The 2018 Ford F-Series Super Duty Limited is a case in point. Yes, you can still get a basic F-250 XL model starting at $32,890, but prices go way up from there. The top-of-the-line F-450 Limited starts at $87,100, but customers who select every option will pay up to $94,455, according to Ford. So it’s now possible to spend almost $100,000 on a pickup truck.
Not that buyers who select the new-for-2018 Limited trim level don’t get a lot for their money. The F-450 itself is capable of towing more than 30,000 pounds when properly equipped, which is about the weight of an F-35 jet fighter, Ford brags. Aside from muscle, the truck features two-tone leather seats (heated and ventilated in front, heated in the rear), suede headliner, dark ash wood trim, moon roof, LED headlights, and even a serial number laser etched into the center-console armrest.
The Limited model also comes standard with the array of driver-assistance tech introduced as part of the Super Duty’s recent redesign. The list includes lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring, all designed to work with a trailer in tow. Also included is a 360-degree camera system and Trailer Reverse Guidance, which uses visual aids to help the driver back up a trailer. The Sync 3 infotainment system used in other Ford models is also part of the package.
But who exactly is going to spend almost $100,000 on all of this? One possible answer is the growing number of people buying large, tricked-out trailers instead of RVs, who want to tow their rigs in style. Just as some people like to reward themselves with a luxury car, contractors and other truck-driving professionals also tend to buy high-end pickups when they earn the money to splurge.
It’s certainly a big market. Prior to the introduction of the Limited, Ford already had three high-end Super Duty trim levels: the Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum. Those trim levels have accounted for half of Super Duty retail sales so far this year, according to the automaker. No wonder the average transaction prices of new vehicles in the United States are so high.