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With a class leading 325-horsepower and 560lb-ft of torque, the 6.0-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine is a marvel of design and engineering. "This engine has been over 5 years in the making," according to Super Duty Marketing Manager Tim Stoehr.

Several technologies play heavily in the new Power Stroke's construction.

The electronic variable response turbocharger (EVRT) on the Power Stroke uses a set of pivoting vanes that surround the turbine to optimize and control an almost infinitely adjustable airflow to the turbo compressor. When traveling at high speeds, climbing steep grades or at altitude the vanes close together to route more airflow through the turbine. At low speeds the vanes open to provide better engine response.

Generation 2 (G2) fuel injectors are combined with increased hydraulic rail fuel injection pressures to better manage fuel before it enters the Power Stroke's combustion chambers. G2's smaller injectors allow enough room to accommodate four valves per cylinder, two more than the 7.3-liter Power Stroke had. The combination of higher fuel pressure and four valves per cylinder better atomizes the fuel air mixture for improved combustion, resulting in a quieter engine, reduced emissions and increased fuel economy.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) routes a predetermined amount of the exhaust gas into a cooler where the exhaust gas temperature is lowered. The cooled exhaust gas is then mixed in the combustion chamber with fresh air and fuel. The result is lower Nitrogen Oxide emissions.

To help with maintenance a top mounted oil filter is accessible and easily replaced during normal oil change service. "The cartridge-type oil filter is modeled after the toner cartridge you might find in a laser printer," said Stoehr. The placement of the filter is important to those of us that prefer to do our own maintenance.

The Super Dutys we drove were equipped with the all-new, optional 5-speed TorqShift automatic transmission. The TorqShift was designed lock-in-step with the Power Stroke and is a direct response to the Allison 5-speed offered on the Silverado and Sierra HD pickups from GM. It's no wonder that the TorqShift and Allison have very similar ratios. Dodge does not offer a comparable transmission on its trucks. See chart below:

Gear Position TorqShift 5-Speed Allison 5-Speed
First Gear 3.09 to 1 3.10 to 1
Second Gear 2.20 to 1 1.81 to 1
Third Gear 1.54 to 1 1.41 to 1
Fourth Gear 1.00 to 1 1.00 to 1
Fifth Gear .71 to 1 .71 to 1
Reverse 2.88 to 1 4.49 to 1

When comparing these transmissions on paper the Allison and Ford are nearly identical in first gear. The fourth and fifth gears are identical with the Ford TorqShift having the advantage in the critical second gear and a slight advantage in third. The Allison has the advantage in reverse which is important when backing heavy trailers up or down steep grades.

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