Spied: Camouflaged 2016 Super Duty Catches Fire

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Frankly, we're surprised this doesn't happen more often, especially given how much testing each of the truckmakers do in some horribly hot places. This just happened when Ford was hot-weather testing its next-generation Super Dutys in Death Valley desert in California. Here's what our spies sent to us about the incident.

"First things first: The two engineers inside this Super Duty prototype got out fine and no one was injured.

"The 2016 Ford Super Duty prototype wasn't as lucky. It caught fire, burned, exploded multiple times, melted and was totally destroyed in short order.

"Starting with the second photo in this set, the photos appear in chronological order.

"We don't know the exact cause of the fire, but we can see from the photos that the fire began in the front wheel well on the driver's side. From the moment our cameras caught the first flames, to the front end being fully engulfed, took only 3 minutes. The entire truck was destroyed in about 21 minutes.

"Several of the photos show explosions with large fire balls, as well as a bright white explosion, with parts flying off the truck.

"While the photos are dramatic, prototype vehicles are, of course, made to fail. Not only that, they are tested in extremely harsh conditions such as the 120-degree desert where this Super Duty suffered its cataclysmic failure. Whatever happened, we're quite sure Ford will figure it out.

"The fire also appears to end any debate about whether a large portion of the body would be made from aluminum or steel. The forgotten blobs of melted aluminum left on the side of the road are easy to see. The only major recognizable parts of the truck that remained were the frame and engine block.

"Watch for the new Super Duty to start production in March of 2016."

Chris Doane Automotive images


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Are the using magnesium for something.

Good luck if your choose to Drive this Truck / Accept This Mission Jim, This truck will self destruct in 3 minutes !
At least Ford almost adheres to National Park Policy, No Trace Left Behind when visiting our National Parks !!!

Ford's New Motto, Give our Trucks Liberty or Give them Death !! It did occur in Death Valley !! Seriously, these test trucks do not have one Fire Extinquisher on Board ??? If they could put out the fire quickly, wouldn't that benefit them knowing what really caused the fire vs allowing all the evidence to get destroyed ?? Cant say Found on Road Dead anymore, cause there is nothing left !

The whole string of excuses are hilarious.....Ford trucks are "made to fail".

When will the Ford engineers learn people want trucks that do not fail?

See, see, see!!! It is just too damn hot down there!

No manufacture design a prototype to fail they design them to last, but it is the testing that proves or disproves if they were right in their designs.

In this case Ford failed badly.

My guess is Ford was doing some SAE J2807 testing and the truck could not handle it and we see the results.

This is why Ford is still dancing around the SAE J2807 standards with their trucks.







So what is the difference between this and the 2015 F-450 Ford stripped the weight off so they could say it was comparable to a Ram 3500, so they could get a gear advantage?

Oh well, back to the old Ford drawing board!

What is the body made out of plastic? it melted to nothing.

Hottest truck on the road!



Hey now... cut them some slack. At least they DO have a F-450 that can outwork the competitors' 3500s. ;)

Who's going to pay for the damage caused to the pavement? The tax payers? Of course.

What was Ford thinking...make sure you wrap the camo in the wheel wells so they cant see the suspension, look's like someone got a little to close the exhaust manifold.


I see the first butt hurt Ford fan boy has shown up. Big difference between an oddity fire on the Ram vs the well known problems of Ford Pickup just going up in flames.

No big loss, that is for sure! If I owned a Ford, this would be the best thing that could happen to me. Now I could buy a real truck, a GM truck.

Ford has used magnesium radiator core supports for years.

Oil/Diesel fire, extreme heat and magnesium.

I wonder if the oil filter housing assembly is plastic like my Ford engine Duratorque?

Nah. What tends to happen with these test vehicles is they are wired up with a bunch of extra testing equipment and it is usually the equipment that causes a problem. That or because the vehicles are often hand built someone leaves a rag or something in the engine compartment. Crazy how much of the vehicle burned away.

Holy smokes the first Ford truck that I like!! Not. Is Ford officially building disposable trucks now? Most of the time it takes an unsuspecting owner a year before this happens.

Wow ... this is all too weird - Why? A man at my Church just had his 2013 F250 catch fire in the front left wheel well. He and his crew got out but the truck went down just like this one .... well not quite as bad due to the response from the local Fire Department. Something needs to be addressed FO-SHO! He was pulling a skidsteer that he got off the trailer before it went up in flames. I told him he was crazy!


I was thinking the same thing. Magnesium or some other combustible metal. That was Bat Crap Crazy. WOW!!!

Scoop! Willie Nelson to record with Toby Keith "To All the Fords We've Burned Before"!

Even Prius would have much more left after fire like this.
I am not surprise . Just look under the hood of any Ford truck.
The engine looks like on the life support. One big mess. Compare it with HEMI or Cummins engine compartment. That's the right engineering and design.
But Ford owners would be just fine. Just don't go to very hot places or avoid driving by neighbor barbecue. And don't drive in the rain. And disconnect battery overnight. You'll be safe.

What a coincidence! My neighbor's cousin's friend drove their 2014 Ram 2500 to the mall and it cought fire on the front left and right wheel well. Did this really happen? Fo shizzle my nizzle!

Good Ol' aluminum bodies for ya.

