Sitting high behind the wheel of the 2011 F-250 Super Duty 4×4 King Ranch, I caught myself wishing for dollar-a-gallon diesel. At least then I’d have a semblance of an excuse for owning a truck that weighs over three tons and can yank an apartment building off its foundation.
The newest version of Ford’s over-8500 pound pickup is inexplicably cool to drive, especially if you’re towing five tons or crawling over boulders the size of Fiats. It’s not bad on-road either. But the reality is this isn’t the 1990s. Few people without a practical reason to own a heavy-duty truck will do so just because it looks good in the driveway.
Ford touts the 2011 Super Duty as all-new, but it isn’t. Nor does it need to be. The last major Super Duty makeover was in 2008, so it’s not like the current model was a dinosaur.
The biggest changes happened under the hood. There are two all-new engines (that really are all-new), as well as an all-new six-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, some of the sheet metal is different and the interiors are mildly freshened.
The timing for this refresh is important given that Dodge introduced their new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty at the end of last year, and that GM showed their beefier 2011 Silverado and Sierra HD models at the Chicago Auto Show. Given the company’s momentum, Ford wasn’t about to wait another two or three years to unleash their best new truck technologies. As the company has seen with their rollouts of the Escape, Mustang, Fusion, and Edge, buyers positively respond to meaningful product refreshes.