Ford is the one throwing down the gauntlet in the heavy-duty truck wars this time, having just announced another power infusion for its F-250, F-350, and F-450 Super Duty pickups. Ford promised that it would give its 6.7-liter PowerStroke diesel V-8 more power when it gave us a preview of the new 2015 Super Duty trucks last fall, but now we have the numbers to back up the claims: 440 horsepower and 860 lb-ft of torque, up from 400 horses and 800 lb-ft on the 2014 models.
That’s considerably more grunt than the 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque of the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V-8 that powers the 2015 Chevy Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD. It also out-torques (barely) the Ram Heavy Duty’s 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six diesel engine, with its 385 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque. See how this works?
Payload and towing capacities rise in turn, with the max tow capacity of the F-450 rising from 24,700 pounds to 31,200, should you have a naval ship anchor in your back yard that needs to be hauled away. This bests the Ram by 1200 pounds and the GM twins by 8000, or roughly the weight of a full-grown white rhino. The F-350’s towing numbers rise as well, with maximum fifth-wheel/gooseneck trailer towing rising to an utterly ridiculous 26,500 pounds.
Furthermore, Ford claims that the design of the engine made it relatively easy to upgrade, and that the newfound power does not come at the expense of efficiency. “The designers of the original 6.7-liter PowerStroke V-8 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.”
In its chest-pounding press release, Ford says “The improvements we’ve made essentially give Super Duty customers an engine designed for our larger F-650 and F-750 trucks. They may not realize how tough this engine really is.”
Don’t expect Ford’s lead to last long, though. We give GM or Ram until the end of summer to re-flash their ECUs and slap on more powerful turbochargers to squeeze more twist from their diesels. Indeed, in this particular power play, no one wears the crown for long.