Ford is rolling out updates for its commercial vehicles, adding new driver assist tech and giving the bigger trucks and vans the new 7.3-liter gasoline V8 engine.
The refreshed Ford Super Duty lineup means the F-600 chassis cab truck is also brand new for 2020. Ford says the F-600 Super Duty chassis cab, a medium-duty truck, has the capabilities of a Class 6 truck in a Class 5 Super Duty package, neatly slotting in between the F-550 and F-650.
The F-600 reaches a maximum GVWR of 22,000 pounds, partially thanks to higher-weight-rated 19.5-inch tires and wheels, but the driveline and chassis components have also been upgraded for 2020. There are three engines on offer, beginning with the 6.2-liter gasoline V8 and the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel, but on top of those is the all-new 7.3-liter gasoline V8, which Ford brought out in February. It takes the place of the outgoing 6.8-liter V10, and Ford claims the two fewer cylinders also result in cheaper maintenance and ownership costs; if nothing else, you're buying less spark plugs every time. Aiming for maximum durability, the port-injected, cam-in-block 7.3 has a cast iron block and a forged steel crankshaft, but benefits from modern touches such as variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust sides. The pistons also have oil jets for cooling.
Speaking of modern tech in commercial usage, all Ford commercial vehicle lines now include standard modems with 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices. Ford has also upgraded its Co-Pilot360 technologies for 2020, making traction control, hill start assist and auto headlights standard for F-650, F-750, E-Series, F-53 and F-59; adaptive cruise, ESC, lane departure warning, driver alert and automatic high-beam headlights are optional. Those headlights are standard on the Super Duty.
And for Transit, there's now standard forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keeping assist and the automatic high beams. Adaptive cruise, BLIS, active park assist, side sensing, front and rear cameras and adjustable speed limiter are now available as options when speccing a Transit. Transit also gets 10-speed automatic transmission as standard and AWD as an option; automatic emergency braking is standard on 2020 Transit and 2019 Transit Connect, and available for other commercial vehicles.
The Ford E-Series, a veteran, gets the new 7.3-liter engine in two guises but also a cabin update for the 2021 model year, as there's a redesigned dash, steering wheel and stereo. Those interior updates are also introduced for the F-53 and F-59.
And as for the Class 6-7 trucks, the F-650 and F-750 have a choice between the 7.3-liter gasoline V8 and the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. The transmission in both cases is the six-speed TorqShift automatic. The refreshed 2021 F-650 and F-750, with cabin updates, will begin production in January 2020.