2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup revealed with redesign, revised engines, lots more tech
This is the new 2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup truck. Ford just took the wraps off its redesigned work (and sometimes play) truck at Kentucky’s Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby. Just as we expected, design changes are evolutionary, but there’s a lot changed under the skin that we’ll dive right into.
For starters, there’s a new 6.8-liter gasoline-powered engine on the docket, and it’s also the new base engine. While it’s technically a new engine, it’s only sort-of new, as it’s based on the 7.3-liter Godzilla V8 engine released for the previous generation’s mid-cycle refresh. You can kiss the old 6.2-liter goodbye — Ford says it went with a bigger engine for more low-end torque and to ensure it has the most powerful standard gasoline engine in the segment. Exact power figures aren’t being revealed today, so we’ll need to wait to hear the final numbers, but Ford promises it’s the best. In addition to dropping the old V8, Ford is also dropping the old six-speed automatic, making its 10-speed automatic the standard transmission across the board.
The big 7.3-liter V8 stays, but Ford says it’s been enhanced this year with an improved air intake system and a new tune for greater power and torque. Those who want the Power Stroke V8 diesel will be glad to hear that Ford is continuing with its 6.7-liter turbodiesel, but this time there will be two outputs offered. The base diesel engine will be similar to before, but it will feature an increased oil capacity that Ford says allows for more miles between required oil changes. Meanwhile, a new “high-output” version of the Power Stroke will feature a unique turbo, new exhaust manifolds and a different tune to make more power and torque. Maximum towing/hauling ratings will all be made using this new, high-output version of the diesel engine. Unfortunately, power figures are still not available for the diesel engines either. Ford says that it will be best-in-class for payload, gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailering and torque. But again, the final numbers aren’t out yet.
Ford tells us that the Super Duty’s frame is an optimized version of the previous-gen Super Duty. The body features all new sheetmetal. Under this is a totally new electrical architecture that supports all of the new tech features we’ll get to. The suspension has new shocks that Ford says offers a better ride when unladen. There are no big surprises in cab and bed options. Ford will continue to offer Regular, Supercab and Crew Cab configurations. Plus, all the regular series from F-250 on up will be offered.
The exterior design largely hinges on which trim of Super Duty you opt for. Ford says there are seven different grille designs that could appear up front, so hopefully one of them suits you. That new grille stretches around the C-clamp LED headlights to make the truck appear wider — Ford says the grille even acts as a shield to the headlight fixtures in low-speed impacts to reduce the likelihood of them breaking and needing replacement. You’ll notice the side vents are larger than before, and Ford says they’re aero functional. The Tremor Off-Road Package will carryover to the new generation, and Trail Turn Assist is added this year to help maneuver the giant truck in dicey off-road situations. A new XL Off-Road Package joins the bevy of options that Ford says will be helpful for worksites that require off-road capability at an affordable price — this package in particular was inspired by research into how mining companies use Ford trucks. It adds 33-inch off-road tires, a raised air dam, water-fording axle vent tubes, skid plates and an electronic-locking rear differential. If you’re just looking for appearance extras, Ford added STX, Sport and Black Appearance packages to the lineup.
At the rear of the new Super Duty, you’ll notice new steps in the rear bumper that look just like those seen in GM’s HD trucks. They make gaining access to items in the bed without needing to physically crawl into it much easier. Ford’s even added an extra step to the sides of the bed to allow access from both the front and the sides. And speaking of steps, Ford says the stair/step that pulls out of the tailgate has been modified to make it lower and easier to use for shorter folks.
The bed itself steals some thunder from the F-150 and adds Pro Power Onboard technology to the mix. You won’t get the extra-powerful 7.2 kW system available on the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid, but you can get a 2.0 kW system. This is similar to what you can get with the gas-only F-150s. On the Super Duty, Ford says it will be standard on Lariat and above, but optional in lower trims. Even if it isn’t the highest-power version of Pro Power Onboard, the 2.0 kW of power will still be enough for some on-site job duties, tailgates and plenty of other recreational activities.
Ford improves matters in a number of ways inside. A new dash design offers a fresh look. The old 4.0-inch display is deleted, making the standard infotainment system an 8-inch screen — a 12-inch display (the one found in the F-150) is standard on higher trims. Another screen enhancement is the addition of a 12-inch digital instrument cluster. Ford is using a new 5G modem for quicker infotainment system functions/downloads — expect over-the-air software updates to improve the system over time. Plus, it’s capable of providing a WiFi hotspot for up to 10 users at once.
A wireless charging pad will augment four USB ports. There’s an available full-color head-up display. Plus, some of the new F-150’s interior enhancements like the Max Recline Seats and Work Surface are available. Ford says it prioritized physical buttons throughout the interior for ease of use with gloves on a worksite. Plus, it lowered the center console to make it easier to get things in and out.
A massive amount of new tech joins the party for this new Super Duty. One party trick is a new Ford Pro Upfit Integration System for those who upfit their Super Duty for specific work needs, Ford has added a digital solution that will allow those in the truck to control their upfit equipment via the touchscreen inside the truck. The possibilities for this are seemingly endless. For example, you’ll be able to map your own functions to buttons within the upfit menu on the touchscreen to control things like a crane. Beyond functionality of physical hardware, Ford says you can also program in safety interlocks, such as preventing the transmission from being shifted into Drive with a raised boom lift.
It may seem like these trucks are already loaded to the gills with towing tech, but Ford’s managed to cram even more into the new Super Duty. New for 2023 is a 360-degree Trailer Camera System that Ford says provides a bird’s-eye view of the trailer. A new blind-spot information system for fifth wheel and gooseneck trailers is also available — you can attach a module to the sides of a trailer, and then your truck will signal when somebody is in the blind spot of the actual trailer. A new “Pro Trailer Hitch Assist” system will automatically back the truck up and align it with a hitch ball — no assistance from a friend necessary. A new Trailer Navigation system allows you to enter in your trailer dimensions to the infotainment, and then the navigation will ensure you don’t take any routes with low bridges or tight turns that your trailer can’t navigate. Lastly, Ford’s added a “Tailgate Down Camera” and “Tailgate Down Reverse Sensing System.” Now, even when the tailgate is lowered, you’ll have a perfect rear view and the same rear sensing capability as though the tailgate was up.
On the disappointing side of technology, the new Super Duty does not offer Blue Cruise, Ford’s hands-free highway driving assistance system. In all fairness, though, GM doesn’t offer Super Cruise with its Heavy Duty pickup trucks either. Notable driver assistance systems on the docket include adaptive cruise control, lane-centering, both front and rear brake assist and more. One particularly neat piece of security is a new trailer theft alert system. When activated, it’ll send a notification to your phone every time there is an attempt to disconnect the trailer when the vehicle is locked — Ford hopes this might cut down on trailer thefts. Also in the realm of security, Ford Pro will include a “Start Inhibit” function that allows you to schedule vehicle downtimes in which the truck is software-locked to not start.
There's no pricing out for the new Super Duty yet, but Ford says it will go on sale in early 2023.
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