2020 Ford Super Duty Offers Highest Ever Towing & Payload Capacities
Revamped Super Duty lineup gets fresh styling, a new gas engine, more powerful Power Stroke diesel, and a 10-speed automatic.
For decades, the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang have battled each other in the horsepower wars, where victory is defined by acceleration and speed. It’s a completely different conflict in the world of trucks. When it comes to heavy duty pickups, it’s all about torque, towing, and payload. This year, the Big Three are bringing their biggest guns ever to the fight. The Ram Heavy Duty lineup is all new. Chevrolet and GMC have completely overhauled their HD trucks. And Ford’s 2020 Super Duty is more capable than ever. According to the blue oval, the refreshed Super Duty lineup “will offer its highest-ever conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing and payload ratings.”
The Super Duty is now available with two gas V8 engines: the 6.2-liter unit from the 2017-2019 Super Duty and an all-new 7.3-liter V8 that Ford builds in-house. It’s an OHV, cam-in-block design with a forged steel crankshaft and cast iron block.
Ford hasn’t released any specs on it, but it has said it expects the 7.3 to be the most powerful gas V8 in its class. That should equate to an output above the 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque generated by the 6.4-liter Hemi that’s available in the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty and the 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD’s 6.6-liter V8.
Ford has also enhanced the Super Duty’s available 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 from bottom to top. It made structural enhancements that strengthened the block, head, connecting rods, and bearings so they could handle the Power Stroke’s increased cylinder pressure and output. New steel pistons are able to withstand higher firing pressures. The new 36,000-psi fuel injection system is equipped with all-new injectors designed to reduce noise and deliver better combustion. Tweaks to the electronic-actuated variable-geometry turbocharger improve efficiency and throttle response.
Although we don’t officially know the Power Stroke’s final specs, we can make some educated guesses about them. We think Ford has two main benchmarks. One is the current Power Stroke’s output. The other is (probably) the 2019 Ram 3500’s 6.7-liter Cummins I6 diesel. That means the newest version of the Power Stroke will more than likely generate figures north of 450 horsepower and 935 lb-ft of torque. Given how competitive Ford and Ram are about torque figures, we’re guessing the 2020 Super Duty’s diesel will have at least 1,000 lb-ft of grunt (and probably a little more just to stick it to the Ram crew).
Ford claims the new Super Duty will have its highest-ever payload ratings, and conventional, gooseneck, and fifth-wheel towing capacities. That means they’ll be north of the 2019 model’s respective max figures of 7,640, 21,000, 35,000, and 27,500 pounds. Ford’s Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, and a Trailer Reverse Guidance system that shows the angle and direction of a trailer, and provides helpful steering suggestions, makes maneuvering those heavy loads easier.
All three of the 2020 Super Duty’s engine options are available with an all-new 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission that fits in the same amount of space as the outgoing six-speed unit. In addition to selectable drive modes (which include normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery, and deep sand and snow), the 10-speed gearbox offers live-drive power takeoff for powering industrial equipment, such as a snow plow, while the truck is in motion.
Ford has wrapped all of that brawn in a re-styled package. They facelifted the front end to improve engine cooling and fitted it with new LED headlights. Super Duty duallys now come with a special grille that routes more cooling air to the powertrain. New taillights flank a redesigned tailgate, which sits above a new rear bumper.
Inside, designers made minor visual changes to the Lariat and Platinum models. The Limited model’s cabin gets a new Ebony and Highland Tan color scheme accented with a Miko suede headliner; leather-wrapped seats, dashboard, door armrests, and center console lid; black ash wood; and brushed aluminum trim.
All 2020 Super Dutys are equipped with a 4G LTE modem that can provide WiFi access to up to 10 devices. New wireless charging capability and USB-C ports help keep those smartphones and tablets fully charged. Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking will be a standard safety feature across the range of models.
It’s just a matter of time until Ford reveals the 2020 Super Duty’s final specs and pricing. And it’s a matter of waiting until the fall to see the new models in Ford dealerships.
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