Exterior Appearance *****
Bumbeck: The Darth Vader blackout grille treatment was most impressive, especially considering the huffing turbocharger more than trumps Vader's wheezing. The rest of the slab-sided truck imposes massive size from every angle. Giant chrome wheels would be better off glossy or flat back to complete the doom-laden dark Sith lord character of brought forth by the rest of the vehicle.
Loverman: The "fuck you, Prius" design motif is most pleasing to my big, American eyes. Not only will it scare the bejeezus out of whomever is in front of you, but should you need to completely block out the sun, well, there you have it. Regardless, the F250's styling is so totally on the mark that other trucks should run themselves off the road in shame.
Interior Design **
Bumbeck: Cush two-tone leather seats present one with a Fooseish visual welcome. This is followed by 1950s Barcalounger comfort level on ass-parking. The steering wheel is large and truckish, as it should be. The usual controls are augmented by a row of aux power toggle switches and an additional brake gain unit for condo-towing adjustment. Beyond the luxo-seating, fancy gives way to heavy-duty utility.
Loverman: You said, "cush." Hippie. The inner guts of the Outlaw remain a mystery to me. I too like the red leather seats. They are totally trashy and right up the intended buyer's sleazy alley. I mean, "I drive an Outlaw, baby!" means you look up to and respect Kid Rock. And that's cool man, that's cool. But why is the rest of the interior so terrible? If a passenger misses the seats, how are they to know how totally devoid of fear you are? They will have no clue as to which club the bad boy driver vehicle belongs to. Really, the dash should have tribal tats and the windshield should be a pair of Oakleys.
Loverman: If my daily driver didn't hit 60 mph in under six seconds (and cost half as much, and weigh half as much) stars would be a-flying. As it stands, the Super Duty gets only three five-pointers and one huge, honking BUT. For it takes just eight seconds to hit 60 mph. Which is two playing-with-your-own-feces past frigging insane. To give you an idea of just how fast that is, consider that a MINI does the deed in 8.3 seconds. And as Bumbeck mentioned, when that punchbowl-sized turbocharger finally turns over, the sensation is, to channel Jezzo, epic. As in, "Oooh — I'm going to drive through that frigging mountain that's been pissing me off."
Bumbeck: And drive through that mountain you shall Buckaroo Banzai. Burying the throttle in the Outlaw rapidly brings one into a John Whorfin take-over-the-universe state of mind and into the eighth dimension. The powerplant defies the more than three tons of truck with such a smooth and linear path of acceleration that this driver pondered if there was an oscillation overthruster instead of a turbodiesel under the hood. Smirking quickly gives way to a maniacal grin as a right eye on the speedometer confirmed seemingly effortless velocity. Laugh while you can, Monkey Boy!
Loverman: Yeah... it was like worm-drive.
Bumbeck: As quickly as one can forget that the Outlaw is a 6,395-pound hurtling chunk of iron, steel, aluminum, rubber, and various plastics, one easily remembers these facts when it comes time to put the brakes on such an affair. If the Outlaw is respected and driven like the truck that it is, then all will be well. If driven like more than a few of the imbecilic pickup truck drivers we saw on the road who tailgate like they're driving a Cup car around Talladega, then trouble scrubbing off inertia in time may be a problem.
Loverman: I second Bumbeck's motion to respect the bulk of this sucker. That said, our tired tester showed up at Jalopnik West Coast HQ (my house) with 15,000 miles on the odometer. These brakes may have been totally shot. Or not.
Loverman: Because we're art school fools, we never put anything into the truck heavier than Bumbeck's camera case and my Palms hat. However, as is true of all trucks, a few thousand pounds of ballast would have made the sailing smoother. But let's not play make believe here — passenger comfort was about the 243rd thing on the engineers' minds. Right after tailgate handle position. Rides like a truck.
Bumbeck: Over the crumbling remains of what was once the finest system of roadways in the USA, the Outlaw rides just like any large pickup on on top of heavy duty springs. Like a truck. Not even two-tone leather clad barco-level seats will save your neck from this reality. The seats certainly help to cushion the blows, but this is monster is nothing if not a giant truck. If we were pseudo-macho art school sculptor types we would have thrown some scrap metal in the back to smooth out the ride and impress some art school girls. Instead we carried some lenses, and Jonny's baseball cap on-a-hook.
Loverman: I hate sculptors.
Bumbeck: While the F250 Outlaw is a massive beast the handling was nonetheless impressive. Instant and darting response? No. On and around corner handling that was surprising for a truck of this size? Yes. Remembering that this thing is still a truck despite the sporty looking wheels and tires is nonetheless a good thought to keep in mind when barking out orders to the helm. Full left rudder! Evasive maneuvers! All engines reverse!
