However, there are plenty of add-ons, potentially raising the price to $130,000. For example, for $10,000, we'd recommend the air-ride suspension to control the violent gravitational forces constantly doing battle under the cab. Although the cab and front seats are suspended with airbags and shocks, the standard leaf-spring suspension will torture the driver if left without several tons of payload in the bed to smooth out the ride.

In addition, CXT buyers will get a chance, for a relatively small fee of $4000, to have their cargo pickup bed turned into a dump bed with the addition of a powerful air ram. With commercial big-rig strength, the bed can dump its contents in seconds. According to the press material, the chassis is rated to carry just shy of 12,000 pounds of payload. Hmmm. Although we're told there's plenty of floor-strengthening done to the Super Duty bed, we couldn't see any additional side bracing. The weak link in this payload monster may be in the limitations of the bed itself and not the carrying capacity of the ruggedly stout frame and chassis. But then again, who's going to need to put more than 10,000 pounds in the pickup bed? Not many people we know are hauling barrels of lead. Truth is, there's more than enough GVW here to satisfy 99.999 percent of the buyers, so who cares?

Maybe more impressive than the chassis is the torque monster under the hood. You've likely passed a medium-duty or heavy-duty rig with one of these engines every day you've driven a public road. The DT466 is one of the most popular and robust diesel-engine designs in existence. With 7.6 liters of displacement, the precision-balanced I-6 weighs almost 1500 pounds dry, pumping out 540 pound-feet of torque at 1400 rpm, with more than 90 percent of that available just off idle. High-pressure (25,000 psi) direct injection, a variable-fin turbocharger, and an air-to-air intercooler play major power-producing supporting roles. Mated to this Hercules is an Allison 2500 five-speed automatic transmission (the next-stronger sibling to the Silverado HD Allison 1000) and a military-type Meritor 4208 (formerly known as Rockwell) two-speed transfer case (for severe-terrain towing). Considering this equipment, the power domination becomes obvious.

We can say the five-speed transmission is stunning at how it smoothes out up- and downshifts while battling between the weight of the truck and the forces generated by the engine output. We were surprised at the steering (quick and predictable) and excellent throttle response (electronically controlled), as they combine to make this truck, as odd as it might sound, fairly easy to drive in city traffic. The high seating position and gigantic mirrors offer tremendous visibility. From a fuel-economy point-of-view, we averaged right around eight mpg, city and highway combined. Not amazing, but there's a good argument to be made for a vehicle with a 500- to 600-mile range, and all this carrying capacity, not to mention all the "truck-envy" cache.