2020 Ford Super Duty: The Workhorse For The City of Tomorrow

The Ford Super Duty is not going quietly into the night. As the State Fair of Texas gets underway, Ford is showcasing the numbers on their new heavy hauler. In short, the 2020 Ford Super Duty is a monster. In a longer-term sense, a magnet and a strong one at that. It’s safe to say Ford will use the new performance figures to entice buyers away from GM and Ram. Ford is also using the occasion to get back to their roots, or so it seems anyway. Yes, the 2020 Ford Super Duty is packed with connectivity and tech stuff – all these trucks are today; but the 2020 Super Duty’s numbers suggest Ford is ever-conscious of those who buy a truck simply for the hitch and bed.

For example, the Super Duty retains the highest market share among demanding industries and professions. According to Ford’s analysis of IHS Markit TIPNet U.S. registration data (January 2017 – June 2019), the Super Duty’s market share in mining is over 60 percent; emergency vehicles and services at 50 percent; and construction and other skilled trades coming in at nearly 50 percent.

2020 Ford Super Duty: Setting The Stage

During the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) here in Detroit, Ford’s display is always one of the most elaborate. It’s usually two levels, complete with games and simulators and all their best candy, from Shelby Mustangs to Raptor trucks. When Ford says they want to be known as a technology company, or a mobility company, their modern display at NAIAS reflects as much. What’s interesting is how that bent toward cutting-edge technology and future mobility merges under the hood of one of their most recognizable and significant products: that is the 2020 Super Duty.

In the City of Tomorrow, Ford hopes to reduce pollution, congestion, and ineffective means of transit. Autonomous and electric vehicles, ride sharing services, and other types of “connected mobility” are brought into the conversation. Ford is partnering with a coalition of mayors and Bloomberg Philanthropies for the ambitious endeavor. And while everyone may be hard at work on our future home, today Ford is doing what any Detroit automaker worth their weight in salt does. Producing big, powerful trucks for America’s working class.

After all, somebody has gotta build that city.

“Super Duty customers have demanding and diverse needs – from towing heavy trailers to repairing critical infrastructure,” explained Kumar Galhotra, Ford President, North America. “Productivity is their lifeblood and their truck is their biggest tool.”

“Ford truck customers are building a better world with Super Duty and we’re helping them work even harder with the most available diesel towing, payload, torque, and power you can get in a heavy-duty pickup,” explained Mike Pruitt, Super Duty Chief Engineer. “We’ve surpassed the kilotorque barrier and made it standard with every pickup truck featuring a Power Stroke diesel engine.”

2020 Super Duty availability chart, courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

How Powerful Is The 2020 Ford Super Duty?

As it stands now, the 2020 Ford Super Duty will provide best-in-class diesel towing, power, and torque; best-in-class gasoline power and torque; and best-in-class payload. In terms of diesel towing, Ford will claim all three methods with the 2020 Super Duty: conventional, fifth-wheel, and gooseneck. For the latter, hitch mounts are installed at the factory. Moving the brick and mortar of the City of Tomorrow requires big numbers, and the right factory outfits to do so.

At the top of the mountain is the reining 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine. Under the hood of the new Super Duty, it generates 475 horsepower and 1,050 lbs-ft. of torque. The engine pairs with a new 10-speed TorqShift automatic. When properly-equipped, the 6.7 Power Stroke has a maximum conventional tow rating of 24,200 lbs.; maximum fifth-wheel rating of 32,500 lbs.; and gooseneck capability up to 37,000 lbs. The numbers surpass comparable offerings from GM and Ram. To put things into perspective, a properly-configured F-450 could tow nearly 31 American quarter horses at 1,200 lbs. apiece.

On the gasoline side, the available 7.3-liter V8 cranks out 430 horsepower and 475 lbs-ft. of torque. When properly-equipped, the standard 6.2-liter gas offers a maximum payload capacity of 7,850 lbs. The numbers again surpass comparable offerings from GM and Ram.

The new Tremor Off-Road Package with the 6.7 Power Stroke returns a maximum conventional tow rating of 15,000 lbs.; 21,900 lbs. for gooseneck applications. The Tremor package with a 7.3 gas offers a maximum payload capacity of 4,210 lbs.

2020 Ford Super Duty with the Tremor off-road package. Photo: Ford Motor Company.

Running The Gauntlet

Ford is known for their “torture tests,” a series of brutal, intense, and even ludicrous outings that subject a truck to its absolute limit. One of the more famous ones from 2011 pits EcoBoost Engine 448AA against Homestead-Miami Speedway. The F-150 EcoBoost runs for 24 hours around the track, only stopping for fuel and tire changes while towing at max capacity. Suffice it to say, nothing has changed in Ford truck land, and the 2020 Super Duty arrives as the most tested in the company’s history.

Prior to its debut, the 2017 Super Duty logged more than 12 million test miles. The 2020 Super Duty covered that, plus another seven million. Torture tests this time included running the truck around the clock under extreme loads, and through all kinds of environmental conditions using dynos, test tracks, and public roads. In fact, because the durability test tracks are so unforgiving and jarring, robot drivers are sometimes used in favor of humans.

Related: An inside look at Dearborn’s big slugger.

Technology & Connectivity Treatments

The available Pro Trailer Backup Assist will help when maneuvering trailers to and fro. Drivers use a knob instead of the steering wheel to better position their trailer via the reverse camera. Trailer Reverse Guidance shows the angle and direction, and provides steering suggestions to most efficiently direct a trailer backward. The technology accommodates all conventional, fifth-wheel, and gooseneck applications.

Elsewhere in the cab, the 2020 Ford Super Duty provides a 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices. Wireless charging and USB-C ports are also available.

2020 Ford Super Duty interior layout. Photo: Ford Motor Company.

Manufacturing & Availability

The 2020 Ford Super Duty will start shipping to dealers by year-end, being manufactured at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville; and the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake. In the meantime, the 2020 Ford Super Duty is on display inside the Truck Zone at the State Fair of Texas, now through October 20th.

Carl Anthony studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. Before going back to school, he simultaneously held product development and experiential marketing roles in the automotive industry. Carl is also a loyal Detroit Lions fan. 

2020 Ford Super Duty Gallery

Photos & Source: Ford Motor Company.

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