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Auto blogTue, 29 Jul 2014 11:58:00 EST
What weighs 30,000 pounds? Big Ben's Westminster bell. A navy ship anchor. Or as we found out during our first drive program for the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty, seven pallets of cinder blocks loaded onto a dual-axle gooseneck trailer. The test was part of a raft of towing demonstrations that showcased the new Super Duty's impressive tug capacity, which maxes out at 32,100 pounds. That's 1,200 more than its nearest rival, the Ram 3500, when equipped with its upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8. Such is the heavy-duty pickup truck business, a diesel-fueled game of one-upmanship with only three players: Ford, Chevrolet/GMC and Ram. And in this game, the one with the most torque wins.
Until 2014, Ford was the one to beat, with its 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel bringing 400 hp and a massive 800 lb-ft of torque to the table. Then last year, Ram did exactly that, serving Ford with a beefed-up Cummins turbodiesel inline-six in its freshened Ram Heavy Duty truck line with 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to tow up to 30,000 pounds. But Ford claims it had designed its engine to be relatively easy to upgrade when the time called for it, so for 2015, Ford bolted a larger turbo to the Power Stroke, bringing output to an insane 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of twist, all without reducing fuel efficiency. Maximum tow capacity rises from 24,700 lbs to an incredible 31,200 lbs for the F-450 dually.
As for GM's HDs? They lag behind the lot with their 6.6-liter Duramax V-8, producing 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Yeah, you know things are serious when the trucks with 765 lb-ft are the knock-kneed wimps of the lot.
Dennis Williams, the newly elected president of the UAW, had some tough words for American automakers in his inauguration speech at the 2014 UAW Convention, striking down the possibility of any additional concessions from the 400,000-strong union.
"No more concessions. We are tired of it. Enough is enough," Williams said during his speech. UAW employees have not received a raise in nearly 10 years, according to Reuters.
Considering the recent strong results for Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, the union's demands are likely to carry a bit more weight in next year's negotiations. And considering Williams' tough stance, we could be in for some fireworks once negotiations commence.
Ford has quite the racing pedigree, but usually, its racers are relegated to the track. Not the new Formula Ford EcoBoost, though. It's a turbocharged, open-wheeled racer complete with a 200-horsepower, 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine... and it's legal on the roads of the UK.
That's stressed in this video from Autocar, with the mag going so far as to show the car's tax disc and license plates. Being a road-legal offering, it's tempting to see just how well an open-wheeler that delivers racecar-like performance while also netting over 100 miles per gallon (assume this is on the British cycle, for obvious reasons) stacks up against modern performance cars.
Autocar lined up the Formula Ford against an Audi R8 V10, a BMW M6 Gran Coupe and a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG in a number of situations to see which would come out on top. Take a look below for the full video.