Testing a able auto in New York can be like activity to Peter Luger steakhouse and acclimation the tossed salad: You can say you’ve been there, but you didn’t absolutely acquaintance it.
I accept to actuality allotment of the problem. These days, a case of wine constitutes a big burden for me. So aback a Ford Super Duty F-250 Baron Ranch angry assimilate my Brooklyn street, its 6.7-liter Powerstroke agent chugging with an batty 925 pound-feet of torque—within afterimage of 18-wheeler territory—I was bent to use this barter as God and Jerry Reed intended. As the aboriginal all-new Super Duty in added than 15 years, this is additionally a big accord for Ford: Abutment the redesigned truck, abutment their ascendancy of the topsoil-hauling field, with bigger than 40 percent of able auto sales.
Those owners tend to focus on substance, abnormally buyers who carapace out $8,595 for the 440-hp agent V-8 and accurately apprehend 300,000 afar or added after a above rebuild. But a little appearance doesn’t hurt. And the Ford is a spectacular, chrome-jawed Tonka barter at grown-boy scale, accessible to comedy the annoyer in the head of your choice.
I chose accurate instead. Steve, my pickup-driving architect neighbor, took one attending at the behemothic Ford and directed me to Extech Building Materials in our Red Hook neighborhood. Extech administrator Piotr Worosz got into the spirit, alike admitting I wasn’t affairs so abundant as a assignment bit. I alone the Ford’s tailgate (nicely damped for hands-free lowering), slid out its chip bed step, and peered beneath the barter to see what we were alive with. The new, absolutely boxed animate anatomy is massive, and alike anew added crossmembers attending as blubbery as Dwayne Johnson’s forearms. Ford claims the new structure, 95 percent of it formed from high-strength steel, is 24 times added adamant than before. Like its groundbreaking F-150 cousin, the Super Duty is the aboriginal auto in its chic with a failing aluminum cab and bed. Ford claims weight accumulation of up to 350 pounds, admitting compared with the F-150, the Super Duty’s aluminum barometer is about 20 percent thicker for added able-bodied performance. Axles, springs, linkages and abeyance are all beefed up.
Worosz directed his forklift disciplinarian to lower a bassinet abounding of Quikrete accurate mix – aloof add baptize – assimilate the Ford’s aboriginal bed. Forty-two bags, 82 pounds each, a absolute of 3,360 pounds. The rear blade springs coiled bottomward beneath their groaning load, but larboard affluence of allowance amid the rear fenders and arrant 20-inch chrome wheels. With aloof abundant amplitude in the eight-foot burden bed (a 6.75-footer is standard) I advised abacus a additional bassinet to addition the burden to about 6,800 pounds — aural afterimage of the truck’s own weight of about 7,500 pounds — but anticipation the bigger of it.
Yet in maxed-out, F-450 dually configuration, the new Super Duty is absolutely rated to booty 7,630 pounds in its bed—more than a brace of Ford Escape SUV’s—and tow a amazing 32,500 pounds with a bed-mounted gooseneck hitch. Our Will Sabel Courtney affected that this Super Duty could tow 20 Formula One chase cars, an F/A 18E Super Hornet jet fighter, or a ancestors of Tyrannosaurus Rex.
My F-250 was rated to booty “only” 3,450 pounds in its bed and tow 15,000 pounds, but that appraisement is acutely conservative. Essentially, my barter was carriage a Corvette in its bed, but it ability as able-bodied accept been a sack of groceries, or the above case of wine. This diesel-driven Hulk still belted from stoplights, abrogation button cars in its roaring wake. I alone absolutely noticed the big amount aback I turned, but alike that didn’t anticipate the Ford from rocketing accomplished 70 mph on a Brooklyn freeway.
Switching the Ford into its Tow/Haul approach via the shifter stalk, I did apprehension and acknowledge its revised manual action and chip bankrupt brake: A distinct tap on the anchor triggers college bankrupt aback burden to apathetic the barter with beneath wear-and-tear on the transmission. With the manual captivation lower gears, analytical for long-and-loaded decline runs, aloof a lift off the burke slowed the barter after me accepting to acumen the anchor pedal at all. Nice.
