When you’re the leader, your competitors are always aiming to overtake you. And their goals can be pretty easy to set; just a bit higher than your current performance. Beginning this week, the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty® will regain its towing leadership with the production of a beefed-up frame and hitch.
Ford F-350 and F-450 Super Duty trucks with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V-8 diesel engine and dual rear wheels now can tow an industry-best 17,500 pounds. That’s 1,000 pounds more than the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 4×2 and 500 pounds more than the Silverado and Sierra 4×4.
Furthermore, the latest improvements arrive at a time when its customer satisfaction score – 83 percent – is the best in the industry for heavy-duty trucks; and when market share for the Super Duty is the highest in a decade. Another way of saying that is that people who buy the Super Duty really like it, and more people buy Super Duty trucks than any of the competing models.
“Super Duty stays on top because of our ongoing engineering work and analysis of extensive field data,” said Rob Stevens, chief engineer of the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty. “We keep pushing to deliver the best-in-class attributes our customers demand.”
Higher-strength steel in a frame crossmember and an upgraded trailer hitch give the truck the additional towing capacity. Additionally, these actions boosted the F-350 DRW 4×2 pickup maximum payload to 7,070 pounds and maximum fifth-wheel towing to 22,600 pounds, each best-in-class ratings by 435 pounds and 900 pounds, respectively.
The hardware upgrades to the Super Duty complement software upgrades to the powertrain control system of the new Ford-engineered 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel to make towing even easier.
The Power Stroke delivers best-in-class 800 lb.-ft. of torque and 400 horsepower. In an industry-first customer loyalty program, Ford provided the power upgrades free of charge to all “first-in” buyers of the 2011 Super Duty diesel pickup.
Super Duty customer satisfaction with the overall quality tops all competitors with a rating of 83 percent. That compares with 77 percent for the comparable Ram and 73 percent for the comparable Chevrolet trucks. The quality ratings are according to the 2010 Global Quality Research Survey conducted by RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills., Mich., and commissioned by Ford.
The new Super Duty dominates the heavy-duty pickup segment with nearly 50 percent of total heavy-duty sales, an increase in market share of 4 percentage points over the same period last year and its highest share since 2001. This is according to a Ford analysis of registration data by R.L. Polk.
Furthermore, Super Duty accounted for 80 percent of the heavy duty’s segment growth last year. In 2010 the segment was up 17 percent over 2009.
Ford F-Series is the best-selling and most-awarded pickup truck (for 34 years straight) and best-selling vehicle (for 29 years straight) in America.