Now, it should be noted that the max rating quoted above is achieved with the Ford F-450. The 2015 F-350, which is perhaps a better comparison to the Ram 3500 HD pickup that claimed the towing crown in 2013 at an even 30,000 pounds, is capped at 26,500 pounds, either with a gooseneck or when towing a fifth-wheel trailer. In any case, it's going to take a load the size of Godzilla to make any of the current crop of fullsize heavy-duty pickup trucks break into a sweat. For those keeping track, Chevy rates its 2015 Silverado HD at a maximum of 23,200 pounds.
Ford's newfound pulling power comes courtesy of a larger turbocharger for its in-house Power Stroke engine, new fuel injector tips and, we'd assume, retuned computer controls. Besides the engine enhancements, the F-350 gets a wider front track for 2015 and new front springs, while the F-450 gains commercial-grade 19.5-inch wheels and tires, new rear U-joints, leaf springs, stabilizer bars and shocks. The steering and brake systems have also been upgraded.
A full press release announcing the Super Duty changes and specifications for 2015 can be found below.
• Second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel boosts horsepower to a class-leading 440 horsepower; torque to class-leading 860 lb.-ft. for all models
• F-450 chassis upgrades raise maximum gooseneck trailer towing capacity to class-leading 31,200 pounds, fifth wheel towing capacity to class-leading 26,500 pounds, and gross combined weight rating to a class-leading 40,000 pounds
• F-350 available with maximum towing package that increases fifth-wheel/gooseneck trailer towing capacity to 26,500 pounds, and raises the gross combined weight rating to 35,000 pounds
HOUSTON – March 5, 2014 – Ford F-Series Super Duty reinforces its leadership in the heavy-duty pickup truck market with engine and chassis upgrades for 2015 that together deliver best-in-class horsepower, torque and towing capacity.
Ford's second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel now boasts 440 horsepower, up from 400 horsepower, and 860 lb.-ft. of torque, up from 800 lb.-ft, across all Super Duty models from F-250 to F-450.
The 2015 F-450 tops the F-Series Super Duty pickup truck lineup with maximum towing capacity increasing to a class-leading 31,200 pounds, a gain of 6,500 pounds. The truck's gross combined weight rating increases to a class-leading 40,000 pounds, a gain of 7,000 pounds.
F-350 increases maximum towing capacity as well, to 26,500 pounds, from 23,200 pounds, and the gross combined weight rating goes up 5,000 pounds to 35,000 pounds.
The improved ratings are a result of designing and engineering the truck as an integrated system. The approach enabled Ford engineers to optimize performance across the full Super Duty lineup.
"Our chassis people work in unison with our powertrain people to develop more than a great truck, it's a machine engineered for work," said Doug Scott, Ford Truck group marketing manager. "We're the only manufacturer that develops and builds our own powertrains in this class and when you combine that with a chassis that's purpose-built for best-in-class power and torque, you can feel the result in the way it drives, especially when towing big loads."
"Our chassis people have worked in unison with our powertrain people to develop more than a great truck – it's a machine engineered for work," he adds.
Power Stroke Engine Improvements
The 2015 Super Duty achieves best-in-class towing performance with a second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine that was further developed to provide more power, torque and efficiency.
"The 6.7-liter Power Stroke was already a stout engine," said Robert Fascetti, Ford vice president powertrain engineering. "The improvements we've made essentially give Super Duty customers an engine designed for our larger F-650 and F-750 trucks. They may not realize how tough this engine really is."
Key innovations on the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel are its compacted graphite iron engine block and reverse-flow layout. This segment-exclusive design places the exhaust inside the engine's V-shape, with while the air intake positioned on the outside resulting in a variety of advancements:
• Shorter airflow from the exhaust system to the new, larger turbocharger sitting between the engine's cylinder banks improves turbo responsiveness – key to providing torque quickly to truck customers when they need it most
• Positioning the turbo inside the engine's valley helps isolate the engine's hottest temperatures, improving performance and efficiency, while also reducing noise, vibration and harshness to improve driver comfort
Enhancements include a larger turbocharger for faster air displacement resulting in more power. The engine block is made of compacted graphite iron, which is stronger yet lighter than cast iron, is more wear-resistant and has enhanced sealing properties.
"The designers of the original 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel predicted that it would eventually need to be upgraded for higher output," said David Ives, Ford Power Stroke technical specialist. "They designed it in a way that made it easier to add a larger turbocharger, increasing airflow and creating more power for dramatically improved performance, yet we haven't lost any efficiency."
New injector tips spray a finer mist of fuel into the cylinders which provides a more complete burn and helps reduceing noise, vibration and harshness. Other benefits include lower emissions and less fuel deposit buildup on the intake valves over time.
The engine enhancements give the Power Stroke engine a class-leading maximum output of 440 horsepower and 860 lb.-ft. of torque.
The F-350 is available with a high-capacity towing package that includes new front springs and a wide track axle, increasing the gross combined weight rating with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine from 31,900 pounds to 35,000 pounds.
Improvements to the F-450 that allow it to handle the increased tow rating include commercial- grade 19.5-inch wheels and tires; upgraded rear U-joints and suspension components, including new rear leaf springs; front and rear stabilizer bars; and shocks. The steering system has stronger gears and linkages and the fifth-wheel/gooseneck has an increased towing capacity. The brakes are larger brakes and feature new antilock brake calibration for enhanced braking performance.