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sábado, septiembre 30, 2023
HomeHybrid CarsFord’s 2023 F-Series Super Duty Is a More Modern Work Truck

Ford’s 2023 F-Series Super Duty Is a More Modern Work Truck

Ford’s 2023 F-series Super Duty has become the Porsche 911 of heavy-duty pickups. Each offers no fewer than 18 models, has at least three engine options and four power outputs, sends torque to either the rear or all four tires, and is arguably the best at serving its overall mission. But unlike the 911, the Super Duty is about as common as an Apple iPhone. They’re on construction sites, farms, and oil fields, towing boats and RVs, and parked in your neighbor’s driveway.

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Though Ford is quick to throw the «all-new» stamp at its fifth-generation F-series Super Duty, the truck is more of an evolution than a completely new big rig. Underneath, the frame, underpinnings, brakes, and driveline components (aside from a newly available 11.6-inch rear axle) go largely unchanged. The exterior, however, features edgier aluminum sheetmetal, and each trim can be identified by its specific fascia and design elements.

Tech’d Up

Within the spacious cabin, the F-series enters the modern era of tech-laden pickups by appropriating elements from the F-150. The XL now comes standard with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, while a bigger 12.0-inch unit is reserved for the XLT (as an option) and beyond (as standard). A high-speed 5G data connection enables quick streaming to keep young ones occupied with YouTube Kids or when it’s time to utilize the available Interior Work Surface and tether into the office. An available head-up display is a Super Duty first, as is a digital instrument cluster that can be customized to show more data than one might ever need.

Ford’s 2.0-kW Pro Power Onboard is newly available on the Super Duty to provide power to the job site or camper. Driver-assist systems such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are offered, but the most welcome upgrades are found in the tailgate, which now can be had with power opening and closing capabilities. It also cleverly applies existing technology to solve an old problem. If you’ve ever tried backing up with the tailgate down, chances are you’ve run into something because the backup camera faces the ground and the sonar sensors can’t compensate for the extra length of the lowered gate. The tailgate now can be had with sensors and a camera in the top rail, thus eliminating backing into that mound of dirt or loading dock.

Power Up

When Ford launched Godzilla—its pushrod, 16-valve 7.3-liter V-8—it was a breath of fresh air in a world gone mad with electrification. That 430-hp V-8 with 485 pound-feet of torque carries over and is joined by another new V-8 for 2023. The new 6.8-liter is a short-stroke 7.3-liter with its own crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons. Replacing the venerable 385-hp 6.2-liter, it produces 400 horsepower and 445 pound-feet. It’s exclusive to the XL trim and is primarily intended for fleet use.

The Power Stroke turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel V-8 remains the bread-and-butter engine in the lineup. Its 475 horsepower and 1050 pound-feet of torque already had the bragging rights in terms of output and in our testing propelled a 2020 F-250 Tremor to the top of the podium in terms of acceleration. To handle higher temperatures, stainless-steel manifolds and piping feed a single turbo with a liquid-cooled compressor housing to allow more boost. With greater intake pressure, the Power Stroke High Output now generates a monstrous 500 horsepower and 1200 pound-feet.

A 10-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, albeit in two versions. The 6.8-liter gasser features a different gearset from the one hooked to Godzilla and the turbo-diesel. On all but the XL, four-wheel drive is now standard.

Trailering for Dummies

Heavy-duty pickups are all about doing work, and that often means hauling insane amounts of weight. By Ford’s estimate, 90 percent of Super Duty owners use their trucks to tow. Depending on how it’s configured, the Super Duty can tug a measly 13,700 pounds with a conventional hitch behind a crew-cab, long-bed 4×4 with the 6.8-liter gasoline V-8 or a whopping 40,000 pounds with a gooseneck-equipped, single-cab, rear-wheel-drive F-450 with diesel power. It’s the tech that surrounds towing that makes the task so easy.

Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist remains and is arguably the least useful tech of all the trailering tools. During Ford’s brief exercise, we backed a massive, enclosed trailer into a coned-off area on the first attempt using only the mirrors and looking back out the window. In two attempts with Backup Assist, which steers automatically, we never got it into the spot.

Ford, however, has made hitching up the trailer easy. With Pro Trailer Hitch Assist activated, the truck will lock on the hitch ball and automatically reverse, turn, and brake the truck once the hitch is aligned with the ball. The days of guessing and multiple in-and-outs to check the alignment are history.

A fully equipped Super Duty has more cameras than the red carpet at the Oscars. Ford not only offers a 360-degree image of the truck, but the option to add four cameras to the trailer to provide a bird’s-eye view around it too. There are also additional sensors to add to the trailer to enhance the ability of the blind-spot warning system. Say you’re pulling a triple-axle, 30-plus-foot trailer behind a truck that’s over 21 feet long. In some circumstances, making a turn will be an issue. Ford’s optional Trailer Navigation is designed to help pick a route given the trailer’s dimensions and weight.

