2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty aims to balance brawn with brains

The current-generation Ford Super Duty emphasized tech like no heavy-duty pickup truck before it, but nothing stands still. So Ford is giving the 2020 F-Series Super Duty even more tech features, as well as a monstrous new engine.

A 7.3-liter gasoline V8 joins the lineup, alongside carryover 6.2-liter gasoline and 6.7-liter diesel V8s. The 7.3-liter engine adds more than a liter of displacement over the already-big 6.2-liter V8, but we don’t know how that will translate into horsepower and torque yet because Ford hasn’t released those figures. Will the diesel engine top the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty’s headline-making 1,000 pound-feet of torque? We’ll have to wait to find out.

We do know that the 7.3-liter gasoline V8 and 6.7-liter diesel are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, while the 6.2-liter gasoline engine gets a six-speed automatic. Ford calls the 10-speed “all-new,” indicating that it’s different from the gearbox used in the smaller F-150, which was co-developed with General Motors.

Ford also added the Pro Trailer Backup Assist system from the F-150 and Expedition. This lets the truck do most of the work of steering a trailer into a parking spot, with the driver making small adjustments with a dashboard knob. Ford said the system will work with all trailer styles, including the larger fifth wheel and gooseneck trailers the Super Duty is capable of hauling.

New driver aids include lane-keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The 2020 Super Duty also gets a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot that can support up to 10 devices. USB-C ports and a wireless charging pad handle phone charging. The Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto carries over from the previous model year.

Completing the list of updates are some subtle styling changes. The design of the headlights, taillights, and grille has been tweaked, and dual-rear-wheel models get a higher-airflow grille designed to aid cooling. The front bumper was also redesigned to improve cooling and make using utility hooks easier, according to Ford.

The 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty hits showrooms this fall. Pricing will be revealed closer to the on-sale date. While Ford is offering an updated version of an existing model, the rival Ram Heavy Duty and Chevrolet Silverado HD/GMC Sierra HD twins are fresh designs. Will Ford be able to compete?

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