2011 F-Series Super Duty: Ford Tows Chevy To Woodshed, Smacks It Around

Illustration for article titled 2011 F-Series Super Duty: Ford Tows Chevy To Woodshed, Smacks It Around

Despite showing us the 2011 F-Series Super Duty five months ago, there's been not a word on power. Finally, here's the scoop: Powerstroke, 390HP and 735ft-lb of torque. 6.2-liter gas engine, 385HP and 405 ft-lb of torque. Your move GM.


Ford and GM have been playing a somewhat annoying game of cat and mouse with their newly revealed heavy duty pickup trucks. Ford unveiled their new F-Series Super Duty in September while GM unveiled their new Silverado HD two weeks ago at the Chicago Auto Show. Neither have divulged any kind of power numbers in a game of one-upsmanship, using every last minute to wring more power out of their engines to try and gain a competitive advantage. Well Ford's come out with official numbers, and they're pretty darn staggering.

Illustration for article titled 2011 F-Series Super Duty: Ford Tows Chevy To Woodshed, Smacks It Around

Without question the brand new, all-Ford designed 6.7-liter V8 Powerstroke diesel is the headliner, boasting a formidable 735 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 RPM and 390 HP at 2,800 RPM. That's a stump ripper to be sure and represents a 85 ft-lb and 40 HP improvement over the last engine. There's plenty to like about the engine beside the numbers. First, it's just plain cool, with a reverse breathing layout meaning the intake side of engine is outboard and exhaust is inboard. The valley-mounted twin compressor turbo essentially packs a twin-turbo's worth of punch into a single turbo's packaging, and because of the extremely short manifolds and thus manifold volume leading to the impeller side, turbo lag has been essentially eliminated. It's also got a compacted graphite iron block for strength, forged crank, forged rods, aluminum pistons, crossbolted four bolt mains, and some crazy plate stamped rocker arms for valvetrain durability.

To keep the enviro-nerds happy, the after-treatment system is a urea-based NOx scrubber with a diesel particulate filter to keep emissions clean, and if you're so inclined the engine's designed to run smooth on B20 biodiesel. The engine's backed by the all-new Torqueshift transmission with a live PTO off the side for implements and in total the whole packages is 180 lbs lighter, 160 lbs from the engine, 20 lbs from the transmission. It's supposedly pretty quiet too, but we still go weak at the knees whenever a 7.3-liter Powerstroke's making its wonderful racket, so that's not so important to us. Oh, by the way, the new engine is the same option price as the outgoing one at $7,835.

Illustration for article titled 2011 F-Series Super Duty: Ford Tows Chevy To Woodshed, Smacks It Around

The 6.2-liter gas motor is new as well, though detuned a bit from its first application in the F-150 Raptor. Here it produces 385 HP at 5,500 RPM and 405 ft-lb of torque at 4,500 RPM. That's an 85 HP and 40 ft-lb improvement over the outgoing 5.4-liter. In case you forgot, the biggest comparative truck these engines go into — the F-350 — is capable of up to 21,600 lbs of gooseneck towing and 6,250 lbs of payload. If you're taking notes that means Ford's besting GM's claimed towing capacity by 1,600 lbs and is at a payload disadvantage of a scant 50 lbs when compared to the Silverado 3500 HD. GM's still playing coy on its power numbers, but until they spill the beans Ford's solidly established as the heavy duty king of the hill.


Flathead Smith and the Screaming Straight Pipes

I have an old muscle car that when new was rated at 345 HP and 460 ft-lb torque. I have modified the engine over the years with headers, higher compression, fairly radical cam (it idles at very rumpty-rump lope, 800 rpm from a stock slightly rough 600) and aluminum intake. I’m guessing the engine puts out around 400 to 450 hp fairly streetable hp and who knows how much torque. This thing maybe tops out at around 12 or 13 mpg and when you get into very much, and will easily go down to around 8 or 9 mpg ( I have actually registered even lower in my younger days). I have twisted the speedo past 100 mph on numerous occasions and several times have gone past the 120 mark and estimated that I have had the car up to around 130 to 140 mph and it would have gone faster with a little more time.

This car is not only pretty fast, but it handles pretty good too. It came with a very good handling suspension when new and over the years I installed a steering box from a WS6 optioned Trans AM for quicker steering, and then it was updated with taller spindles from a 70’s Firebird/Camaro for better front suspension geometry.

Today is a new day though and I have much to fear. When I see these new vehicles like this Ford Super Duty with these massive hp and torque numbers, I’m really starting to feel my car is rather inadequate. It’s very disconcerting to know that that Lexus or Cadillac, driven by a blue hair, which just pulled up next to you may lead to your humiliation. Hell, it it’s almost come to the point where a Chrysler mini-van may be my undoing.