What a coincidence! We can all make things up too, butthurt BJ!

Driven that road many times, its the home of J2807 and real tow numbers. Magic towing dust did not work for Ford in real world applications. At least the bumper was attached at the time of testing.

@Mark Williams, prototypes are meant to work out the kinks, not fail.





I'm sure Ford girly girls have a BURNING desire to get the new Super Dooty

The press release was poorly written. They do not design prototypes to fail. They test them to make them fail. That is how they find weak points in the design that computer simulations and static tests do not find.

Click bate at its finest. Cue HemiV8 and 10 pages of fire recalls.

My last post didn't get entered - does that mean PUTC is finally moderating the blogs?

Ford should be banned from PUTC for FLAMING.

I came on this site 7 months ago and was cool to all.
Then TROLLS like Lou, Frank, cory, Keith started in with their Ford truck bull after there precious ford got whipped by the Ram Runner. I could car less what you think of Ram or Dodge. I had a P.O.S Ford once it burned from a faulty switch and I lost thousands.

P.S. I can post what ever I want on here so kiss my @$$!

All Guts

All Glory

All best in class Ram!
Posted by: HEMI V8 | Oct 10, 2012 11:02:00 PM

WOW!! All of that and it still drove away...

This just in... Due tothe fact this truck was equipped with all optional equipment available in the build sheet and due to criticism of previously testing vehicles without reasonable options installed, Ford scooped up the remains and shuttled them back to the shop where they submitted them as the baseline dry weight for the payload/towing ratings for the 2016 Super Duty. The F350 will now come with a class leading, and world record holding payload and towing ratings... also noted, due to what internal management cites as "a test containing systematic bias towards other brands" Ford has decided to not comply with J2807 until 2020.

I have nothing against most of you guys.

But you all sat back and let me be attacked and not one of you stood up to the fools causing the disruption. Now defend them?

When I defend myself against them you reject what I say?

No, be a little more consistent with your critisism.

TRX4 Tom is an aggresive fool, dominating. Hemi V8 posts crap and DenverMike is a lying troll. From what I can gather they seem to be one.

I do know this site is supposed to be a forum.

I will lay off of the fools, but I do expect you guys to offer support.

Or just sit back like what has been going on and it will continue until they they are caught out.

There is also more going on than meets the eye.

You can tell by the exposed bumper that its not the new Super Duty. It's the current Super Duty. Current Super Duty body in aluminum.

For all we know the camo could have made contact with something hot. It's not necessarily an issue with the truck itself.

When Ford concludes their investigation of this incident, I hope that they would make a public statement describing the cause of the problem and the remedy. This is important because these trucks go into production in about a year from now.

Shame on you for even showing this story!
You're picking and agitating getting the Dodge guys all stirred up giving them more ammo to attack Ford.
I could predict what the comments will be and I think you know that too.
Yea, I know you are PUTC have been accused showing favoritism to Ford and that may bother you but you can't put out a fire by starting another fire!
Lou BC's comment was the only comment that made sense when he said they design new models to fail, but I may like to add to that by saying : I'm glad it failed and caught on fire while they were testing it so they could correct why it caught on fire so it doesn't catch on fire for the customer.

We have yet to see the next gen. These are prototypes in the current body style.

No doubt all that plastic camo that covered the entire vehicle contributed to the fire.

"I told you to tighten the gas cap! But nooo you wouldn't listen..."

I'm glad this happened while testing if its caused by a design flaw. As much as it sucks to any manufacturer when this happens, its better now then when they are in the hands of consumers.

I think the most ironic thing is that the trailer was carrying a lot of water , if you look at the second picture it says non potable water.

When you look at the prototypes from every manufacture they all have alot of electronics in the cab and are wrapped in cammofalge these additional systems can also cause problembs for the vehilce, some bad wiring on the sensors lights the vinal camo on fire and causes this.

As for the reason Ford didnt extinguish the blaze, is probably a combination of several factors, 1. it looks like the Fire destroyed the camo in short order, and ford wishes to keep the design of the new truck hidden from competators, media etc. 2. there is probably more risk with lawsuites of one of the engeneers gertting injured trying to extinguish the fire. As the Truck has all sort of telemetrics going to engeneers stations they probably took some of the data with them when they bailed out of the truck. thats just a guess.

Powerjoke, the best never rest, so they catch on fire!

The truck is a damn Prototype! They run them to harder extremes so they can fix any issues before releasing them to the public!


Well at least it's easy to recycle it into a brand new truck :)

In other news about Ford they feel they can bend their customers over and charge them $4,000 dollars more per truck over Ram and Chevy/GMC.

Brian Johnson, automotive analyst for Barclays, said that Ford’s price increase is a signal that it intends to open its pricing lead over GM and Fiat Chrysler to $3,000 to $4,000 per unit. Recently, that gap has fallen to $1,000 as Ford raised financial incentives on its outgoing model.

Mike Levine, a Ford spokesman, said the price increase on the new pickups reflects additional features, such as telescoping steering wheels, screens for digital information and additional speakers for the sound system. “This is not a gamble, it’s an investment,” Levine said.


Pleased the two guys got out safely . Thank god truck company's test trucks to extreme . I am sure ford will learn from this testing and get things right.

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