The 2012 Ford Super Duty trucks are offered in F-250, F-350 and F-450 models, designating progressively higher tow and weight ratings. Compared to light-duty, full-size trucks, like the F-150, the Super Duty models have a stronger structure, along with heavy-duty components throughout and a powertrain lineup chosen for sheer pulling ability.
Throughout the lineup, you have a choice of two different engines--either a 385-horsepower, 6.2L gasoline V8, or a 400-horsepower, 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine. The gasoline engine is also compatible with E85 (85 percent ethanol) and can be equipped for propane or compressed natural gas (CNG), which might make it attractive for fleet use. However in any sort of real-world use, the diesel engine, with its mammoth 800 pound-feet of torque, comes out far ahead of the gas engine's 405 pound-feet. No matter which engine, the Super Duty trucks come with a heavy-duty 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.
F-350 and F-450 models get a reinforced frame and hitch system compared to F-250 models. Both the F-350 and F-450 are also offered in a dual-rear-wheel (DRW) configuration for better stability with heavy loads. Models with a conventional bumper hitch can tow up to 17,500 pounds, while those that upgrade to a fifth-wheel hitch can manage up to 24,500 pounds.
All single-rear-wheel models of the Super Duty trucks come with electronic stability control plus trailer sway control and hill start assist to help with standing starts on steep uphill slopes. Anti-lock brakes are also included and an integrated trailer brake controller is available. Integrated exhaust braking--like that of big rigs--is on the options list with the diesel, while Hill Descent Control also helps on slippery downhills, even when towing. Big PowerScope trailer-tow mirrors are also available. Heavy-duty buyers no longer need to forgo additional airbags--side seat airbags and side-curtain bags with a roll sensor are included.
The options list for the F-Series Super Duty Trucks isn't as comfort-and-luxury-oriented as that of the F-150. Some innovative specialized features, such as a Ford Work Solutions Crew Chief system for fleets and a Cable Lock security system for equipment, are geared toward those who use the Super Duty for serious work, like at a construction site. Among the available features is a 4.2-inch ?productivity screen' that shows screens for fuel economy and towing.
Ford's commercial-oriented Super-Duty trucks pick up a number of additional features that make it even more useful to those who work hard hauling cargo or towing large trailers. The Super Duty's first factory-installed fifth-wheel and gooseneck towing substructure--for some of the heaviest towing needs--has been expanded to trucks with the 6.75-foot cargo box for 2012 and include an electrical connection on the bed side wall.
A compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane option for the 6.2L gasoline engine are also new for 2012.