You might think that in some way that we cheated so we went back to the hill with all three trucks and ran the test again ourselves. Mike was in the Dodge and Tom was in the Chevrolet (surprise) and a Ford engineer was in the Ford. The results were the same. We tried to make the Ford Super Duty with the Power Stroke and the TorqShift lose and we just could not do it. And sound levels in the cabin of the Super Duty never went above 73dB the entire climb. How's that for quiet performance?
The last head to head contest we performed before heading back to Vegas was a ¼-mile drag race with 12,000 pound trailers. The results were the same each and every time. The Ford 6.0 Liter Power Stroke won and won by a noticeable amount, finishing the ¼-mile in just over 23 seconds during the best run of the day. If you laid the results out first through third, the Chevrolet would beat the Dodge and the Power Stroke beat both.
We were able to shoot some amateur and we mean amateur video of the drag races and once we get them edited we will post them for you to view.
Driving back to Las Vegas we left in an F-350 King Ranch Edition Super Duty. The King Ranch is new to the Super Duty Line for 2003 and adds rich Castano saddle leather to the seating surfaces and wood trim to the doors. Unfortunately the dash gets left behind and receives no wood or special trim, contrasting sharply with the rest of the interior. Body colored telescoping tow mirrors are also included and add a touch of class to the outside of the truck.
Again the performance was outstanding on the highway but we had one last test to do. Craig Renneker, a Ford automatic transmission engineer who rode back with us, dared us to shift into reverse at 60 MPH going downhill. Uh, say what Craig? Ok, if you say so. With only a minor hiccup the transmission shifted into neutral and didn't even stall the engine! An amazing demonstration of the TorqShift's capabilities. Our apologies if there were any tailgaters behind us as the reverse lights came on because as we looked in our rear view mirror after getting back into drive there was nothing but empty road behind us.
At the end of the day we were totally surprised by the performance of the 2003 Ford Super Duty. Its new 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine and TorqShift transmission provide class leading performance capabilities and refinement unmatched by competitors in today's heavy duty pickups.
We'd like to run these drives again in the near future the way that people actually use their trucks - testing the performance of the Ford, GM and Dodge trucks including the High Output Cummins with fifth wheel travel trailers and heavy equipment trailers in several situations including mountain driving and flat out up hill towing.
When we talk about who's King of the Ranch we aren't necessarily talking about the 2003 Ford Super Dutys. Really it's heavy duty truck shoppers who are King of the Ranch because as consumers they benefit from the outstanding selection of trucks found on dealer lots today. And don't expect General Motors and Dodge to stand still for a second, they want to be King of the Ranch too, just not today.