Although these improvements are significant by themselves, maybe the most impressive addition to the Super Duty for 2005 is a relatively simple option package addition. Knowing that a majority of owners in the F-250 and F-350 class do some kind of towing, Ford has introduced the stunning TowCommand system. The heart of the package is an industry-first factory-installed and warranted trailer-brake controller that has access to all the vehicle's brake-input computer data. This means the controller offers smoother and more predictable braking feel because it has access to more vehicle information than ever before: brake input throttle position, steering angle, tire speed, engine rpm, and more.

We had the chance to tow several different fifth-wheel and hitch trailers in many track and road conditions and found the TowCommand system far superior to the various add-on brake controllers we've used. Brake modulation is more easily controllable and the braking system can even, in certain situations, predict what's going to happen and compensate for it. By combining the integrated brake controller with a much smarter and stronger five-speed transmission, bigger brakes, stronger frame, and electronically-controlled telescoping mirrors, the Super Duty is just about the smartest choice for anyone who has to tow big loads on a regular basis.

Exterior changes are minimal, with the exception of a larger, billet-looking front grille, reminiscent of the Mighty F-350 Tonka concept from 2002. In fact, Ford is offering a limited-edition "Amarillo" Super Duty that models many of the design cues from that concept, not the least of which is the monochromatic Blazing Yellow paint. In addition, Ford will continue to make the Harley-Davidson Edition, with this year's model incorporating some subtle spray-on flames.

All in all, this midmodel update of the Super Duty is substantial. But even with these improvements and new options, don't expect base- and trim-model pricing to change much. The price range for the F-250/F-350 trucks will range from $23,000 to $45,000, depending on equipment. Midmodel or not, the 2005 Super Duty trucks are looking to get attention. And it's our guess the folks at GM will be taking notice.