While most attention in the automotive universe is focused on the Geneva Motor Show happening in Switzerland this week, we'll leave coverage of that champagne-swilling soiree to our elitist comrades at other vehicular websites. Instead, we've traveled to Chicago to cover the 2009 National Truck Equipment Association Convention and Work Truck Show. The closest thing you'll find to a custom-dressed "booth babe" around these parts is a Class 7 chassis cab with a sweet dump body hanging off its rear end.
First up, Ford publicly unveiled the all-new 2011 F-59 Super Duty commercial stripped chassis aimed at Class 5 (16,001- to 19,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating) and Class 6 (19,501- to 22,000-pound GVWR) commercial stepvan applications, such as delivery trucks and mobile machine shops. It's derived from Ford's F-53 Class A motor home chassis, and it's best summed up as the complete opposite of the Ford Iosis MAX concept that debuted in Geneva.
The F-59 will be available in February 2010 in three wheelbase lengths, including 158, 178 and 208 inches. Ford says only one powertrain will be available: a three-valve 6.8-liter modular V-10 gasoline engine rated at 362 horsepower and 457 pounds-feet of torque, paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. It's the same engine and gearbox offered in Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty pickups.
"We really believe that with the F-59's lineup of GVWs and wheelbases it will be the No. 1 gas stepvan product moving into the future," said Rob Stevens, chief engineer for Ford commercial trucks.
Ford says the F-59 rides like it's on rails (kidding!). Stay tuned for more coverage from Chicago all this week.