The Super Duty offers the ability to remember up to 10 different trailers. From there, it stores the average fuel economy with each trailer in tow, and it automatically adjusts the indicated distance to empty.

But does it all work? We pulled around 30,000 pounds at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, Michigan, with relative ease. You know there’s 15 tons of trailer behind the truck, but even up a 7 percent grade, the High Output diesel still generates meaningful acceleration.

Dirt Won’t Hurt

For Super Duty clientele more interested in adventure than work, the off-road-focused Tremor package ($4375) returns as an option on XLT to King Ranch, short-bed, single-rear-wheel F-250 and F-350 Crew Cabs. While the package’s electronically controlled locking rear differential, limited-slip front differential, fuel-tank and transfer-case skid plates, and 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires carry over, the Tremor adds a few new tricks for 2023.

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Trail Turn Assist locks the inside rear wheel, drastically reducing the turning circle. Its effectiveness varies depending on the soil beneath the tire, but any assistance pivoting these behemoths through tight and twisty trails is welcome. There’s also a new Rock Crawl drive mode, which activates low gear in the transfer case, locks the rear differential, and dials back the accelerator’s sensitivity. Equipped with the High Output 6.7-liter, the Tremor effortlessly climbed a lumpy rock incline. It was almost too easy to be fun.

Want to cruise the two-track and forget about the accelerator? Trail Control returns to provide an off-road cruise-control experience. In 4High, the speed is adjustable from 1 to 20 mph in single mile-per-hour increments. Got a nasty downhill to descend? Switch to 4Lo, and Trail Control can be adjusted in 0.5-mph increments from 1 to 10 mph. Sit back, relax, and let the truck do the work, if you so desire—although we still prefer the old-fashioned two-pedal mode.

While the Tremor offers a great bundle of equipment, the new XL Off-Road package is an intriguing choice for those looking for a basic truck with a bench seat, rubber floors, and some modest off-road chops. The Off-Road package adds the Tremor’s electronically controlled locking rear differential, skid plates, Trail Control, extended vent tubes for the transfer case and axles for increased water fording, and 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires instead of the Tremor’s 35s, all for the attractive price of $995. That means a bare-bones, immensely capable off-road rig can be had for just under $50,000.

Pounding Pavement

Outside of the Super Duty’s extreme towing capabilities and off-road antics, it remains quite enjoyable to drive on the street too. Our brief time on the two-lane roads surrounding Ford’s Proving Grounds was spent behind the wheel of a well-equipped F-350 Lariat with the High Output diesel, an engine that’s supremely quiet in everyday driving. There’s a massive surge of torque when the turbo spools, so much so that the rear tires barely maintain composure during a one-three upshift. Back when we pitted the Super Duty against the heavy duties from Chevrolet and Ram in a tractor pull, we reported that Ford’s biggest drawback was its inability to make boost in 4Lo at 0 mph. Ford, acknowledging we found its weakest link, set out to fix that. Maybe it’s time for a rematch?

For being such a massive vehicle, the Super Duty’s ride quality is well controlled. There’s some hippity-hop of the axles when there’s sustained high-frequency chop in the road, but that’s to be expected from a truck with mega payload and towing capabilities. There’s more disconcerting squish in the brake pedal than we recall, and the steering motions are about as direct as you might expect from an 8000-plus-pound rig.

Have It Your Way

Again like the Porsche 911, the F-Series Super Duty varies widely in price. At the bottom of the spectrum, a basic, rear-wheel-drive, single-cab F-250 starts at $45,865. At the top, the F-450 Limited can easily exceed $100,000. In between, just about any combination can be tailored to one’s specific needs. No matter how a Super Duty is spec’d, it will be a capable rig.

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2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty

Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 3-, 5-, or 6-passenger, 2- or 4-door pickup


Base: F250, $45,865; F350, $46,910; F350 dual rear wheel,  $48,400; F450 dual rear wheel, $60,350


pushrod 16-valve 6.8-liter V-8, 400 hp, 445 lb-ft; pushrod 16-valve 7.3-liter V-8, 430 hp, 485 lb-ft; turbocharged and intercooled pushrod 32-valve 6.7-liter diesel V-8, 475 hp, 1050 lb-ft; turbocharged and intercooled pushrod 32-valve 6.7-liter diesel V-8, 500 hp, 1200 lb-ft


10-speed automatic


Wheelbase: 141.4–175.9 in

Length: 231.8–266.2 in

Width: 80.0–93.0 in

Height: 78.8–82.0 in

Passenger Volume, F/R: 69/52–67 ft3

Curb Weight (C/D est): 6900–9200 lb


60 mph: 6.0–7.6 sec

1/4-Mile: 14.5–15.8 sec

Top Speed: 90–100 mph


Combined/City/Highway: Exempt from testing and labeling

Headshot of David Beard

Senior Testing Editor

David Beard studies and reviews automotive related things and pushes fossil-fuel and electric-powered stuff to their limits. His passion for the Ford Pinto began at his conception, which took place in a Pinto.

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