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?
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.
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.
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.
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.