2020 Ford Super Duty: Did the Blue Oval Go Far Enough?

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By Aaron Bragman

  • Competes with: Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500, GMC Sierra 2500/3500, Ram 2500/3500
  • Looks like: The old Super Duty with a new grille and headlights
  • Powertrains: gasoline 6.2- or 7.3-liter V-8, or turbo-diesel 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8; six- or 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission; rear- or four-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Fall 2019

So far this year, we've seen new heavy-duty pickup trucks from Ram and GM. Now it looks like Ford has decided not to be left out of the party: Behold the new 2020 Ford Super Duty pickup, a mild refresh of the company's perennially popular heavy-duty rig revealed at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.

Related: More 2019 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

The 2020 Super Duty might not look all that different, but the good stuff is underneath, where a new big-block V-8 engine migrates over from the medium-duty trucks to join the powertrain stable, while a new 10-speed transmission and new abilities keep the new Super Duty in the top truck hunt.

Exterior

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No, the 2020 Super Duty doesn't look all that different from the outgoing model. The changes are subtle: The two-bar grille is gone, replaced by a variety of designs depending on which of the many trim levels you purchase — all of which offer improved cooling. Dual-rear-wheel Super Duty truck receive a special high-airflow grille designed to provide maximum powertrain cooling flow. Some have chrome, some don't, but there's always an option for more brightwork, it seems. Seven new wheel patterns have been included, new appliques have been created for the tailgates and the taillights have been mildly revised. While GM went all out in redoing the style of its heavy-duty trucks and Ram took a conservative approach, Ford decided to spend the money elsewhere.

Under the Hood

And that place was underneath the aluminum sheet metal. The biggest news comes in the powertrain department, where Ford has added a new gasoline 7.3-liter V-8 to the lineup. The new big-block engine also will be used in the company's medium-duty truck lineup, replacing the gasoline V-10 in that application. In the Super Duty, it's meant to bridge the gap between the base gasoline 6.2-liter V-8 and the optional (and expensive) turbo-diesel Power Stroke V-8 torque monster. The new 7.3-liter uses an all-new cam-in-block overhead valve architecture along with a cast-iron block for what Ford says will offer excellent durability. It also makes use of variable valve timing, port fuel injection and oil-cooled pistons.

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While the gas 6.2-liter V-8 carries over unchanged, while the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 gets some significant revisions aimed at improving responsiveness and fuel economy. An all-new 36,000-pounds-per-square-inch fuel injection system has been fitted with new injectors that spray up to eight times per stroke. The exhaust has been rerouted to a new inboard location, while a fully electronically actuated (gone is the electrohydraulic actuation) variable-geometry turbocharger is meant to be more efficient and stronger. The Power Stroke receives several upgraded parts as well, including pistons, heads, block, connecting rods and bearings. Ford hasn't provided power, torque or fuel-economy numbers for any of the engines but says the information will be forthcoming as the on-sale date approaches.

All three engines can be had with a new 10-speed TorqShift transmission, which features a wider gear ratio than the six-speed automatic but retains the live-drive power takeoff function that allows for accessories to be operated while the truck is in motion. It will offer multiple drive modes as well, including Normal, Sport, Slippery, Eco, Tow/Haul and Deep Sand/Snow.

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The six-speed remains; it's the only transmission available on the base F-250 with the standard 6.2-liter V-8. Opt for either of the alternative engines or bump up to an F-350 or above, and you get the 10-speed automatic as standard. Ford is proud of the fact that despite featuring four additional gears, the 10-speed fits in the same basic packaging as the old transmission and weighs just 3.5 pounds more.

Ford has brought the magical Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature to the Super Duty for 2020. Just like the light-duty F-150, the system allows for hands-free operation while backing up a trailer, using the rear-view camera and a special knob to articulate the trailer while reversing. Given that the Super Duty often sees some big trailer action, Ford has engineered the system to work with all styles of trailers including fifth-wheel and gooseneck connections.

