The latest incarnation of Ford’s Super Duty truck line have been designated 2008 models, but are available at Ford dealerships now. These models feature an all-new bold look, both inside and out, as well as a wider body stance with three cab styles and two bed length options. Under the hood International has delivered a more powerful, yet quieter Power Stroke diesel engine, which helps the new Super Trucks offer the best-in-class payload, gross vehicle weight ratings and trailer tow rates for vehicles in the over-8,500-pound truck segment, according to Ford. Even more significant, the company has filled the previous Class 4 gap in its lineup by expanding the Super Duty line to include an all-new F-450 pickup.
Ford says its research indicates more than 90 percent of Super Duty owners use their trucks to tow trailers and that those towing needs are growing. As a result, the 2008 F-450 handles those demands with a model-exclusive chassis and new, rear leaf-spring suspension and radius arm front suspension to provide enhanced maneuverability and turning performance when towing. When combined with the F-450’s axle and powertrain, this suspension can haul a vehicle payload of more than 6,000 pounds and tow more than 24,000 pounds – an increase of more than 5,000 pounds compared with the F-350 model it complements.
High-tech, series sequential turbochargers ensure improved throttle response
The new 6.4-liter Power Stroke diesel joins a lineup that already includes the 362-horsepower, 6.8-liter, V-10 Triton gasoline engine. This newest Power Stroke diesel delivers 350 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 650 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm and features Ford’s Clean Diesel Technology. This technology uses a high-pressure, common rail fuel system, Piezo-electric fuel injectors and an advanced diesel particulate filter to ensure strong engine performance while reducing particulate output by more than 90 percent. The engine is so clean Ford says it posts emissions numbers on par with gasoline engines.
Ford says the new Power Stroke has demonstrated zero-to-60 times more than a second faster than the 6.0 diesel it replaces. This performance is due in large part to high-tech, series sequential turbochargers. These turbochargers provide improved throttle response and better low-end performance, starting with a small, electronically controlled, smart remote, variable-geometry turbocharger. This system kicks in at low engine rpms to provide extra boost at takeoff. As engine rpms increase, a larger, fixed turbocharger engages to boost power throughout the middle of the torque curve. As the truck’s optimum speed is reached, the largest of the sequential turbochargers kicks in to maintain top end engine performance.
“Tough luxury” concept heads Super Duty design effort
All Super Duty models were designed with a “tough luxury” mantra, which combines serious off-road and highway performance with a quiet interior and comfortable cab.
Ford engineers capitalized on the already-quieter Power Stroke engine by adding composite laminated steel sheet metal to the firewall and dash panel. This steel paneling is combined with extra sound padding in the dash and floor, a rear bulkhead panel and thicker side glass, which all help to keep unwanted drivetrain noise to a minimum.
A new dash layout includes a prominent center stack, which houses most of the truck’s switches. Like the center-mounted trailer brake control system, all of these switches are fully integrated into the dash and vehicle electronic system for a clearer, user-friendly appearance. All gauges have been organized better and are now easier to read when driving down the road.
All-new door trim includes dual map pockets, while a larger center console is designed to store file folders and store laptop computers out of sight. A totally redesigned climate control system has more balanced airflow and quieter operation than previous Super Duty model trucks. A more reliable, higher capacity air compressor helps boost A/C performance and dual zone electronic, automatic temperature controls for driver and passengers is standard.
Walking around the new Super Duty trucks, the first thing you notice is the bold front-end, characterized by a larger, more prominent grill and accented by outward flowing fender flares with integrated air vents. The new grill isn’t just cosmetic: Its larger design helps improve cooling system performance, which in turn boosts towing performance.
The new grill sits on a horizontal cut line that defines the top of the bumper, but more importantly provides a base for the new stacked headlights. The step pad on the front bumper has been specifically textured and designed to accommodate owners who stand on it while servicing the truck.
To better enable owners to climb up into the trucks’ beds, Ford introduced an innovative tailgate step, available as an option on 2008 Super Duty pickups. This tailgate step is fully integrated into the tailgate and virtually invisible when not in use. To use it, you simply drop the tailgate, grab the bottom step and pull it straight out and let it drop into the down position. At the same time, a grab handle folds up and out of the tailgate for extra stability and is capable of supporting up to 300 pounds. When not in use, the handle fits snugly into a channel molded into the tailgate liner. Both the step and the handle are crafted from high-strength steel and have been tested to handle loads up to 1,000 pounds.
In addition to the tailgate step, Ford engineers added a host of innovative design features to the 2008 Super Duty line – all of which are aimed at boosting productivity and enhancing safety. These include new PowerScope integrated exterior mirrors. PowerScope mirrors feature powered folding and telescoping movements, including a manually adjustable spotter mirror that is more than double the size of mirrors on previous generation Super Duty trucks. The large mirrors extend outward up to 2.75 inches or fold inward or outward at the touch of a windowsill-mounted electric switch. The operator’s preferred mirror positions can be programmed in conjunction with the truck’s seat-position and pedal-memory system. The mirrors feature heated glass, clearance lamps and integrated turn signals.