Trucks are getting smarter and more efficient, but that doesn't mean they're becoming less capable. Take the new Ford F-450 Super Duty, which is lighter than before but still able to tow up to 32,500 lb (14,742 kg).
Before you get too excited, keep in mind that figure is for people pulling with a gooseneck hitch. Using a fifth-wheel trailer you're limited to 27,500 lb (12,474 kg), and maximum conventional towing is capped at 21,000 lb (9,525 kg). Ford says those figures are both best-in-class, as is the 41,800 lb (18,960 kg) maximum gross combined weight.
The huge towing numbers come courtesy of a number of structural changes, including a fully boxed frame 24 times stronger than the model it replaces. Ford also claims the new aluminum-alloy body is more resistant to dents and dings than it was before.
Backing this impressive capability up is a suite of driver aids to make towing less stressful. Ford's says the Super Duty is the first truck to offer adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning systems with brake support for heavy trailers, making it easier to maintain your speed on steep grades.
When it comes time to park, the Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System gives you a 360-degree view of what's going on around the truck, and a factory-standard camera can be fitted to the back of the trailer for an even better view of what's behind you.
The blind spot warning system has been tweaked to work with a big trailer attached, using radar sensors mounted in the taillights to scan for any areas alongside the car and trailer (up to 33 ft long) out of the driver's view.
There are two engine options available to Super Duty buyers and predictably, both are V8s. The standard motor is a 6.2-liter petrol pumping out 385 hp (287 kW) of power and 430 lb.ft (583 Nm) of torque, but we'd stump up the extra cash for the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel.
Why? Well, it's got 55 hp (41 kW) more than the petrol engine, but the real headline is the staggering 925 lb.ft (1254 Nm) of torque you get. That's almost enough to spin the Earth off its axis.
The new F-450 Super Duty will go on sale at the start of Q3, where it will be sold alongside Super Duty versions of the F-250 and F-350.
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more