Longtime readers of this advertisement can apparently anamnesis a car analysis (or several) that hinged on council feel and response. But can you name one breadth that specific aspect authentic a full-size, able auto truck? The 2017 Ford F-350 Platinum is best absolutely not a sports car, and yet actuality we are zeroing in on its steering.
Ford Super Duty 2020
There are countless advancements formed into the F-series Super Duty for 2017, including an all-new aluminum anatomy and bed (just like the light-duty F-150), a stiffer animate frame, and a revised Power Stroke turbo-diesel 6.7-liter V-8 agent option. Yet for truckers who occasionally adventure into awash burghal areas or bound worksites, the Super Duty’s new variable-ratio council arrangement could be its best noteworthy enhancement.
The bureaucracy gives the disciplinarian the consequence of greater maneuverability by, as Ford puts it, mechanically abacus or abacus rotations to disciplinarian ascribe at the council wheel. Said accession way, for a accustomed council input, the advanced auto will about-face added at lower speeds and beneath at college speeds. What’s absolutely appropriate about the bureaucracy is that it’s based aural the council wheel’s hub, not in the council accent itself, as is common. This accustomed Ford to absorb the F-series’ hydraulically assisted recirculating-ball council system, simplifying the accomplishment process.
How does it work? A all-embracing gearset army amid the council caster and the council cavalcade receives inputs from an electric motor and the council wheel, abrogation the council shaft to the advanced arbor as the “output.” At lower speeds, the electric motor bolsters disciplinarian inputs, axis the advanced auto added for a accustomed council ascribe than they would at college speeds.
The variable-ratio bureaucracy does not abate the Super Duty’s axis circle, yet the council absolutely makes the astronomic barter feel wieldier. We accomplished about no hand-over-hand flailing in parking lots—a accepted evidence of ample trucks’ apathetic council ratios—and we additionally acclaimed a greater faculty of adherence at artery speeds. Some alley feel alike manages to ability the driver’s hands. Our abandoned agitation is that on a beeline alley at about 40 mph, bent amid “low” and “high” alley speeds, the computer seems borderline of which council arrangement to select. This is acquainted as odd surges or abrupt sags in acknowledgment to baby inputs at the council caster and some balmy wandering.
Unless you try slapping magnets on the new Super Duty’s flanks, you’d acceptable never apperceive its anatomy is now fabricated from aluminum. The absolutely boxed anatomy charcoal steel. The aluminum is advised to save weight; it does, but we can’t yet allege to accurately how abounding pounds accept been trimmed. That’s because Ford additionally added appearance for 2017 and uprated the F-350’s axles and four-wheel-drive components, abacus some pounds aback in. Also, this F-350 had the single-rear-wheel option, while the best contempo pre-aluminum 2015 F-350 we activated had the dualie rear axle. Not-quite-apples-to-peaches, this F-350 advised 8060 pounds, compared with the 2015 dualie model’s 8520 pounds.
We can allege with added ascendancy on the new Super Duty’s animate frame, which Ford claims is 24 times stiffer than before. The courage absolutely seems Viagra-fortified, alike if the anatomy mounts amid it and the aluminum cab and bed acquiesce some quivering. This Super Duty’s able 350-spec suspension, which rides abundant harder than the added adequate F-250 setup, didn’t advice annihilate the jiggle.
Ford offers the Super Duty in XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trim levels. Our analysis barter came loaded up in the Platinum spec, although we photographed a King Ranch for this story. The autogenous is plush, with leather-wrapped seats (massaging in front), copse and metal trim, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, dual-zone automated altitude control, and more. We acknowledgment this because if this array of affluence appeals to you added than absolute towing capability, we’d advance afraid with the smoother-riding F-250 (or alike an F-150). The F-350 is absolutely a assignment barter underneath, so abandoned affluent haulers who either consistently accept a abundant bivouac in tow or amount the bed generally abundant to calm the ride should accede the F-350 in cher King Ranch or Platinum forms.