Interior

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Changes to the cabin are limited to just colors, trim pieces and materials; no design changes have been enacted for 2020. The Lariat and Platinum trims have some new appliques on the doors and media bin door, while the Limited gets more extensive changes. New colors and materials like genuine leather, coarse black ash wood and brushed aluminum trim have been fitted, while a leather-wrapped dash top panel, armrests, seats and center console lid are present. The headliner's been done up in faux suede as well.

Related: 2020 Ford Super Duty Sports New Grilles: Spied

The onboard tech gets an upgrade, with FordPass Connect now standard for 2020. This provides a 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 10 mobile devices. Wireless charging and USB-C ports are now available as well.

Safety

A few new safety systems have been added to the Super Duty for 2020, including an available lane-keeping alert system, blind spot information system with trailer coverage, precollision assist with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection and more. The new safety features are standard on the XLT trim level and up.

So, this is a mild redo for the Super Duty, with Ford figuring that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Super Duty has been popular for years, contributing to the F-Series' longtime dominance of the truck market. But with completely new, wildly styled GM heavy-duty trucks making their auto-show debut in Chicago and new Ram HDs that feature an optional diesel engine hitting the 1,000 pounds-feet of torque ceiling and a luxury interior that rivals anything from Lincoln or Cadillac, one wonders if Ford has gone far enough to keep truck customers happy. Of course, we'll know exactly which truckmaker has the torque crown when Ford gives us Power Stroke horsepower and torque numbers.

Manufacturer images

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Comments

The new 7.3-liter uses an all-new cam-in-block overhead valve architecture along with a cast-iron block for what Ford says will offer excellent durability. It also makes use of variable valve timing, port fuel injection and oil-cooled pistons.

@PUTC comments page

Back a year or two ago when I proposed a 2.3 turbo for the hotly awaited Ranger in North America, I also took some heat from fellow commenters for suggesting that the Big 3 review the potential for big-block gas engines as an alternative to the increasingly expensive diesels. I least expected that Ford would be first to jump into the game with a new V8 gasser but in fact that's what we're seeing today. Hats off to Ford for their newest Good Idea. Pushrods, cam in block, updates to FI and other electronics will make people forget the old 460

The best HD Pickup trucks just got better. Ford leads the others follow.

So all you guys laughing at GM for having pushrod motors and yet FORD just comes out with a brand new PUSHROD motor. Lets see all you guys complain Ford went backwards in technology.

Good on the Ford management to not discount any power train option. I’ll eat a little crow on this since I am the first to defend DOHC. I kind of like the idea of a 445 cid BB, pushrod, modern engine controls - hopefully straight up, no DID. Good on Ford. Now, let’s see what she does.....

No replacement for displacement

Is anyone taking bets? How long till Ford offers the 7.3 as an option in the F150?

I wonder if the 7.3 will fit the next Raptor

I wonder if the 7.3 will fit the next Raptor

Actually I'm wondering if the "new Raptor" is the next Ford marque to be dropped...


Gm now really needs to offer a real HD gas engine since it was already getting left in the dust by the Ford 6.2L and now with Ford offering a 7.3L it will be a no-contest if the ancient 6.0L makes a return appearance.....

I"m happy to hear Ford is building a pushrod engine. Super Duty is a good truck, these options will make it better. GM better step up and quit focusing on the "Triple Zero" crap Mary Barra is pushing.
Regardless of what brand you prefer, does anybody want autonomy and electrification for your automotive future? I have not found a DRIVER yet that wants that.

Ford will never offer the 7.3 in a half ton, don't be ridiculous!

I'm kind of glad they didn't drop the 6.2, I just wish they'd've updated it with twin-cam heads.

Finally you can get a gasser that will come close to the diesel in capacity. Diesel is a 60¢ premium here, add that to the 8k upcharge upfront and it makes the 6.7 hard for most to really justify. I know alot of farmers who will jump on this.

Finally you can get a gasser that will come close to the diesel in capacity. Diesel is a 60¢ premium here, add that to the 8k upcharge upfront and it makes the 6.7 hard for most to really justify. I know alot of farmers who will jump on this.

