A First Look at the 2012 Ford Super Duty

by Patrick Rall

The Ford F-Series is the bestselling truck in America and when the 2012 Super Duty models hit the streets, they will offer best in class horsepower, torque, towing and fuel economy.  When properly equipped, the 2012 Ford Super Duty can tow an impressive 17,500 pounds with a conventional bumper hitch and when fitted with a fifth wheel setup, the next Super Duty will pull an incredible 24,500 pounds.

Ford used higher strength steel in the frame crossmembers and in the hitch assembly to allow the 2012 Super Duty to offer such incredible towing capabilities, but it would all be impossible without the mighty Power Stroke diesel engine.  This turbocharged 6.7L V8 engine churns out 400 horsepower and an awesome 800lb-ft of torque ““ both at the top of the class ““ and that power is sent to the wheels by means of a TorqShift six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission designed specifically for heavy duty labor.  This engine originally made slightly less power, but through the use of advancing tuning techniques, Ford was able to increase the output to the lofty numbers achieved today. On top of that, those buyers who purchased 2011 Super Duty models prior to the 400 horsepower and 800lb-ft of torque being “tuned in” were invited to return to their dealership to have their trucks tuned to achieve those same numbers as part of an exclusive industry-first customer loyalty program.  In addition to being profoundly powerful, the 6.7L Power Stroke diesel in the 2012 Super Duty is also 20% more efficient than the previous 6.4L mill ““ with a capacity to run on B20 Biofuel diesel.

Those who do not need the grunt of the Power Stroke can opt for the standard gasoline engine in the 2012 Ford Super Duty, measuring 6.2L and sending 385 horsepower and 405lb-ft of torque.  This engine may not offer the pure force of the Power Stroke, but with improved fuel economy over the old 6.8 V10 engine and E85 compatibility ““ this standard engine is a great option for those who need a good, strong truck but who don’t want the additional cost of the diesel engine.  Also new for 2012, Ford has added a compressed natural gas/propane prep engine option for Super Duty pickups equipped with the standard 6.2L engine.

In addition to the big power and best in class towing capabilities, Ford is the first automaker to offer a factory installed and factory warranted fifth wheel and gooseneck towing packages with the 2012 Super Duty.  These additional towing items are installed directly to the chassis of the truck with an electrical connection panel installed along the inner side of the bed for a clean look and easy access.  Ford will also offer a new 6.75 foot bed for the 2012 Super Duty, available with the fifth wheel and gooseneck packages and the large 4.2″ touch screen in the dash features a towing information menu with a checklist to help those new to the towing world use their Super Duty to its fullest while doing so safely.

The Ford Super Duty has long been the dominating force in the heavy duty pickup segment and with the subtle yet important improvements to the 2012 models, General Motors and Chrysler continue to have their work cut out if they want to take a real shot at the bestselling truck in the country.

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