For those who adore acid the alien towing banned of trucks abate than semis, Ford boasts that the F-350 can now lug up to 32,000 pounds. Our barter had the alternative gooseneck/fifth-wheel bivouac adapter appropriate for that feat, and it additionally came with an adjustable under-bumper receiver block rated for towing up to 21,000 pounds. Increasingly beyond brawl mounts are nested one aural the added to abutment 2.0-, 2.5-, and 3.0-inch bivouac balls. Today, the F-series trucks’ towing maximums are chic leading; tomorrow, Ram or Chevrolet will absolutely beat them. We didn’t analyze the F-350’s towing accommodation because neither a NASA amplitude shuttle nor a ammunition tanker were handy. If you tow a bald chase car or biking trailer, it acceptable will feel as admitting nothing’s aback there.
The F-350’s anatomy can’t tow it alone, of course, and that’s breadth the revised 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 agent agent comes in. Ford adapted the engine’s fuel-delivery setup, turbocharger, and cyberbanking controls to up its aiguille torque from 860 lb-ft to a boss 925 lb-ft; the best application holds at 440. This barbarian is an $8795 advantage over the accepted 6.2-liter gasoline V-8, and it ably moves the F-350, accessible or otherwise. We recorded a abrupt 7.2-second zero-to-60-mph time, again, chic arch (until some added HD barter beats it, of course). Agent acknowledgment affairs abroad from a stop can accept sluggish, and that’s because the computer banned torque in the aboriginal three chiral apparatus (there are six total) to advance absorption while attention the driveline. Once underway, the agent settles into a sub-2000-rpm slumber. From abandoned to the 3600-rpm upshift point, the agent is bland and so quiet that, from alfresco the truck, it’s difficult to analyze from a gas mill. Braking is appropriately smooth, with a abundantly beeline pedal abiding a 202-foot stop from 70 mph; that qualifies as acceptable for article that weighs four tons. We alike recorded 15 mpg over the advance of our test—3 mpg bigger than the aftermost F-350 we activated and on par with some F-150s we’ve evaluated.
What’s arresting is that Ford arranged so abounding updates into the Super Duty and again kept it attractive abundantly the same. Longtime customers, we assume, will acknowledge the barefaced advanced end’s connected affinity to a barn wall. Ford did add new C-shaped LED active lights that are added than a bottom tall—their lit breadth and the resultant beam are so great, in fact, that accession could about drive at night after application the truck’s absolute headlamps (almost). It additionally brindled added chrome everywhere, possibly to visually absolve the Platinum’s $64,780 abject price. In accession to the above $8795 agent engine, our $79,180 barter came optioned with a $390 locking rear differential, a $370 fifth-wheel basic package, $185 inflatable rear seatbelts, $95 LED approval lamps on the roof, $165 prewired accent switches, a $725 bed camera, and a $495 spray-in bedliner. The best big-ticket account alfresco of the agent allowance was the $2785 Platinum Ultimate package, which includes a across-the-board sunroof, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and 360-degree cameras. To us, though, the abandoned must-have advantage is the maneuverability-enhancing steering, a $685 added on the Lariat trim and up (and accepted on the Platinum). A stiffer frame, added LED lighting accents, added luxury, and college tow ratings are accepted in a redesigned able barter these days. One that drives abate than it looks, as does this Ford, is our abstraction of a big-truck breakthrough.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
PRICE AS TESTED: $79,180 (base price: $50,200)
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled pushrod 32-valve agent V-8, adamant block and aluminum heads, absolute ammunition injection
Displacement: 406 cu in, 6656 ccPower: 440 hp @ 2800 rpmTorque: 925 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automated with chiral alive mode
DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 159.8 inLength: 250.0 inWidth: 80.0 in Height: 81.3 inPassenger volume: 136 cu ftCurb weight: 8060 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:Zero to 60 mph: 7.2 secZero to 90 mph: 15.9 secRolling start, 5-60 mph: 8.0 secTop gear, 30-50 mph: 3.9 secTop gear, 50-70 mph: 5.3 secStanding ¼-mile: 15.6 sec @ 89 mphTop acceleration (governor limited): 97 mphBraking, 70-0 mph: 202 ftRoadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.74 g
FUEL ECONOMY:EPA combined/city/highway driving: N/AC/D observed: 15 mpgC/D empiric 75-mph artery driving: 17 mpgC/D empiric artery range: 570 mi
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