Although the F-Series has been with us for longer than most
of us can remember, well since 1948 to be exact, the Super Duty line only went
into production as recently as 1998 as a 1999 model year. There's no doubting
the incredible versatility and capability of the F-150, especially since its
stunning 2015 redesign, but sometimes the job requires something bigger, and
the 2017 Ford F-350 certainly fits the bill.
The F-150 definitely stole a march on its bigger Super Duty
relations when it went all aluminum on us for 2015, but every dog has its day
as they say, and now it’s the turn of the big boys such as the 2017 Ford F-350 to
get reinvented in aluminum. Even when the wraps first came off the 2015 F-150,
there were doubters out there who thought the same thing couldn't be done with
the Super Duty line. Well, here it is now in all its glory, and who's really
all that surprised the Blue Oval has managed to carry it off?
The exterior of the 2017 Ford F-350 sees the macho grille
dialed down a little into something that looks a bit more macho. The twin
horizontal "power bars" have been brought closer together and now
have Ford's signature C-shaped headlights at either side and they're no longer
surrounded in chrome as they were before. There's also a less-than subtle
"Super Duty" stamped into the hood, which will probably look great
imprinted into the brick wall it looks as though this truck could go through
without much fuss. The bulging hood of the previous generation has been
whittled down to smarter creases, and the lower air dam now has a subtle style
that prevents it from disappearing underneath the F-350.
The 2017 Ford F-350 follows the lead of the smaller,
light-duty F-150 by employing aluminum as the primary material for the
construction of the cab and the bed, while the fully boxed frame is made of
good old fashioned steel. The frame is comprised of up to 95 percent
high-strength steel, and is said to be as much as 24 times more rigid than the underpinnings
of the previous model. Ford states that the "military-grade" aluminum
used for the cab body of the F-350 is more resistant to dents and dings than the
outgoing Super Duty's steel body. However, the big news and the main reason for
employing aluminum in place of steel is weight loss, and the new materials have
managed to take up to 350 pounds off the new truck, according to Ford.
There are five trim levels of 2017 Ford F-350, which are the
XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum, and all three Super Duty cab
configurations of Regular Cab, SuperCab, and Crew Cab have been lengthened this
time around and also feature fresh interior designs.
What hasn't changed a huge amount this year with the F-350
is the capability it offers courtesy of two outstanding engines. There may be
just one gas and one diesel option, but between the two they've pretty much got
all the heavy-duty bases covered. The gasoline engine is a 6.2-liter V-8 that
develops 385 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. of torque, which is going to be enough
to cope with some pretty demanding applications. However, if that's not enough,
it's hard to imagine what jobs would need anything more than the 440 horsepower
and staggering 925 lb.-ft. of torque the optional 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8
turbo diesel puts at your disposal.