F-350 Tonka Concept
The Mighty F-350 Tonka is a veiled look at the next F-Series pickup and some of the expected enhancements. This particular truck, however, focuses on the heavy duty segment and meeting the power and towing requirements demanded by the top tier of pickup owners.
Its design cues are strictly Super Duty. From the massive chrome grille and side nostrils up front to the rounded haunches covering the dual 22-inch rear wheels, the Mighty F-350 Tonka is ready to hit the granite quarry out of the box. LED headlights seem to sit within a steel girder that runs the length of the truck, exiting at the taillights. A fifth wheel trailer hitch sits in the abbreviated bed which takes a backseat to the massive cabin.
The interior places emphasis on driver and passenger comfort while the exterior and powertrain focus on delivering the goods. The Mighty's Crew Cab is a 1/2-foot longer than the current Super Duty's and it shows in the rear passenger leg room. Leather and aluminum seating and trim provides a rugged and luxurious look built for long term durability. Three foldable instruments on top of the dash provide a clock, compass and gear shift indicator. Aiding ingress and egress is a missing B-pillar and rear hinging back doors.
Under the hood is Ford's preview of the next generation Power Stroke diesel. Called the Super-600, this 6.0-liter V8 is mated to a five-speed PowerTorq automatic transmission that puts out 350 horsepower and 600 ft-lbs. of torque. The engine has four valves per cylinder and a single block mounted OHV camshaft. The Super-600 also shows off Electronic Variable Response Turbocharging (EVRT), that helps provide boost over a wide range of driving and altitude conditions, Hydraulic Rail Fuel Injection at pressures up to 24,000 psi, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), that brings cooler exhaust gases back into the combustion chamber to lower the temperature and improve emissions, and easy access to maintenance items such as the oil filter - that pops out like a printer cartridge.
Ford has also cooperated with automotive supplier Eaton Corporation to introduce Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) into the Mighty F-350 Tonka's powertrain. A brand new concept designed to greatly improve fuel economy, HLA recovers some of the energy lost during braking and converts and stores it as hydraulic pressure. During acceleration this stored energy is released and its torque applied to the driveshaft through the clutch. For 10-15 seconds all acceleration comes from the HLA system while the engine idles.