New Ford Super Duty enters the arena at Texas State Fair

New Ford Super Duty enters the arena at Texas State Fair

The Texas State Fair opens today in Dallas, but one high-spirited new workhorse made its debut yesterday, the 2008 Ford Super Duty

DALLAS, TX. The Texas State Fair opens today in Dallas, but one high-spirited new workhorse made its debut yesterday, the 2008 Ford Super Duty. While the 2008 Super Duty line is officially referred to as an “overhaul” of the 2007 offering, there were enough innovations and new features to create a stir among the crowd of dealers, customers and members of the press who packed a grandstand for the reveal of the 2008 models, including a new Ford F-450 pickup with a towing capacity of more than 24,000 pounds and a maximum payload of more than 6,000 pounds.

Even country-music star and Ford spokesperson, Toby Keith, dropped by to add his endorsement of the new Super Duty which sports a larger, much more prominent grille, sculpted fender flares and a new, larger Ford Blue Oval badge sculpted right into the grille with the words Super Duty embossed into the grille’s leading edge.

New F-450

The newest product in the Super Duty line, the F-450 pickup truck, is built on a chassis that incorporates a new rear leaf-spring suspension while using the radius arm front suspension from the F-450 chassis cab to improve the turning radius and improve maneuverability while towing, according to Pete Reyes, Super Duty chief engineer. “The increased towing and cargo hauling capability, the engine enhancements and all the refinements make the F-450 absolutely the most capable pickup truck we’ve ever built,” he said.

New diesel engine

The 2008 Super Duty will be available with a new 6.4-liter Power Stroke diesel engine. The new diesel delivers 350-hp at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque starting at 2,000 rpm. It utilizes Ford’s “Clean Diesel Technology,” which includes a high-pressure, common rail fuel system, Piezo-electric fuel injectors plus an advanced diesel particulate filter system to bring diesel emission numbers to gasoline levels. Series sequential turbochargers are designed to provide improved response and better low-end performance. While, nearly ¾ of all Ford Super duty pickup trucks sold are diesel-powered, the 362-hp 6.8 liter V-10 Triton gasoline engine will also be available.

Customers can chose between a five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual with overdrive. Although the market for manual transmissions in pickups has dipped to about five percent in recent years, according to Reyes, Ford also reaffirmed its commitment to customers who prefer the manual transmission. In both cases, the powertrain use a new mounting system designed to reduce vibration.

Bedside manner

Anyone who has ever climbed into a pickup bed with a heavy load slung over one shoulder can appreciate the new Tailgate Step incorporated into the 2008 Super Duty. The steel step is fully integrated into the tailgate; the lower step becomes the center of the top rail of the tailgate when not in use.

To use the step, drivers drop the tailgate into the down position, grab the bottom step, pull it straight out from the tailgate and drop it down into the step position, providing a step pad about 25 inches off the ground. A grab handle that supports up to 300 pounds can also be folded up to make getting into the bed of the truck easier and safer still, as does the new non-slip walking surface on the tailgate liner.

Another new option for the truck bed is the stowable bed extender. Like the Tailgate Step, the bed extender stows out of the way in the truck bed when not in use. In the case of the extender, it separates into two pieces that are designed to fold and snap to the sides of the bed. The extender in made of blow-molded polypropylene and can withstand up to 1,000 pounds of static pressure. The 21-inch tall cage clamps together in the center and is secured to the bed with a bolt-action latch.

New interiors

Inside the cab, Ford has created an all-new interior featuring new materials and “luxury touches,” such as contrast stitching on seats and wood accents. Rings surrounding gauges and air vents are notched and more defined. The company has also utilized a composite laminated steel sheet for the vehicle’s dash panel and extra sound padding in the dash and floor, a rear bulkhead panel and thicker side glass to help quiet the cabin. Audio systems are MP3 capable and feature a standard auxiliary audio input. An upgrade to an eight-speaker system with subwoofer and 6-disc CD changer is also available. A DVD-based navigation system with an in-dash screen is available on the Fx4 and Lariat SuperCabs and Crew Cabs.

The climate control system has also been redesigned to provide more balanced airflow and quieter operation and a dual-zone Electronic Automatic Temperature control (EATC) has been added as a standard feature on the Lariat and King Ranch models for 2008.

Available in 2007

The new Super Duty pickups will go on sale in early 2007 and will be available in three cab styles, the Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab, each with two bed length choices. Along with the XLT, Lariat and high-line King Ranch models, an “FX4” model will also be available for 4x4 SuperCab and Crew Cab trucks.

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