Ford and Ram are playing cutthroat in the heavy-duty pickup truck market, and both sides are watching the other like a hawk. They’ve been on a serious ramp-up for years, because both sides want to lay claim to being the final say in a pickup truck that doesn’t require a CDL or a move to the medium-duty class to own. How is this working out differently than it did when we first started seeing the escalation three years ago? Simple: take the numbers and keep hitting the addition button like a manic three-year-old.
Here’s the latest updates: Ford is currently swinging the title of having the best-in-class torque with the F-450, a move that already irks FCA because they don’t view the F-450 as a proper competitor in this field, but instead an in-between from a one-ton to heavy duty. The 6.7L PowerStroke diesel in the Super Duty line is cranking out 450 horsepower and 935 ft/lb of torque for 2018, which is ten above last year’s offering and five over Ram’s torque figure. Additionally, a two-wheel-drive F-450 is going to make an appearance, and will be able to haul 34,000 pounds on a gooseneck trailer, a ton and a half more than last year.
But has Ford played a card too soon? The upcoming DT generation of Ram light-duty trucks is on the way, with pilot 1500 series trucks already being spotted by spy photographers, and five pounds-feet of torque can be corrected in the refresh. The Heavy Duty series of Ram trucks is being pushed off at least a year, mainly due to the DT light-duty trucks and the rumored Jeep SUV that uses the same frame architecture needing to come up to speed before resources can be shifted to the heavy-duty stuff. All of the Big Three have done this trick at some point in time during generational changes, so it’s not abnormal. But the question will be if Ram and Cummins can provide an answer to Ford’s continued gauntlet-throwing. 1,000 ft/lb from the factory isn’t far ahead, folks.