The envelope for diesel power in heavy-duty pickup trucks continues to expand. In 2005, Dodge and Cummins broke the 600 pounds-feet of torque barrier. Earlier this year, 700 pounds-feet was shattered by both Ford and General Motors. Now, sources say 800 pounds-feet could fall before the end of 2010.
The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD pickups are the current kings of the hill with their 397 horsepower and 765 pounds-feet of torque 6.6-liter 'LML' Duramax V-8 engines. But as we first reported in March, Ford is said to be working on a major power boost for the all-new 390 horsepower, 735 pounds-feet 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel.
According to new details we've received from our sources, a high output version of the 6.7 is expected to produce approximately 400 horsepower and at least 800 pounds-feet of torque, when production of Job 2 2011 Super Duty pickups starts later this year.
We're told that a big reason why Ford can squeeze more power out of the 6.7 is because of its all-new six-speed automatic transmission and tough new compacted graphite iron engine block. CGI is stronger than conventional gray iron, which the Duramax V-8 continues to use for its block. Our source says both were over-engineered from the start to go much higher than the 6.7's current 735 pounds-feet of torque.
Will early adopters of Ford's 2011 Super Duty be able to upgrade to the new power figures after the expected change? It's unclear. Our sources say there may be a few hardware changes in addition to a software upgrade for the engine control unit.