Ford goes for versatility

The goal for Ford's all-new medium-duty lineup is to provide the right truck for a broad range of applications by offering a wide range of cabs, frames, wheelbases, engines, transmissions, axles and suspensions. The 2004 F-650 and F-750 will be available with diesel engines from International, Caterpillar and Cummins, 18 manual and automatic transmission models, three cab configurations, 38 wheelbases,

The goal for Ford's all-new medium-duty lineup is to provide the right truck for a broad range of applications by offering a wide range of cabs, frames, wheelbases, engines, transmissions, axles and suspensions.

The 2004 F-650 and F-750 will be available with diesel engines from International, Caterpillar and Cummins, 18 manual and automatic transmission models, three cab configurations, 38 wheelbases, nine frame choices, 10 suspension packages and both tractor and trailer models.

Blue Diamond Truck, a joint venture by Ford and Navistar International Corp., has begun production of the F-650/F-750 at it's plant in Esconbedo, Mexico, and deliveries are expected to begin next month through Ford's network of 300 medium-duty commercial vehicle dealers. The joint venture also includes full parts support for the new trucks as well as Ford dealer access to service parts for other OEM's medium-duty models.

“Between 1948 and the 1990's, Ford was number one or two in the medium-duty market,” says Dave Tarrant, Ford's chief nameplate engineer for medium-duty trucks. “The new F-650 and F-750 are the right trucks to help us recover that position.”

Both the Class 6 and Class 7 Fords are available with regular, super and crew cabs in standard, low-profile and severe- service configurations.

Engine options include the new International 6L PowerStroke V8, the 7.2L 3126 Caterpillar diesel and Cummins' 5.9L ISB. Transmissions include Eaton and Spicer manuals, and a range of Allison automatic models.

Air suspension will be available on all models, including those with hydraulic brakes, and a wide range of frame and component packaging options will allow the new trucks to accommodate a wide range of body types.

Ford has also announced a Class 5 version of its E-Series in both chassis cab and cutaway models. The 2003 Super Duty E-550 is offered with wheelbases up to 233 ins. in GVW rations of 17,500 and 19,000 lbs.

Intended for parcel delivery, utility, flat-bed, wrecker and other midrange applications, the Super Duty E-550 is available with Triton V6, V8 and V10 gasoline engines and the 7.3L PowerStroke V8 diesel. A 5.4L V8 with a compressed natural gas system is also offered.

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