Dallas, Texas - This is Ford’s new top-of-the-range pick-up truck, the 2018 F450 Super Duty Limited, revealed today in the state where everything is bigger, combining the features and finishes you’d expect in a luxury sedan with the ability to pull an astonishing 14 200kg, about the weight of an F35 fighter jet!
And that’s important because it’s aimed a wealthy ranchers, boat owners, rodeo competitors and owners of luxury campers, for whom the capability to tow trailers so big you have to install a ‘fifth wheel’ in the load bed to hitch them up is paramount.
Sadly, it won’t be coming to South Africa because there are no plans to produce a right-hand drive version - and in any case you’d need a Code C truck licence to drive it. But, as an example of what America’s favourite pick-up truck can aspire to when $94 455 (R1 272 000, with all the options boxes ticked) is no object, it’s worth a closer (and somewhat envious!) look.
Even bigger than it looks
The first surprise is that there is no petrol option - it’s only available with a 6.7-litre Power Stroke turbodiesel V8, which has a single sequential turbocharger in the V of the block and charge-air intercooled Bosch common-rail fuel-injection on the outside. It’s rated for 325kW at 2800 revs and a stump-pulling 1257Nm at 1800rpm, driving all six wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.
And it’s even bigger than it looks: with a keep-your-Stetson-on-and-stretch-out five-seater double cab, it still has a flat-floored load-bed 2.4 metres long, and a payload of 4500kg (four and a half tons - that’s why the double rear wheels are a standard feature.
“Imagine sinking into your favorite leather lounge chair - that’s the feeling we were trying for,” said design manager Aileen Barraza.
That means two-tone leather upholstery on heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, armrests and instrument panel with contrast stitching, a synthetic suede headliner, hand-finished dark ash wood trim and a limited-edition serial number etched into the centre console armrest.
Standard features include a 360-degree camera with trailer reverse guidance, Sync3 connectivity, adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with auto braking, quad-beam LED headlights and a panoramic sunroof with a retractable shade.
But mostly, it’s just the sheer size of the thing that's so impressive. Imagine trying to park it down at the shopping mall - but then, who’s going to argue with you for a parking space?