2016 Ford F-650 And F-750 Commercial Truck First Look
The Toughest Trucks Ford Has Ever Built
Bold moves. That’s the best way to describe what Ford will be doing with its Class 1 through Class 7 vehicle line over the next 18 months. From the Transit Connect cargo van to the 2016 Ford F-750 shown here, Ford’s commercial truck and van stable is poised to explode with all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles. For the first time, the medium-duty Ford F-650 and F-750 will be 100 percent Blue Oval. Read on to see exactly what we mean.
No More Outsourcing
It’s similar to the vertical integration approach taken by many Class 8 truck makers: The powertrain and chassis are designed, tested, and manufactured in-house. A complete integration strategy allows for 100 percent control over the powertrain (no third-party engine or transmission supplier, for example). This means no more Cummins engine option on Ford F-650 and F-750 trucks. Instead, a revamped, second-generation 6.7L Power Stroke diesel V-8 and proven six-speed TorqShift automatic transmission combination will be the premiere powertrain package, making Ford the sole medium-duty truck manufacturer offering its own engine and transmission combination.
The Power Stroke mill spec’d for the F-650/F-750 platform will be available in three different horsepower and torque levels, all of which come with a 5-year/250,000-mile limited warranty. Driveability with the Power Stroke will be greatly enhanced, thanks to a Tow/Haul mode that includes an integrated engine brake switch. Drivers will also have the ability to initiate their own regeneration cycles (cleaning the trapped soot out of the diesel particulate filter) via an on-demand switch. This will allow operators to maximize both work performance and fuel economy. Intelligent Oil Change Monitoring is standard, which means oil changes are dictated by driving patterns and load demands, instead of fixed distance intervals. The 6.8L V-10 gas engine will also be an option (now for both the F-650 and F-750). It can be factory prepped for converting to compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane as a more cost-effective alternative to traditional gasoline. The third-generation 6.8L Triton will be rated at 330 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque.
One Tough TorqShift
Ford’s bulletproof 6R140 six-speed TorqShift automatic will be the only transmission option, but one that’s well suited to commercial-grade workloads. Improving upon the TorqShift found in F-250 to F-550 trucks, the unit found under the F-650 and F-750 will feature stronger internal materials and extra pinion gears to help it survive a demanding medium-duty service life. An available power takeoff (PTO) provision will also allow buyers to run accessories like a dump body, crane, or other vocational equipment while in the field.
"Ford’s commercial truck and van stable is poised to explode with all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles."
New Look, Exclusive Features
Functionality and “Built Ford Tough” looks are both incorporated into the ’16 F-650 and F-750. An all-new mesh grille, framed by hallmark Ford nostrils, improves airflow across the front of the engine for increased cooling. Smooth headlamps and redesigned fenders aid the truck’s aerodynamics. PowerScope mirrors can also be included. The trailer tow mirrors feature large standard and spotter mirrors, as well as a segment-exclusive power telescoping and folding design. Last but not least, the rear of the cab was redesigned to allow easier accommodation of custom work bodies, including dump truck, tow truck, and even ambulance bodies. In addition to the F-650 and F-750 being available in straight frame or dock height models, the ’16 model marks the first time a dedicated tractor model will be offered for heavy towing.
Other improvements entail a more robust electrical system than the outgoing models, in order to handle larger component loads. On diesel-equipped trucks, a lighter, aluminum fuel tank is employed to aid efficiency, and both the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank and fuel tank will now be located under the cab, as opposed to being mounted behind it.
Turning to the interior, Ford modeled the F-650/F-750 interior after the well-refined interior found in the F-250 through F-550 Super Duty line. Key features include a 110-volt power outlet, optional SYNC and Crew Chief fleet management telematics, and a rapid-heat supplemental cab heater for quick warm-up in colder climates. To keep driver attention on the road, a new steering wheel with advanced controls is employed. Ford Commercial Truck chief nameplate engineer, John Davis, had this to say about the new F-650 and F-750 interior features: “We have a lot of design feature comforts that you might otherwise find in more mainstream products.”
Built Ford Tough
By the time Ford’s toughest medium-duty truck built to date hits dealerships in the spring of 2015, it will have been tested by people and machines, in labs, on America’s highways and city streets, and at Ford’s proving grounds. The most intense portion of the F-650/F-750 testing held at the company’s Romeo, Michigan, proving grounds entails a robotic testdrive program, in which robots take over the driving duties. “Some of the tests we do on our commercial trucks for North America are so strenuous that we limit the exposure time for human drivers,” says Dave Payne, manager, vehicle development operations. The robot-operated trucks are tasked to repeatedly perform tests on rugged terrain that essentially compresses 10 years of driving abuse into courses that span just a few hundred yards. Surfaces the trucks are subjected to include broken concrete, cobblestones, rough gravel, metal grates, mud pits, and oversized speed bumps. As for the Power Stroke diesel option, Ford subjected the engine to 500,000 miles on an engine dynamometer, where the driving characteristics of the harshest end user were simulated.
Whether they’re hauling at their peak payload capacity in 120-degree desert heat, towing up steep grades at maximum GCWR, or operating in temperatures as low as 40 below zero, Ford tells us these trucks are tried, true, and ready for work. On paper, they appear ready to handle virtually any job, but come spring 2015, the real testing will begin.