Ford made several big announcements over the past couple of months. On the crossover side, the Ford Edge receives a new 3.7-liter V-6 engine. Also, as you can read about in the story on page 48, the all-new Explorer arrives later this year -- and both the V-8 and body-on-frame construction are gone. There is plenty of news on the truck side, too, with the Super Duty and the F-150.

FORD SUPER DUTY
When the new Super Duty made its debut earlier this year, the engine choices were either a 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 that puts out 385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque or the new, internally designed and built Power Stroke V-8, which meets the tough 2010 emissions standards and is said to offer 20-percent better fuel economy than the outgoing model. At launch, the 6.7-liter turbodiesel put out 390 horsepower at 2800 rpm and 735 pound-feet of torque at 1600 and provided a maximum towing capacity of 24,400 pounds (F-450, fifth wheel). While those are impressive numbers, when comparing apples to apples, the Silverado/Sierra HD still dominated in the one-ton category. The Silverado 3500HD can tow up to 21,700 pounds with a fifth wheel, and the F-350 could tow up to 21,600. Those numbers have changed, though, with Ford's announcement that the turbodiesel will receive more horsepower and torque, effective as of August of this year.

The change returns the Super Duty to the head of its class. The new numbers -- 400 horsepower at 2800 rpm and 800 pound-feet of torque at 1600 rpm (increases of 10 and 65) -- top the Duramax's 397 horses and 765 pound-feet. The Fords also benefit from higher-strength steel in the frame. That combination means the dualie F-350 will have a maximum towing capacity of 22,600 pounds and a max payload capacity of 7070 (versus the GM's 6635).

What's also nice about this upgrade is that anyone who owns a 2011 Super Duty can benefit. The change was made through an adjustment to the Powertrain Control Module, so, for trucks that didn't come with the new horsepower and torque levels, all it takes is a trip to the dealer and the software change will be made free of charge.