Ford’s new commercials to be aired this fall will tout the F-450 as having a best-in-class towing capacity of 31,200 pounds, representing a hike of 6,500 pounds from the capability of the current model. Ford’s claim for its heavy duty means it is now 1,200 pounds better than the Ram 3500 heavy-duty, which boasted of 30,000-pound towing rating when it was released in January 2013.
Ford will claim in the commercials that the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel engine powering the F-450 could provide a best-in-class 440 hp and 860 pounds-feet of torque, better than the what 2014 models could cough (400 hp and 800 pounds-feet of torque).
Doug Scott, Ford truck marketing manager, said the commercials will feature pitchman Denis Leary and will coincide with the kickoff of the college football season. Ford will start selling the 2015 F-450 this week and is already selling the 2015 F-250 and F-350 trucks for some months.
Despite the claims, it remains unclear which heavy duty truck is better since carmakers usually test their trucks using their own procedures without employing a common industry towing standard.
According to Chrysler, Ram would be the first brand to observe the industry’s common towing standard -- SAE J2807. The standard has been applied to light-duty pickups.
Ford, on the other hand, said it will observe the standard as it introduces redesigned models, starting with the 2015 aluminum F-150 that will be rolled out late this year. That won’t include the 2015 Super Duty, since it is a mid-cycle freshening.
According to Scott, Ford will retest the next generation Super Duty trucks. Brian Rathsburg, Ford Super Duty marketing manager, said the new commercials will only highlight the trucks’ horsepower, torque and maximum towing capacity, so consumers would get more confused of the contradictory performance claims. [source: automotive news - sub. required]