In the world of heavyweight fighting, there's no bigger, stronger competitive set than full-size HD pickups. We're in the enviable position of watching the two biggest fighters prepare for a dramatic debut. The all-new GMT900 Silverado and Sierra was unveiled in our last issue, and its bigger brother, the Silverado HD, is getting ready for its own introduction very soon. In fact, all sorts of photos are showing up on our doorstep (see our newly extended "News" section at the front of the magazine) so we know the excitement is building. And there's more info to come.
As to what Ford's been up to, we find ourselves with another pickup-truck world exclusive, the all-new 2008 F-450 Super Duty. Not only is this an entirely new truck for Ford, the biggest of the personal-use Super Duty heavyweights, but it reveals many of the mid-life changes that'll work their way into the current F-250 and F-350 siblings. Of course, F-450 models, along with F-550s, have existed in the past in commercial configurations (chassis cabs only), but this is the first F-450 born in the mold of the one-ton F-350 dualie. Ford tells us it's simply responding to what heavy-duty truck users are calling for.
Inspired by the growing size of trailers, and that there seems no end to how much truck a real truck guy (or gal) wants, the F-450 is Ford's simple solution for those needing more towing and payload capacity than can be offered by a mere dualie. This vehicle is essentially a bigger, stronger one-ton dualie, with all the hardware to prove it. This particular model will be offered only with dual rear wheels and a crew-cab body, along with a host of interior options.
Ford let us take a peek at a two-tone King Ranch Edition with all the toys. As you might imagine, there's a lot more to this truck than some subtle exterior styling.
The frame is a modified and stiffened version of the one-ton frame, with a completely new fully boxed front section that uses longer, wider sloping frame rails to accommodate the bigger 6.4-liter twin-turbo Power Stroke and massive intercooler. The intercooler is so big it has to be mounted at an angle, tilting backward, to prevent the 'cooler from intruding into the hood.