2011 Ford Super Duty – Click above for high-res image gallery

Volatile gas prices and increasingly stiff emissions standards were supposed to kill the auto industry's horsepower wars, or so we thought feared. Recent news out of the General Motors and Ford camps appears to prove otherwise. The second act in the battle for power supremacy took a turn for the better last November when The Blue Oval announced that the 2011 Mustang would receive a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 powertrain; a hair more punch than the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro V6's 304-hp output. But what's one extra horse between neighbors, right?

The General struck back a couple weeks ago when it announced power figures for the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel available in the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy duty pickups. The new Duramax pumps out 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, besting Ford's 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel that was announced just a few weeks earlier by seven hp and 30 lb-ft. Ford likely isn't going to take this Super Duty setback lying down, and sources tell our friends over at PickupTrucks.com that the company Henry built is looking to regain the power lead within a year.

PickupTrucks.com reports that the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine is an all-new architecture that likely has plenty of room for more punch, while the 6.6-liter Duramax is an older engine with less room for improvement, so the seesaw battle may not last too long. And sources say Ford engineers could crank the mill beyond 400 ponies and 775 lb-ft; or enough power to tow Florida closer to Texas.

But for now GM's new fullsize pickups hold the power figure crown while Ford engineers look on with malice in their micrometers. At least Ford has that one pony lead over the Camaro, right? Rumor has it that the Bowtie brand is working on that one, too.


Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty

[Source: PickupTrucks]