Rumor Rundown: What’s Next for the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty
The 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty is due to be revealed on Thursday, and the rumormill is running in overtime trying to figure out what secrets the company is hiding under the bulky, detail-hiding camouflage seen on the various body styles running around the nation.
What do you suspect will appear on the new F-Series Super Duty?
Aluminum-Intensive Weight LossAfter scraps of molten aluminum were discovered in a certain desert test section, we can be all but assured the 2017 Super Duty will come wrapped in some shapely aluminum skin. Its little brother, the F-150, lost up to 700 pounds when it made the switch from steel to aluminum bodywork. We can expect a similar slimming for the F-Series Super Duty. After Ford ceded the max-towing title to Ram with its 900–lb-ft 3500 Heavy Duty, which edges the current F-450 Super Duty by just 10 pounds of towing capacity, we’d bet the company is eager to get back on top, and an additional few hundred pounds of GCWR wiggle room would be just the ticket.
High-Strength SteelFord is keen to point out that the F-150’s fully boxed frame is 77 percent comprised of high-strength steel, helping increase platform rigidity and strength while keeping weight at bay. It’s natural to assume the Super Duty will follow suit. General Motors has proved with its Sierra and Silverado pickups that high-strength steel is an excellent material, given its light weight and resistance to torsion. Just as that company is incorporating more aluminum into its vehicles’ bodywork, expect Ford to incorporate more tough steel into the F-Series’ frame for 2017.
An EcoBoost in the Engine Lineup?One thing’s for sure: The next big Ford will undoubtedly maintain its lineup of gasoline and diesel V-8 engines. However, with a high-output 3.5L EcoBoost engine on its way for the 2017 F-150 Raptor, could we see the debut of a twin-turbocharged V-6 in the F-250? In the Raptor, the EcoBoost could produce more than 450 hp, which is a far cry more than the 6.2L gas V-8 currently available in the Super Duty. It’s possible the 10-speed automatic slated for the Raptor could come to the Super Duty as well.
Most Powerful Power StrokeWe’ve heard unsubstantiated rumblings that the next Super Duty’s Power Stroke 6.7L V-8 is going to recapture the crown from Ram with its prodigious output. Although the second-generation “Scorpion” turbodiesel produces 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of torque (handily beating Ram’s standard output and GM’s output full-stop), don’t expect Ford to rest on its laurels. The Scorpion III could get 500 horses and 1000 lb-ft of torque, at least as an option. That would allow Ford to compete directly with Ram and its 6.7L Cummins I-6, which produces 370 hp and 800 lb-ft in base form (with the automatic transmission) but can be optioned to 385 hp and 900 lb-ft properly equipped.
Single-Turbo Gas V-8?According to HorsepowerKings.com, the gasoline-powered 6.2L V-8 is slated to get a single turbo to improve horsepower, torque, and ostensibly, fuel economy. It’s also fair to expect that Ford may fit the gasser with an updated four-valve head to assist with aspiration and lower emissions. It seems unlikely that Ford would offer both a single-turbo V-8 and a twin-turbo V-6, so one likely will preclude the other. Expect the turbo V-8 to produce 420 horses and 450 lb-ft of torque.
SuperCrew L Bodystyle?Is Ford readying an extended-length crew cab to do battle with Ram’s Mega Cab bodystyle? A longer cab would certainly bring the Super Duty into another league in terms of cabin space, more so than the fantastic rear-seat room offered in the F-150 SuperCrew. Many of Ford’s camouflaged mules have had some kind of cab extension suggesting a longer, larger rear cabin, but those extensions haven’t always matched up with the seam between the bed and cab, indicating it may just be an elaborate ruse to fool onlookers into thinking they’re looking at something besides a big Ford. Nevertheless, we’d love a super-long-wheelbase “SuperCrew L” equipped with the 8-foot bed and gooseneck hitch, giving us a huge camper hauler that’d be perfect for devouring up long road trips in comfort.
Integrated Towing SolutionsSpeaking of a gooseneck, we dearly hope Ford follows in the footsteps of the tweener Nissan Titan XD in offering a bed-mounted hitch solution. The XD’s integrated gooseneck hitch is a genius offering for a tow-ready vehicle, and given Ford’s feud with Ram and General Motors over maximum capability, a gooseneck (or even factory-installed fifth-wheel) might be a great addition to the new Super Duty.
Cameras GaloreFord has previously stated that it would offer the next Super Duty with up to seven different cameras. A rear-view camera, rear cross-traffic cameras, and Ford’s front-view split camera account for four different lenses. Where might the other three appear? One could be a rear-facing center high-mount stoplamp camera, which would help with maneuvering a trailer backward through a parking lot (in combination with Ford's Pro Trailer Backup Assist). The other two cameras are anybody’s guess. Perhaps an interior-mounted camera with a dash display to keep an eye on kiddos without having to turn around?
We can’t wait till Thursday when we finally get to put all these rumors to rest. Until then, what features have you heard will show up on the F-Series Super Duty? What do you hope Ford will offer?