Loverman: Here is where you and I disagree greatly. The F250 doesn't have handling. I'm not impressed by things that don't exist. Moving on.
Loverman: As good as an automatic gets. Five gears is better than four, though six or seven or eight or 20 would make more sense. Still, I was able to achieve over 20 mpg in a three-ton vehicle at highway speeds. That rocks.
Bumbeck: In agreement with Loverman about the transmission. The best kind of automatic is the one never thought about. Besides, I was too busy listening to the turbo to notice gears meshing. A pull on the column mounted shifter into D or R is all that's required to be the proud captain of F-250 transmission command. That, and a mashing of the loud pedal.
Loverman: Yeah — that Power Stroke mill was loud!
Bumbeck: It had audio? It had better be a loud one to thunder over the injectors and fuel pump. Multimedia capability did not seem to be one of the truck's key points. The F250 was not equipped with a television.
Loverman: And that missing TV could have been part of a backup camera system. Or, more useful, a camera on the front of the truck, as the hood is taller than most cars' roofs. It did have a six-disk in dash, plus AM and FM. No iPodage. Blah, blah, blah it's a work truck, but it's also the Outlaw — how you going to play George Thorogood's Bad to the Bone without an iPod? The righteous new Tom Waits sounded OK coming out of the speakers. Art Bell sounded better.
Loverman: You mean besides 25 psi of boost and 570 ft-lbs of torque? Well, it has four AUX switches, so you can plug in all sorts of 110V toys. Plus, there was that weird hook to hang your hat/keys. And it had the back up beeping thingy. Column shifts are fun. Uh... the pedals can move back and forth... and the mini window to the bed is powered. Plus you can kick the e-brake off with your boot. Um, Bumbeck, a little help?
Bumbeck: The ability to power not only a rack of lights on the trailer but also a few rawk bands' worth of amplifiers is a neat toy. Provided punk rockers didn't mind riding in the trailer or bed, the F250 could be the source for a "10 Bands 10 Bucks' show in the middle of the high desert night, or good for a trip out to Burning Man. Jeers and barbs from the anti-truck and SUV crowd would subside as soon as the hippies needed some diesel electric auxiliary circuit love.
Loverman: Burning Man? I can't believe what a hippie you are.
Bumbeck: Trunk? You want trunk? I got your trunk right here. While the F250 doesn't really have a trunk, it does have a bed. This capacity, along with 15,000 pounds of ass-hauling towing ability, pretty much make you forget you ever needed a trunk to begin with. A measly trunk? Throw a set of golf clubs into the back and they look like toothpicks floating in Lake Michigan. From space. Get a hard tonneau cover for the bed and presto — world's biggest freaking trunk.
Loverman: And if the 6.75 foot bed isn't big enough for you, the eight-footer is just a check box away. Which is the automotive equivalent of going from a double to a triple cheeseburger, but what do you care? You're a Ford truck man!
Loverman: As tested our Outlaw stickered at $50,185. Which is a helluva lot of money. Remember though, that really, these trucks are free due to tax loopholes. Free is pretty cheap. But let's pretend your accountant isn't smart enough to
cheat list your Outlaw as a business expense. In other words, let's say you buy it as a lifestyle statement instead of its intended dirt-hauling purpose. That is a ton of money for a three-ton truck. Assuming you don't mind sitting on vinyl benches, you could knock about eighteen-grand off the price by going for a similarly sized 2WD non-Outlaw, non-Lariat, non-slushbox Super Duty. But, sadly, without the red leather seats, why bother?
Bumbeck 50K? Holy mackerel! That's good for a fleet of over 25 used Starlets. Then again the Starlet can barely haul itself around, let alone 15,000 pounds of paving stones or lesser Fords. Value behind that kind of sticker price only makes sense if the F250 is actually used for what it was created for. Super Duty. Those who choose an F250 as a lifestyle statement or to make up for perceived shortcomings most likely don't concern themselves all that much with money.
Bumbeck: The F250 Outlaw is a pickup designed for those who require a truck for the God-given purpose of towing and hauling a heap of anything on on the planet, yet want to sit in a leather seat and appear stylish while doing so. Hat optional.
Loverman: If I was a rich man, I would keep a Super Duty on the side of my house for that one time a year when I need to haul bricks or move a fridge. This is a fantastic truck. However, it is but a truck. The F250 Outlaw reminds me of Boxer, the horse, from Orwell's Animal Farm; soldiering on and always working harder, political realities be damned. Noble, yet tragic in terms of the larger, warmer world.