Ford To Beef Up F-Series Super Duty

More torque, horsepower could allow pickup to regain lead, recovering from previous Navistar engine quality problems.

by on Aug.03, 2010

With a big bump in performance, the 2011 Ford Super Duty is now the full-size torque king-of-the-hill.

Ford hopes its Super Duty pickup will soon regain king-of-the-hill status with a hefty boost in performance that it will put into production later this week.

But the added performance will be matched with improved fuel economy, the maker’s powertrain chief, Barb Samardzich told a gathering of industry leaders, in Traverse City, Michigan, today.

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Meanwhile, in a highly unusual move, the executive revealed that as part of a new customer loyalty program, Ford will upgrade the horsepower and torque for those who have already purchased a 2011 Super Duty diesel pickup.

Ford engineer Steve Hawk tests software that will boost the torque of the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel by 65 lb-ft.

The upgraded 6.7-liter engine will now deliver 800 pound-feet of torque and 400 horsepower, an increase of 65 lb-ft and 10 hp.  Meanwhile, Ford claims that the revisions will result in the Super Duty getting 20% better mileage than comparably-equipped 2011 and 2010 models, based on the maker’s own tests.

The numbers will move Super Duty out in front of its competitors, notably including the Heavy Duty version of the Chevrolet Silverado.  The question being raised is why Ford initially released the 6.7-liter diesel – dubbed Power Stroke — with such significantly lower performance.

“We know that durability and reliability is uppermost in the minds of Super Duty customers,” said Chris Brewer, the Super Duty’s chief engineer, “so we took a conservative approach that ensured the new Power Stroke would be absolutely bulletproof.”

Additional testing made Ford confident it could reliably “push the hardware a little harder,” added Brewer.

The changes are entirely software based, using a retuned engine control system.  As a result, Ford will be able to upgrade engines sold early in the 2011 model-year.  Existing owners will be notified by mail to bring their pickups back to Ford dealers for the 30-minute procedure.  There will be no charge for the upgrade.

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