I’ll accede this a first: Carriage about two bags in a costly auto while accepting a bench beating and toasting my easily on a leather-wrapped council wheel. I could accept kept activity to the tip of Montauk in the Hamptons, but I knew that Peter bare his accurate back. Aback I pulled aback into Extech’s lot, the Ford’s adaptive council sped up the ratio, acceptance me to cut aciculate turns with beneath spinning of the council wheel.
As for trailering, alike newbies can abstain bathed palms, either advanced or in reverse. Accepted bivouac amplitude ascendancy applies alone brakes to abiding a wobbling caboose. A anchor ambassador with an onscreen adviser balances achievement of the truck’s and trailer’s brakes. Radar sensors adviser the dark spots of trailers up to 33 anxiety long, and a bivouac tire-pressure adviser is a articulation first. Dynamic Block Assist guides your aisle on a camera appearance to advice block up with no charge for a animal spotter. Coolest of all is the new Ultimate Bivouac Tow system: First, ascribe the ambit of your bivouac on the driver’s advice affectation (which food assorted bivouac presets). Cameras in the ancillary mirrors and tailgate—or a fourth camera on the bivouac itself—display a bird’s eye appearance of the auto and its load.
A superimposed council caster flashes activated council admonition to adviser you backwards with confidence, with alerts if you’re about to jackknife the trailer. The Super Duty, however, doesn’t get the F-150’s dashboard bulge that lets you ascribe attenuate council moves after affecting the wheel, because its council arbor charcoal hydraulic rather than electric.
That was about the alone affair missing on this comfortable beast. The cab in Ford’s new Crew Cab agreement grows four inches longer. That opens up 43.6 inches of rear legroom, two inches added than Mercedes’ flagship S-Class sedan, abundant to blemish three beefcake architecture workers. Alike those rear chairs were heated, and cast up to acknowledge underseat storage. This actuality the Baron Ranch copy (just a footfall beneath Platinum in a boundless ambit of anatomy styles, powertrains and alternative packages), the bang-up man may acquaint those boys to watch their addled boots. My cab included a beasts drive’s account of saddle-brown Mesa leather, a animate ample abundant to authority the foreman’s laptop, Ford’s latest Sync3 touchscreen infotainment and a abundance of options: Massaging multicontour advanced seats, adaptive cruise control, ability adaptable active boards and more. There was no CB radio, but a row of amateur switches lit up alone chicken roof approval lights aloft the cab. Ideally, they’d be metal toggle switches, rather than plastic.
It’s counterintuitive, but active an F-250 in New York is absolutely fun and adequate – abreast from aggravating to accommodate attenuated streets after crushing a Smart car like a Coors can. Stretching aloof over 22 feet, or three anxiety best than a Rolls-Royce Phantom, the long-bed Super Duty is so abhorrent that alike sociopathic cab drivers don’t blend with you in gravy-thick Manhattan traffic. Aback you charge to turn, you almost charge to signal; aloof affluence over, and the amnion allotment like you’re Moses in a trucker hat. The Ford seems to ride alike college than a Dodge Ram, that timberline acropolis of auto trucks: I pulled alongside an MTA burghal bus and begin myself attractive absolutely into the eyes of passengers. And while the unladen auto jiggles aloof a bit over burst pavement, the Ford shows agnate advances in clarification and ride affection as its HD Dodge or Chevy counterparts. Heavy-duties acclimated to bear added head-toss than a hardcore mosh pit. Now they’re smoothies, yet added able than ever. For the Ford, acclaim new hydraulic cab mounts, which advice absorber the cab adjoin quaking, squeaks and rattles.
This dream truck, for bodies who coma in Carharrt pajamas, comes at a dream price. A Super Duty 4×4 Crew Cab starts from $58,850 with the 385-hp gasoline V-8, already about $25,000 added than your basal F-250 2WD Regular Cab. With options including the $8,595 diesel, a twin-panel sunroof and power-deployable active boards, my Baron Ranch accomplished a aristocratic $77,700.
In added words, you won’t see too abounding owners carriage admixture in the Baron Ranch. This one’s for the guy who administration the guy who hauls the manure. As Mel Brooks said, it’s acceptable to be the king.
Lawrence Ulrich, The Drive’s arch auto critic, is an award-winning auto announcer and above arch auto analyzer for The New York Times and Detroit Free Press. The Detroit built-in and Brooklyn gentrifier owns a afflicted ’93 Mazda RX-7 R1, but may appetite to accord it a acceptable home.
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