"Is anyone taking bets? How long till Ford offers the 7.3 as an option in the F150?"
I think we're more likely to see a blown Coyote. the Big block would have to go through new crash engineering. Very expensive.

After seeing the optional grilles, I'm impressed with the cleaner direction taken with a nod toward airflow and not more blocky chrome. The already handsome rear treatment was largely kept the same.

Since Ford was the biggest truck going into this refresh, they didn't need to go overboard with chassis upgrades. And the 10-speed is a welcome addition!

This'll get 'em through the next few years with authority until the next class-leader is intro'd in '23.

I like the 7.3L Pushrod engine.....taking book from GM. Wonder if GM had a hand in helping them..like transmission?😆😃

The grille looks just like the Sierra grille. Goes into the headlight area. Copy cats?!

My question is, why have 2 gas motors? Is the 6.2L going to be phased out eventually? Fleet queen motor?

is it a misprint, was it suppose to be a 3.7L eco need boost?

Where is the 5.0 Turbo everyone said was coming to the HD?

""Is anyone taking bets? How long till Ford offers the 7.3 as an option in the F150?"
I think we're more likely to see a blown Coyote. the Big block would have to go through new crash engineering. Very expensive.
Posted by: Mr knowitall"

The rumors that I have heard for the F150 center around Raptor enthusiasts demanding a big V8 and it will be most likely to get a version of this engine. If the Limited trim with the Raptor engine sells well we might see it there as well.

Ford will never offer the 7.3 in a half ton, don't be ridiculous!
Posted by: redbloodedxy | Feb 5, 2019

Weren't you one of the guys who said Ford would never put a twin turbo 2.3 in the Ranger?

The more they all "change", the more they're all starting to look
alike. And the designs are getting better. The rest of the world
can only drool at what we get to play with, the open spaces we
have available to drive around in and the staggering number of
configurations from which to choose.
May the Big 3 reign forever...

Now if we can just get RAM to re-issue the big-old 440

The only limitation on the old 440s was fuel delivery and the limits of high-test gasoline. They were awesome street-strip engines

If you had a 440 in your Barracuda back in those days you had no need for a Hemi

Where is the 5.0 Turbo everyone said was coming to the HD?
Posted by: papajim | Feb 5, 2019 8:08:27 AM

Please get your own ID. Fake PJ

Also, they don't update the cabin at all. Interior is same as it was, same screen size, and filled with plastic everywhere, yet, PUTC, Motortrend, and Car and Driver aren't saying anything about it?

Very strange, Ford missed the ball on this and just did a nip and tuck on nose.

BTW... this new front nose looks A LOT better than previous model. The grille looks way better, like the new Sierra grille

"Weren't you one of the guys who said Ford would never put a twin turbo 2.3 in the Ranger?"

Hell no. Stop insulting intelligent people.

I wonder if this 7.3 with 10 speed will beat GM’s 6.6 V8 with the 6 speed. GM didn’t set the bar real high with 401 hp / 464 lb-ft.

@Alex

I believe that Gm's 6.6L gasser will first have to try and outperform Ford's 6.2L 10-speed combo before even being considered to compete against Ford's 7.3L

Of course the gm 6.6L is badly outgunned by Ford's considerably bigger 7.3L so it would be safe to say the 7.3L will outperform any truck gas engine available by any other brand.

Sad day for GM fake news fans.

I like the idea of a 7.3 L OHV gas engine! Front end looks okay, better than the Silverado HD on the lower trims anyway. I like the GMC Denali front end much better. Carry-over interior, doesn't compete well with Ram, but does compete well with GM. Ten speed transmission should perform real well, maybe pushing the gas engine towards 20,000 pounds towing capacity.

I like the front end, I also like the Chevrolet front end. The grill is flush with the top of the headlights like it should be. Can't stand the transformer like grill on the GMC that goes above the headlights and where the hood should be.

so when they test this truck, what mode do they put the transmission in?
Eco,
sport,
Lazy,
Clunky,

I like the 6.6L gasser from GM better.

would be safe to say the 7.3L will outperform any truck gas engine available by any other brand....Posted by: FullSize_only | Feb 5, 2019

How many have you driven yet? Did you drive the Chevy? Or the new Ford? Or do you just talk from your behind---bingo!

