Ford F-250

Another week, another truck (or so it seems) and this time around it is the 2012 F-250 FX4 King Ranch Super Duty pickup from Ford.

For the 2009 model year, Ford brought out an all-new Super Duty lineup of heavy-duty (three-quarter and one ton) pickups.

For 2011 it was deja vu all over again. So why a complete makeover for this segment? The government.

Yes, lawmakers in our nation’s capitol mandated stricter emissions guidelines for the (diesel-powered) heavy-duty pickup segment in 2010 and automakers had until late in that model year to comply.

Ford (with GM and the Chrysler Group following shortly thereafter) gave its Super Duty pickup line not only a pair of totally new engines and transmissions, but decided to address the entire vehicle with the model makeover.

The result? The baddest big boy (and girl) toy-to-date from the big blue oval.

Ford has known truck market leadership for something like 34 years straight and judging by our Super Duty experiences they are serious about staying on top.

Ford continues the Super Duty models for 2012 – F-250, F-350 and F-450 – offering single rear wheel in 250 and 350 models and dual rear wheels for the 350 and 450 rigs.

The new 6.7-liter turbo-diesel V-8 cranks out a whopping 390 horsepower and an incredible 735 lb.-ft. of torque, all the while achieving best-in-class fuel economy and biodiesel compatibility. The new 6.2-liter V-8 gas engine is nothing to sneeze at either despite it waning in the face of the new diesel. Each engine is mated to a new heavy duty TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission (no manual gearboxes from Ford), and a couple of other new standouts include an electronic locking rear differential and Live Drive Power Take Off (PTO). The latter may only be of interest for specific work applications but the demonstrations were pretty cool and rural fire departments will appreciate the new PTO for their quick attack grass and brush fire rigs.

New exterior styling keeps the Super Duty fresh for the segment and service personnel will appreciate a new clamshell-style hood. I noticed a larger fuel filler door right off. This allows for access not only for refilling fuel but the new urea-based Diesel Exhaust Fluid that is injected into the exhaust to provide for the cleaner emissions. The DEF can be refilled at service intervals.

On-road or off, the new Ford Super Duty has proved itself much more than merely capable. This new truck goes above and beyond. Super Duty includes a wealth of features to aid productivity at the job site and provide more conveniences to customers.

Standard and available technology features include:
• Ford Work Solutions, which features in-dash computer, Tool Link™, Crew Chief™ and Cable Lock
• MyKey (standard on all Super Duty pickups)
• Auxiliary audio input jack
• SIRIUS® Satellite Radio; SYNC® with Traffic Directions & Ramp; Information;
• Voice-activated navigation system with touch-screen display
• Reverse Vehicle Aid Sensor
• Rear View Camera
• Power Code™ Remote Start System
• PowerScope™ trailer tow mirrors
• Integrated Trailer Brake Controller

Ford narrows its message of the new Super Duty down to three “P”s: Power, Performance and Productivity. There is a fourth “P” I have not discussed yet – Price.

We found sample pricing information in each of the different models we tested. The 4×4 Crew Cab F-250 and F-350 models we tested began around 49 grand and when fully-loaded in King Ranch and Lariat trim levels they were stickering out around $64k-66k.

A princely sum to be certain, but for that fourth “P” one gets the security of knowing they are driving “Triple P” class leadership and segment excellence.

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