2017 Ford Super Duty pickup makes big debut at Texas State Fair

2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty at Texas State Fair

2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty at the Texas State Fair

You won’t be able to get one for a year, but Ford went to the Texas State Fair in Dallas to reveal the next generation Ford Super Duty pickup line, and although for other than a hardcore pickup lover there’s anything but a lovely face on one, whatever it has the new Ford Super Duty—which should be a 2017 model year—will be a lot more.

It’s an important market for Ford. According to Brian Rathsburg, marketing manager for all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty, the big pickup has 43 percent of the heavy-duty pickup market and holds even more of specific segments of heavy-duty pickup derivatives.

Like the Ford F-150 which leads it segment, Ford is going with aluminum for the Super Duty’s body. Despite reports that the F-150 will cost more to repair than a conventional steel-bodied truck, Ford claims that the “military grade” aluminum body is more resistant to everyday bumps and bruises. The impetus to go to aluminum, however, is weight savings. The aluminum body lowers the weight of a Ford Super Duty by 350 lbs, weight that can be put to other use with the pickup.

The Super Duty puts up impressive numbers strength-wise. The frame—the first fully-boxed frame for the heavy-duty Ford pickup, according to Craig Schmatz, Super Duty chief engineer—is 95 percent high-strength steel that Ford claims is “up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame,” a figure that borders on the inconceivable. We checked back. According to Ford spokeswoman Jessica Enoch, “24x is correct!” Wow.

Not surprisingly, Ford backs that up with heavier-duty four-wheel-drive components, driveline, axles and towing hardware.

Ford will also add technology seen for the first time in a heavy-duty pickup—or any pickup, for that matter—including blind-spot-with-trailer warning, capability for trailer tire pressure monitoring, intelligent cruise control that works with a trailer, and up to seven cameras.

The latter is comprised of four around the body, including one in the grill under the Ford blue oval, one under each side-view mirror and one at the rear. The images from the cameras are digitally “stitched together” to provide full surround overhead view of what’s around the truck. The front camera can be switched to 180 degree view to allow the driver to peak around an otherwise blocked view. The rear camera includes a zoom view that helps in attaching a trailer to the standard trailer hitch.

Cameras car also available for trailer mounting to include it in the around view so the driver doesn’t back into or over anything. And there’s also a camera positioned in the bed lamp at the top rear edge of the cab that not only gives the driver a view of what’s in the pickup bed but also facilitates hooking up a fifth-wheel trailer.

One more camera, looking through the windshield behind the rearview mirror isn’t for the driver’s viewing but rather is for lane-keeping assist—that works while towing a trailer, by the way—and related functions.

Engines will include Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel engine for pickup trucks and chassis cabs. Ford says it will have “the highest combination of horsepower and torque ever,” but no numbers were provided. The 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine will come with Ford’s new TorqShift-G transmission for the F-250 pickup. The Super Duty chassis cab lineup will have a choice of 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel, 6.8-liter V10 gasoline or 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engines.

There are no prices yet of course. Wait until closer to launch late next year. In the meantime, yeah, we’ll say it, the 2017 Ford Super Duty is as big as Texas.