There is no denying the resemblance between the Super Duty grill and the GMC. The 7.3 should be a good addition with the 10 speed. (interesting they returned to the pushrod). With GM just announcing 35,500 lbs towing things are getting interesting in the HD camp!

I like the 6.6L gasser from GM better.


Posted by: water | Feb 5, 2019 10:14:35 AM

Of course you do. You’re s GM Shill.

Neither engine has been tested, only one has the specifications released....yet you’ve already made your mind up.

Now we’re talking!!! Ford is the best!!

The only trim I can imagine a 7.3 V8 in an F150, is the Harley Davidson. With a better exhaust system on it, and some extra horses. Maybe even a supercharger.

The only trim I can imagine a 7.3 V8 in an F150, is the Harley Davidson. With a better exhaust system on it, and some extra horses. Maybe even a supercharger.

The only trim I can imagine a 7.3 V8 in an F150, is the Harley Davidson. With a better exhaust system on it, and some extra horses. Maybe even a supercharger.

The only 'specs' that I have seen from GM on the new 6.6 gasser are that it will have about 400 horsepower and about 450 lb-ft of torque. GM generally under reports on the preliminary numbers, so I would wild guess more like 410 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Ford is going with port fuel injection, while GM is going with direct injection...so I am guessing that while Ford has the displacement advantage, GM will end up very close to them in power numbers. Having said that, GM is sticking to the 6 speed transmission with their new gasser, while Ford is offering their 10 speed...this should give Ford the overall advantage...even if the power numbers are essentially the same.

@papajim

I have not driven either, as neither is available yet. But even the most blind Gm shill can realize that a 6.6L is gonna have it's work cut out against a 7.3L

Does that make your behind hurt?

The best HD Pickup trucks just got better. Ford leads the others follow.

Posted by: FORDSGREAT | Feb 5, 2019 5:41:00 AM

FORD moving up to push rod engine technology , like all GM V8 truck engines. Ford following GM .......... again.

FORD moving up to push rod engine technology , like all GM V8 truck engines. Ford following GM .......... again.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Feb 5, 2019 11:10:43 AM

Says the stupid GM Shill that doesn’t know the 6.7L Power Stroke is a OHV.

But even the most blind Gm shill can realize that a 6.6L is gonna have it's work cut out against a 7.3L

Does that make your behind hurt?

Posted by: FullSize_only | Feb 5, 2019 11:00:03 AM

6.6 direct injection vs 7.3 port injection. 6.6 will deliver broader torque curve. Future comparisons will reveal that the 6.6 delivers a more confindent towing experience.

Says the stupid GM Shill that doesn’t know the 6.7L Power Stroke is a OHV.


Posted by: TNTGMC | Feb 5, 2019 11:15:35 AM


Who said anything about diesels? Stupid!

Who said anything about diesels? Stupid!


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Feb 5, 2019 11:24:14 AM

Hey stupid, you didn’t say anything about gas.

The top end trim is definitely upgraded with "New colors and materials like genuine leather, coarse black ash wood and brushed aluminum trim have been fitted, while a leather-wrapped dash top panel, armrests, seats and center console lid".

@ imposter tntgmc

Hey little lady

Post under your own name you f@ggot! Seriously. Its quite annoying

As for the 7.3L vs 6.6L. I am anxious for a comparison. I do like how Ford is offering the 10 spd for both gas and diesel. Great job.

As for the HP/TQ numbers feom GMs 6.6L gas motor. When did those come out? Kinda disappointing bc 6.2L already makes more...hmmm

Just see that GM is the new class leader in towing, up to 35.5k...I wonder how long that leadership will last? Also, confirmed the 401 horsepower, 464 lb-ft of torque for the new gasser...I am enthusiastic about this new gasser...I do wish GM was offering their 10 speed, or at least their 8 speed to pair with it. Not sure why GM doesn't pair their 8 speed, as it is rated to 738 lb-ft of torque, so it should be up to the challenge.



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