It’s time for the State Fair of Texas, and that means it’s time for a battle of the pickup truck superlatives. As residents of the Lonestar state buy more pickup trucks than in any other state, pickup manufacturers like to use the Texas State Fair to highlight their latest offerings, like Ford’s new 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickups. Everything’s bigger in Texas too, so appropriately, the new Super Duty achieves six best-in-class stats. Following the introduction of FCA’s Ram Heavy Duty, and GMC’s Sierra HD, we’re sure that Ford believes it has saved the best for last.
For full-size pickups over 8500 pounds GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), the new Super Duty Ford is best-in-class for diesel gooseneck towing—up to 37,000 pounds with the Super Duty’s integrated gooseneck hitch mount. Diesel fifth-wheel towing comes in at 32,500 pounds and diesel conventional towing maxes out at 24,200 pounds. That’s because the optional third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8 has best-in-class power and torque—475 horsepower and 1050 pound-feet of torque, breaking the “kilotorque” barrier and beating Ram’s best by 50 pound-feet. The all new 7.3-liter gasoline-powered V-8 that is available is also best-in-class with 430 hp and 475 pound-feet. Even when equipped with the base 6.2-liter gasoline V-8, the 2020 F-Series Super Duty has a best-in-class payload capacity of 7850 pounds. An all-new 10-speed heavy-duty TorqShift automatic transmission is available with all engine choices.
By comparison, the Ram Heavy Duty has a maximum towing capacity of 35,100 pounds while General Motors’ heavy duty pickups max out at 35,500 pounds.
To put the new truck’s capabilities in terms that a Texas rancher can appreciate: when configured with the appropriate equipment, a F-450 Super Duty is able to tow a trailer with as many as 31 American quarter horses. That’s a lot of horseflesh. Maximum towing capacity has been increased over previous models of all the Super Duty trucks—F-250, F-350, and F-450.
If you like taking your Super Duty off road, Ford says that the optional Tremor Off-Road Package will make your truck the most capable off-road Super Duty yet, with up to 15,000 pounds of conventional towing and 21,900 pounds with gooseneck trailers when equipped with the Power Stroke diesel (the 7.3-liter gasoline-powered Tremor has over two tons, or 4210 pounds, of payload capacity).
As you’d expect these days, Ford’s new heavy duty pickups come with their share of technology upgrades, including available Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Trailer Reverse Guidance. The latter uses the display screen to show trailer angle and direction and suggested steering, while Pro Trailer Backup Assist allows steering a trailer into place with the use of the backup camera and a dash-mounted knob. Those features work with fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers and well as with those with conventional hitches.
FordPass Connect is standard, with an embedded 4G LTE modem and Wi-Fi access for up to ten devices. A wireless charging pad and multiple USB ports are available for recharging some of those devices. Standard on XLT and higher trim levels are Lane Keeping Alert and a Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Coverage, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and class-exclusive second-row seat belt pretensioners in case of an accident.
Assembly will be allocated to Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville and the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake west of Cleveland, with deliveries scheduled to start by the end of 2019.