Car

Shake Hands with Beef: Ford Ups 2018 Super Duty Power Figures

When Ram announced in August that its 2018 3500 would offer 930 lb-ft of torque from its Cummins diesel inline-six, Dearborn couldn’t exactly take the news lying down. So for 2018, Ford has announced that the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8 in its Super Duty trucks will offer 935 lb-ft of torque, a 10 lb-ft boost over last year’s version of the engine. And, just for fun, Ford is turning loose a two-wheel-drive version of the mighty F-450. Horsepower also increases; the Power Stroke sees a 10-hp upgrade for ’18 and now punches out an even 450 ponies.

The result of all this madness? Ford has reclaimed the best-in-class torque figure from Ram, and the new F-450 4×2 will tow up to 34,000 pounds with a gooseneck trailer. That’s 1500 pounds more than last year’s F-450. Those more apt to tow with a conventional ball hitch can drag 21,000 pounds of stuff behind them, while the cohort who hates towing but loves hauling can carry 5630 pounds of detritus in the F-450’s bed (the max payload in the vast Super Duty lineup—7630 pounds—is available in an F-350). How’d Ford do it? It reworked the cylinder heads to add strength, then turned up the wick on the turbo.

Want in on the tow/haul party? A mere $52,830 gets you in the crew-cab-only F-450 door, but the price rises handsomely as you move beyond the base XL model. Like all Super Duty models, the big sucker also is available in XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trims. Go nuts with options, and you’ll drive off your local Ford store lot having invested more than $80K in the most recent king of the hill.

The cheapest route to the upgraded Power Stroke engine is with the two-wheel-drive regular-cab F-250, which starts at $43,180; the diesel F-350 starts at $44,350. (Even those lighter-duty Super Duty models can exceed $80,000 in top-spec form.) As ever in the pickup-truck arms race, such status is likely to prove temporary, even if it looks hard to beat today.

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