Ford has been a major partner of PBR -- Professional Bull Riders -- for 10 years. The timing of the PBR's Built Ford Tough Series event at Ford Field in Detroit was perfect: It created an interesting backdrop for the unveiling of Ford's newest Super Duty model, the Platinum Series. According to Ford, this trim level overtakes the King Ranch as the most luxurious Super Duty money can buy; as far as we're concerned, this is the ultra-lux hard-working pickup for those who prefer splashes of chrome to the cowboy chic leather and embroidery of the King Ranch. Ford introduced the Platinum, which has none of the King Ranch's cattle-brand accents, surrounded by cattle.
For the Platinum, the Super Duty's powertrain hasn't changed. Those interested in getting the full-fledged, super-luxury version of the Super Duty can opt for either the 6.2-liter gas V-8 or the 6.7-liter turbodiesel. This trim level is offered with any Crew Cab F-250, 350, or 450.
As in the F-150, this trim level combines Platinum style -- namely, generous amounts of chrome outside and chrome and wood accents in the cabin -- with cool interior features. On the outside, the mesh grille wears a satin chrome surround and there are chrome door handles, tow hooks, and exhaust tips. The side steps and side mirrors are drizzled with chrome. Also like the F-150, the word "Platinum" is lettered in chrome along both sides of the bed. On the Super Duty, the Platinum comes with a satin tailgate applique. If you've seen the satin treatment on the F-150's tailgate, this looks similar. Finishing off the Super Duty Platinum are 20-inch, seven-spoke wheels in polished aluminum.
This edition comes in White Platinum, Ingot Silver, Tuxedo Black, Ruby Red, and Kodiak Brown. The Platinum uses a combination of chrome, satin chrome, and polished aluminum, but we think the truck would look even better were all the accents in satin chrome.
The Platinum's interior sports plenty of features as standard equipment, including a navigation system, rearview camera, 10-way-adjustable power driver's seat, power-adjustable pedals and telescoping side mirrors, remote start, and a universal garage door opener. The Platinum has leather captain's chairs up front and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the floor mats are emblazoned with the Platinum logo. The Pecan or Midnight Black leather is soft, supple, and liberally applied throughout -- on all seats, plus the center console and armrests. Unique woodgrain appliques adorn the I.P., center stack, and doors, plus there's real walnut on the wheel.
On the convenience side, the interior features something new for the Super Duty line: Sync with MyFord Touch. The version of the system in the Platinum was made specifically for use in trucks. It's larger than that in other Fords (this one uses an 8-inch touch screen), and adds large secondary knobs and controls, making the system useable while the driver is wearing gloves. A new covered storage cubby is located around the center speaker in the top of the dash, specifically to hold an MP3 player, phone, or whatever other small electronic equipment you can fit in there. The cubby contains two USB ports, audio/video connections, and a 12-volt power port. When the cubby is closed, your electronics are hidden, but since its location is close to the windshield, we wonder how heat from the sun will affect a smartphone during a long drive.
Why is Ford presenting another luxury trim level for the Super Duty? Why not? The lux levels are hugely popular in the heavy-duty line, representing nearly half of Super Duty sales. Why not give truck buyers more of what the sales numbers indicate they want? Pricing hasn't been announced, but we expect the Platinum will follow the same pattern as the F-150: It'll come standard with all the bells and whistles, and will also have the highest MSRP in the line.