Pickup sales are hot right now, but competition is heating up even faster, and automakers are putting more emphasis than ever on the durability and capabilities of their trucks in a bid to win over buyers.
In recent months, fuel economy and cargo bed toughness have been spotlighted by various makers. Now, Ford Motor Co. is turning to towing capacity as it reveals specifications for the new, aluminum-bodied version of its big F-450 Super Duty model.
Ford says the heavy-duty version of the more familiar F-150 will be able to tow up to a 21,000-pound trailer, about 1,000 pounds more than competitive models. Add a fifth-wheel package and towing capacity jumps to 27,500 pounds, or more than a ton over the competition, according to Ford.
“This is the best heavy-duty truck we’ve ever made,” says Doug Scott, Ford truck marketing manager.
After falling sharply during the Great Recession, pickup sales have posted a strong rebound over the last few years. But competition has also accelerated. Nissan recently launched the second of two new versions of its Titan truck. Toyota has been tinkering with its Tundra model, as well. And Detroit’s Big Three have been steadily trying to one-up each other, as well.