The all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty
appears to be a formidable truck loaded with luxury, convenience, and technological features, but it doesn’t offer everything. Based on some of the features offered on the competition, we think Ford could make the Super Duty even more competitive with just a few important changes. See which seven features we’d like to see on the Super Duty.
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7. Pro Trailer Backup Assist
Debuting on the 2016 Ford F-150, Pro Trailer backup assist is a great feature to help people guide their trailer in reverse. We’ve sampled the system
and we are big fans of how it works. Unfortunately the Super Duty chassis isn’t equipped with the F-150’s EPAS electric steering system, so this is one upgrade you are unlikely to see on the big Ford.
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6. In-Bed Power
For a truck that received a thorough rethink in the bed space with such features as BoxLink cargo management, a second-gen tailgate step, and LED lighting, it’s a wonder that Ford doesn’t have some sort of 12V or 110V power outlet in the bed. As far as we are concerned, all pickup trucks should come with power outlets that can be easily accessed from the exterior of the vehicle.
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5. Any-Speed Rear Locker
Another feature common to the F-150 that we aren’t sure why the Super Duty doesn’t come equipped with is an any-speed rear locker. Highly useful in myriad of conditions, we don’t feel that locker use should be limited by speed or transfer case position. Ford got this right on the F-150, and it should be a no-brainer on the Super Duty.
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4. In-Bed Storage
In-bed storage is starting to become a great selling point for pickups. Ram has been successful with the RamBox and Nissan has the Nissan Box on the way as an option for the upcoming Titan XD. These lockable storage solutions offer a secure external place to stow gear that you wouldn’t necessarily want in the cab. We’d love to see what a Ford box would look like and how it would integrate into Ford’s existing cargo management system.
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3. Air Suspension
We were a little bit surprised that we didn’t see anything in the way of air springs or rear load bags mentioned at the launch of the Super Duty. At the loads these trucks are said to be capable of carrying, we think air suspension would be a great feature. Ram has an optional rear-air-spring system on their 3500 lineup and we think it could be a great addition on a F-350 or F-450 as well.
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2. De-tuned Power Stroke
Does a 3/4-ton truck really need 1,000 lb-ft of torque to tow a 15,000-pound trailer? Or would a version of the 6.7L, at around 600-650 lb-ft of torque with improved fuel economy, be a better choice? We think a detuned 3/4-ton engine offering would better distinguish that market from the 1-ton market and would be embraced by the 3/4-ton crowd. At one time, GM was considering just this strategy with the 4.5L “baby” Duramax V-8 in its Hummers and 2500s. Today it is Nissan betting on this approach with the 2016 Titan XD, which offers a 5.0L Cummins V-8 and 555lb-ft of torque and a 12,000-pound-plus tow rating.
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1. Manual Transmission
While Ford and GM have long since ceased offering manual transmissions in their heavy-duty trucks, you can still get a manual transmission in a Ram Heavy Duty with the Cummins engine. Despite how good automatic transmissions have gotten over the years, we are big fans of rowing for ourselves. Having a truck equipped with a hand shaker gives you better control, lower maintenance costs, and a lower price of admission, all while allowing you to be one with your machine. If Ford asked us to pick one option from this list to add to the 2017 Super Duty, a manual would be the one.