The Ford F-250 Super Chief concept is the world’s first vehicle with a revolutionary Tri-Flex fuel system. The Super Chief runs on three types of fuel: Gasoline, E85 or hydrogen gas. When operating with hydrogen, the vehicle produces 99 percent lower CO2 emissions and can run for 500 miles before needing fuel. Changing between fuel sources is completed via a dash-mounted switch, and change can occur while the vehicle is operating. Because the turbocharger is only engaged during hydrogen fuel burning, the Super Chief must be idling when changing to hydrogen fuel mode. The Super Chief utilizes a V10 engine that is turbocharged and produces 400 ft-lbs. of torque. Ford Motors has led production and sales of E85 certified vehicles since 1996, and the company hopes that production of hydrogen burning vehicles will spur the development of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the United States.
Ford instituted some innovative safety features on this new vehicle. A feature known as BeltMinder alerts the driver when any occupant has not fastened their seat belt. Reminders are made until the seat belt is secured. Reminders come as an auditory chime and a flashing lamp that warns for six sounds, and repeats itself every 30 seconds for a five-minute duration, or until the occupants are buckled up. Another safety feature called BlockerBeam delivers improved frontal crash compatibility with smaller cars. This feature allows the Super Chief to contact the car’s frame rails, which prevents it from sliding under the front of the truck. This enables energy to be more evenly dispersed, reducing the risk of serious injuries.
The Super Chief’s cab size is one level above those of the Super Crew and the King Ranch class of vehicles, and the inside of the cab features a coffered glass ceiling. The entire roof is glass, which is bisected by leather wrapped grids of walnut. The frontal design of this truck has been fashioned after the Super Chief locomotive. Adapted with an imposing grill design, and complex reflective headlights that incorporate the use of LEDs, the truck is reminiscent of a train’s locomotive. There is an eight-foot long wood-planked cargo bed, and an additional two feet of space have been added to the passenger compartment, which is accessible through center-opening doors. The rear doors have the ability to be opened independently of the front doors via an electronic release.
Interior elegance features include rich brown leather, brushed aluminum and American walnut. The flooring is formed from the walnut, which is outlined in brushed aluminum, and extends seamlessly from the front of the vehicle through the bed. Passengers riding in the back are engulfed in comfort as ottomans deploy from the floor space, while they rest in seats that have separate cushions located at the bottom and back of the seats. The armrests are part of the seats, and not part of the rear door panels.(Click here to join the conversation about the F-250 Super Chief Concept!)