We all knew it was bound to happen, and the Blue Oval has not disappointed. Following the successful launch of the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 last year, the Dearborn automaker will also be applying the lightweight metal to the body of the all-new 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks. Like the F-150, the frame is still steel, and engine options will carry over from the 2016 models. But that’s where any similarities end.
In fact, even the frame has been upgraded with high-strength, lighter weight steel, along with the addition of stronger axles, springs, and shocks, making for an overall tougher truck. Topping it all off is a new military-grade aluminum body that is up to 350 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. With less weight to lug around from the body, Ford was able to reinvest that way into stronger components, like those mentioned above. While the weight savings are just half what the 2015 Ford F-150 offers, Super Duty buyers are probably less sensitive to fuel prices than your average F-150 owner.
Ford put a lot of time and effort into improving the Super Duty’s towing capabilities, as well as its usefulness in day-to-day work. The Blue Oval is claiming 16 class segment firsts, including adaptive cruise control, LED lighting, and up to seven external cameras, including a backup camera and 4 digital cameras offering a 360-degree view around the entire truck. There’s even a first-ever trailer camera that can be attached to whatever you’re towing for better rear visibility.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of technological achievements, as the 2017 Ford Super Duty will also offer the new SYNC 3 infotainment system, blind spot and lane departure warning systems, and collision avoidance that pre-charges the brakes for immediate stopping. You can even remotely lock, unlock, and open the tailgate. This ain’t your daddy’s Super Duty.
One thing that your daddy might appreciate, however, is the engine lineup, with the 6.2-liter gasoline V8 and 6.7-liter diesel getting incremental power improvements but sticking to a formula that works. A 6.8-liter gas V8 is also available for cab chassis models, but Ford’s EcoBoost line of engines is nowhere to be seen, though we wouldn’t be surprised if an announcement of the sorts was made a year or two down the road.
Ford has quieted critics of its aluminum F-150, but Super Duty customers are a bird of a different feather. Can the lightweight metal meet the expectations of Ford’s most demanding buyers?