 pounds to 35,000 pounds.
Ford says the improved ratings, compliant with SAE J2807 standards, are a result of designing and engineering the truck as an integrated system. The approach enabled Ford engineers to optimize performance across the full Super Duty lineup.
“Our chassis people work in unison with our powertrain people to develop more than a great truck, it’s a machine engineered for work,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck group marketing manager.
“We’re the only manufacturer that develops and builds our own powertrains in this class,” Scott says, “and when you combine that with a chassis that’s purpose-built for best-in-class power and torque, you can feel the result in the way it drives, especially when towing big loads.”
Power Stroke Engine Improvements
“The 6.7-liter Power Stroke was already a stout engine,” said Robert Fascetti, Ford vice president powertrain engineering. “The improvements we’ve made essentially give Super Duty customers an engine designed for our new 2016 F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks. They may not realize how tough this engine really is.”
Key innovations on the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel are its compacted graphite iron engine block and reverse-flow layout.
This segment-exclusive design places the exhaust inside the engine’s V-shape, with while the air intake positioned on the outside resulting in a variety of advancements:
- Shorter airflow from the exhaust system to the new, larger turbocharger sitting between the engine’s cylinder banks improves turbo responsiveness – key to providing torque quickly to truck customers when they need it most
- Positioning the turbo inside the engine’s valley helps isolate the engine’s hottest temperatures, improving performance and efficiency, while also reducing noise, vibration and harshness to improve driver comfort
Enhancements include a larger turbocharger for faster air displacement resulting in more power. The engine block is made of compacted graphite iron, which is stronger yet lighter than cast iron, is more wear-resistant and has enhanced sealing properties.
“The designers of the original 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel predicted that it would eventually need to be upgraded for higher output,” said David Ives, Ford Power Stroke technical specialist. “They designed it in a way that made it easier to add a larger turbocharger, increasing airflow and creating more power for dramatically improved performance, yet we haven’t lost any efficiency.”
New injector tips spray a finer mist of fuel into the cylinders which provides a more complete burn and helps reduceing noise, vibration and harshness. Other benefits include lower emissions and less fuel deposit buildup on the intake valves over time.
The F-350 is available with a high-capacity towing package that includes new front springs and a wide track axle, increasing the gross combined weight rating with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine from 31,900 pounds to 35,000 pounds.
Improvements to the F-450 that allow it to handle the increased tow rating include commercial- grade 19.5-inch wheels and tires; upgraded rear U-joints and suspension components, including new rear leaf springs; front and rear stabilizer bars; and shocks.
The steering system has stronger gears and linkages and the fifth-wheel/gooseneck has an increased towing capacity. The brakes are larger brakes and feature new antilock brake calibration for enhanced braking performance.