For 2023, a full and welcome refresh ushers in its fifth generation with a slew of revisions and updates ranging from sleeker and more refined body lines, four updated powertrains, dazzling new tech and highly requested tasteful options for baseline trims.
Hard Body by Ford
Tastefully updated, the 2023 Super Duty still carries its chiseled and brawny exterior notes that were brought on in the previous generation, but refines them with more poise. While maintaining the same aluminum cab structure borrowed from the F150, the tried and true core travels on with updated body panels and features. A new fascia is more aerodynamic and helps funnel additional air into the massive radiators to extract heat from the ever increasing horsepower and torque numbers, along with function heat extractors living behind the nameplate badges on the front quarter panels to reduce under hood air pressure and improve aerodynamic flow.
New for this year Ford integrates built in footwell steps into the bedsides forward of the rear wheels, more footwells into the rear bumper quarters and integrates convenient hand grabs in the bed rails aft of the bed stake pockets. Also revised is the rear tailgate step, which has been extended outward and lower by three inches to place it center of the tailgate-to-ground ratio allowing users to step downward from the bed of their truck forward, relieving the need to turn around and twist stepping down backwards.
Power Plant Power House
Four engine options adorn the model lineup for 2023, doubling what was available before. Gone is the anemic base 6.2L “BOSS” V8, and replacing it with a high-torque and efficient 6.8L pushrod V8. Primarily sourced from its big brother 7.3L, the de-bored 6.8L promises gobs of torque while sipping on fuel for an economical but effective option. The 7.3L “Godzilla” pushrod V8 returns as the big block king, but revised and strengthened internals, more horsepower and more torque with Ford claiming a target of best in class numbers for both.
Proven for more than a decade with Super Duty, the 6.7L “Scorpion” Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel enters its fourth generation with revised tuning and components as the steadfast option ranging from F250 all the way up to F650 in commercial applications. The highlight engine of the show is the new High Output version of the Power Stroke. Stepping into the ring, the 6.7L was already top of its game, but Ford has decided that's not good enough. Revised internals, stainless steel high-flow exhaust manifolds and a unique liquid cooled turbocharger assembly gives Ford engineers a new way to extract heat from the hot V of the engine, so that more fuel and more boost can be loaded inside. Power numbers on all engines to be released later on, but it is safe to say that Ford is making sure no one else can compete with power.
A Dump-truck load of tech
Shoving more technology into their trucks than what you can find at a Best Buy, Super Duty now has up to 16 integrated cameras onboard, allowing 360 degree views of the truck, but not only the trailer as well, building on Ford’s towing suite of trailer backup assist, blindspot monitoring and now, cleverly integrating backup sensors and a camera in the top of the tailgate so users who have their tailgates down still can use those sonar and visual features to assist in backing up these behemoths and putting them to work.
Also new for 2023 is a full color heads-up display, projecting vital information for the driver on the windshield itself right in the drivers line of sight. This along with intelligent cruise control with stop-and-go, lane keeping assist and front and rear brake assist paints this as one of the safest trucks on the road and damn near drives itself.
LED lighting groups are available on all trim levels, and a 2.0kW ProPower onboard pure-sine wave inverter is available with 120v outlets in the cabin and bed making for a lot of onboard power and the ability to power up and recharge house batteries, EV’s and Electric Bikes, or power a worksite.
Off-Road Yacht Club
Tremor returns for XLT and above, carrying over many of the same features from the last generation but this year includes a few added tweaks like revised shock tuning, seriously good looking Tremor specific 18” wheels and a show stopping feature borrowed from Bronco, Trail Turn Assist. Sending a land yacht this size through the woods is a challenge, and with a press of a button, you are able to lock up a rear wheel independent of the rest and pivot the truck around tight spaces - a very welcome improvement.
XL owners get access to the XL Offroad Package, which integrates features from Tremor like the locking rear differential, skid plates, a higher front air dam, and 33” all terrain tires.
As the reigning towing champ for a few decades now, Ford continues its lead by integrating clever technologies like a payload calculator and trailer friendly route mapping for navigation. By using integrated sensors in the chassis, engineers are able to measure the bed, 5th wheel or hitch payloads to make sure you do not blow past your GVWR and ensure a balanced trailer load for safe hauling.
With Trailer navigation, all that's needed is to punch in a few numbers on the trailers weight, length and height and the navigation system will help route you through areas that are known to be congested, low overhangs or tight turns so that you are not forced to find yourself in a situation that you cannot get out of without a major headache.
Head in the Clouds
As the first vehicle with integrated 5G UC connectivity, Ford is expanding the mobile office as much as they can and taking a note from the tech industry by providing over the air software updates and feature suites. New updates and features are just a download away, and with Ford Pass, there are new features like Trailer Theft alert and remote vehicle monitoring
It seems like with every year more and more standard features are added that do not really apply to most people, but Ford listened and now XL trucks come standard with 8-inch infotainments with a 12” horizontal display on higher trims. 12” digital cluster that is fully customizable. Four USB ports, wireless charging pad and a center console slot that holds a full-size tablet upright for easy use when parked. Max recline seats that fold nearly flat and lift the seat bottom up for a fully horizontal napping experience, as well as built-in Alexa hands free connectivity. If you like your tunes, a 640-watt eight speaker B&O sound system is standard with an optional 1080-watt 18 speaker system for the true aficionado.
Horsepower Drawn Conclusions
From the outside, it looks like just a refresh of a recipe that works extraordinarily well - but hands on you can see that Ford made sure to touch almost every single component on the vehicle and refine it based on user feedback and integrated a lot of key features that absolutely make sense. The 2023 Super Duty is not only a truck that can work, but it can play really hard too and adds a ton of user value to ensure that the experience that you have with your vehicle is a lasting positive impression that keeps you and yours safe and gets you from A to B without breaking a sweat. It is three-and-a-half tons of pure working muscle, but looks good in a tuxedo.