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A Look at the 2020 Ford Super Duty

A close up of a white 2020 Ford Super Duty's grille.

 

Cinder blocks don’t move themselves, and they certainly don’t move themselves over mountainous terrain, down gravel roads, and across flooded fields, down treacherous inclines, through blistering heat or in blizzard conditions. They absolutely refuse to move themselves 30,000 pounds at a time in complete safety and security, through the jungle of old man Potter’s backwoods deep to the secret fort under construction. Cinder blocks are physically incapable of summoning (best in class) 475 horsepower and fall drastically short of 1,050 ft-lb of torque, notoriously inadequate when compared to the power delivered by a 6.7L power stroke power diesel V8 engine. That’s why cinder blocks aren’t what build your dreams, or even your favorite projects. They don’t have the muscle to get things done. The 2020 Ford Super Duty truck series does, though.

Years of Excellence

Relentless continuous improvement is what sets Ford above the competition, as best in class year after year, the best-selling line of trucks in America for 42 consecutive years. In 2019 Ford’s Powerstroke engine had lost some weight by making an engine block that was stronger yet lighter than cast iron, made from compacted graphite iron. The new and improved heart and soul of the 2019 Ford Super Duty series also spotlighted a unique and impressive inverse-flow configuration for superior intake and exhaust optimization. The inboard configuration allows a turbocharger to be mounted closer to the exhaust manifold, which results in greater power and faster air displacement, because the exhaust manifolds and turbochargers are installed between the cylinder heads above the engine block.

The cream of the crop rises to the top, and the engineering of the Super Duty lineup is a powerful reminder of that. The 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel features an innovative engine-exhaust brake that you control. It works by restricting the turbocharger’s exhaust flow, which in turn creates back pressure, thereby slowing the Super Duty. This gives you better control when traveling downhill, even with a full load or a steep road grade. The cherry on top of this creative design is that consequently, the engine brake helps cut down on the amount of applied pedal pressure. As a result, brake fade and lining wear are minimized, meaning you save time, money, and hassle by needing less routine maintenance. You can configure this feature one of three ways: On, Off, and Auto, but you’re probably best leaving it on auto most of the time- it will give you the speed you want by going off of your brake and accelerator pedal use.

2020 Super Duty Carries on its Legacy

The 2020 Super Duty series offers 3 engine options, a 6.2L gasoline V8 with 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed transmission. The 7.3L gas V8 powers through 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission it delivers a 7660 pounds of maximum payload, with 21,200 pounds towing with a gooseneck trailer. The 6.7L Diesel features 475 horsepower, with a staggering 1050 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 10-speed transmission, which Ford has designed to be lighter so you can carry more of what matters.

A more efficient variable displacement oil pump is responsible for the increased efficiency, along with higher pressures on the fuel rail, a higher compression ratio, and a better performing turbocharger. Ford also spent time and energy on upgrades to the axles and driveline, along with putting every last bit of efficiency into the 6.7L engine by making tweaks in a lot of little places that result in better performance- it’s a more finely tuned iteration of excellence that pushes the bar further than Chevy or Ram. The better, stronger, and faster 2020 Super Duty also mates the 6.7L Powerstroke to a 10-speed transmission for maximum agility.

A blue 2020 Ford Super Duty is parked next to a barn with horses walking by it in a sun glare.

A new grille on the 450 allows more air coming through the opening, which means better engine cooling, which is one of the many small ways Ford has optimized the 2020 Super Duty engine. How much more do these little changes add up to? 1,500 pounds more than Chevy’s best towing capacity, and 1,900 more than Ram’s heavy-duty pickups.

New in this year’s model is a 350-pound drop in unnecessary weight by changing out the steel frame for a high grade, military strength aluminum alloy body, making a lighter vehicle that can move more of what you want because it doesn’t have as much of itself to move around. But it also makes the body more resistant to dings, dents, and corrosion, because Ford’s are built to be tough. Even the wheels feature a new design that opens up for more airflow, helping to cool the brakes, because that’s the kind of thinking that makes you best in class every time.

The Technology Features

Accompanying the Ford mechanical superiority are all the conveniences of modern electronics you could shake your stick at. One of the most exciting technologies debuted first by the Super Duty is trailer backup assist that lets you control the direction your trailer is going with the simple turn of a knob. The Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and trailer coverage not only protects you from harm when driving your vehicle normally but extends to whatever you’re hauling as well. There’s also pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking to reduce the severity of, or outright prevent an accident with pedestrians or vehicles in front of you. In keeping with the focus of technology for a truck, there’s a trailer reverse guidance system with cameras to detect where things are going as well as give you a better view, and visual guides in the dash to help you make it there successfully. The instructions can even sense the movements of the steering wheel and adapt their guidance accordingly. When it comes time to teach a new driver, there’s nothing that will pay off quite so well.

There’s also 360 degrees of camera coverage for the vehicle to help get around obstructions to visibility when navigating tight spots or carrying loads or pulling out of alleys, and innumerable other situations. Having a view of the bed is also handy when backing up and hooking trailers up. It’s the extra conveniences that put Ford and their customers at the top, so neither these features or the 4G WiFi that you can connect up to 10 devices to comes as a shock, but are certainly a welcome, pleasant surprise.

Conclusion

Best in class. It may not be Ford’s official slogan, but it might as well be what they’re known by due to the highest standard of quality they bring. Whether it’s innovations that solve the problems truck drivers needed to be solved, or the best engineering a mechanic could dream of, the 2020 Super Duty line of trucks are where you want to look when looking for excellence.

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