2023 Ford Super Duty F-250 Tremor Off-Road Package
2023 Ford Super Duty F-250 Tremor Off-Road Package; (photo/Ford)

Can Ford Stay Ahead of the Competition With the 2023 F-Series Super Duty Lineup?

With Chevrolet, GMC, and RAM all getting ready to roll out new heavy-duty models of their own, how does the 2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty come out ahead?

For the launch of its next-generation F-Series Super Duty pickup family, Ford picked Churchill Downs, home of the country’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby. It’s Kentucky Day down in the Bluegrass State where Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is helping mark the launch of the 2023 F-Series Super Duty rolling out for Ford’s Louisville assembly plant.

Ford hopes the new truck will help retain a furlong lead over heavy-duty competitors like Chevrolet, GMC, and RAM. The 2023 Super Duty gets a host of new features ranging from a beefier base engine to an assortment of tech features Ford claims can curb operating costs by as much as 20% while also making it easier to tow, haul, and go off road.

Along with the smaller F-150, the F-Series is the bestselling vehicle nameplate in the U.S., with the Super Duty line dominating all competitors since it debuted in 1999.

1999 Ford F-Series Super Duty
Where it all started, the 1999 Ford F-Series Super Duty; (photo/Ford)

“Super Duty is a name that is trusted to get the job done, and our customers have helped to make it the most popular commercial truck in America, bar none,” said Ted Cannis, CEO of Ford Pro.

2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty: Aiming to Remain the Dominant Player

2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat
2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat; (photo/Ford)

Holding a market share of more than 40% in the heavy-duty truck segment, Ford has a lot riding on the launch of the 2023 F-Series Super Duty and has given the latest-generation truck a major makeover. That covers everything from its powertrain lineup to the new technology that, Ford estimates, could reduce operating costs by 10-20% for commercial customers.

That technology also will help owners handle the toughest chores, whether hauling a trailer or heading off-road, Ford officials said during a background briefing.

From a styling perspective, Ford has opted for a modest update that won’t catch existing Super Duty owners by surprise. A broader grille enhances the visual width of the truck. Sculpting on the hood and side panels give it a more muscular and capable appearance, at least in the eyes of chief designer Ehab Kaoud.

2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat interior
2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat interior; (photo/Ford)

Inside, the instrument panel gets a more horizontal layout to further enhance its feeling of width. And there are new niceties like a Max Recline driver’s seat that folds nearly flat, along with a 640W, eight-speaker B&O sound system.

2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Limited interior
2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Limited interior; (photo/Ford)

But while “people don’t want an ugly truck,” he suggested, Kaoud noted that the Super Duty product development team focused on enhancing the vehicle’s functionality above all else. That starts inside with updated infotainment that can be operated through a standard 8-inch touch screen. A 12-inch display along with a digital gauge cluster are options.

High-Tech Features With a Work-Truck Focus

2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty market share chart
2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty market share chart; (photo/Ford)

While many retail customers opt for heavy-duty trucks to handle heavy trailers, commercial buyers make up the dominant share of the market and for them, these trucks have to deliver, often on a 24/7 basis. So, even the Super Duty’s new high-tech features have to pencil in on the bottom line.

And Cannis says fleet customers could achieve as much as a 20% reduction in cost from new software-defined features designed to make it easier to tow and haul, as well as to own and operate the 2023 F-series Super Duty models.

“With state-of-the-art technology, including a 5G modem connected to a powerful ecosystem of productivity-boosting software and services, the all-new Super Duty can seamlessly shift from workhorse to office of the future,” Cannis declared during a media background briefing.

Load & Tow

Ford Super Duty Pro Trailer Back Up Assist
Ford Super Duty Pro Trailer Back Up Assist; (photo/Ford)

Super Duty now adds smartphone-style over-the-air updates that can be used to update balky software, add new features, and track vehicle operations. That can provide a heads-up on potential service problems and, among other things, track vehicle location and driver behavior. Much of that can be tracked on a Ford app, as well as on an operator’s laptop or desktop system.

Among the truck’s features, onboard scales can measure cargo weight, as well as the weight of a trailer’s tongue. Indeed, with so many Super Duty customers routinely towing, there are new features that make that job easy, even for newbies. That includes a variety of onboard cameras and sensors and a backup system that helps keep a trailer pointed in the right direction. A head-up display includes towing information.

Even the onboard navigation system has been updated to lay out routes to ensure that there are no low bridges and other insurmountable obstacles along the way. And a 2.0kW onboard generator can provide power, whether at work or at a campsite.

Updated Powertrain Lineup

2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Limited
2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Limited; (photo/Ford)

Whatever the need, Ford has upgraded to a new base engine, a 6.8L V8, meant to deliver increased horsepower and torque. Buyers have three additional choices, including:

  • A 7.3L V8 that promised to deliver segment-leading horsepower and torque
  • A 6.7L V8 diesel is there for those who want lots of torque and good mileage
  • Ford will offer an upgraded version of that diesel using a revised turbo, unique tuning, and upgraded manifolds for even more pulling and hauling power

Final specs aren’t yet available, but Ford officials said we can expect improvement in horsepower and torque from the various powertrains. The current model’s 6.2L base engine makes 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet.

All four engines will be mated to a 10-speed automatic, and all XLT models and above will come standard with four-wheel-drive.

Super Duty Off-Roading

2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Limited
2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Limited with FX4 package; (photo/Ford)

The Super Duty line comes in a variety of different packages and body configurations, including classic cab models later upfitted for everything from forestry use to ambulances and airport shuttles.

Among more conventional trims, the 2023 Tremor Off-Road Package gets a front-end lift, a uniquely tuned suspension, and features like a Dan front axle with a limited-slip differential. It rides on 18-inch wheels shod with 35-inch Goodyear tires.

It also adds digitally controlled features such as Trail Control, which lets a driver instantly switch between different modes, including rock-crawl. And Trail Turn Assist uses the truck’s anti-lock brake system to handle much tighter corners than its long wheelbase otherwise would permit.

2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty: Pricing TBA

2023 Ford Super Duty F-250 XL STX Appearance Package
2023 Ford Super Duty F-250 XL STX; (photo/Ford)

Ford won’t release pricing until closer to the on-sale date early next year, but the current base 4×2 Crew Cab model currently starts at $42,235 MSRP plus $1,795 in delivery fees.

The 2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty models will be produced at both the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, as well as Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville. The automaker has been building various vehicles there for the last 109 years, in recent decades focusing exclusively on large and heavy-duty trucks.

The automaker hopes to keep both plants busy going forward. It’s long done so with a market share of over 40%, rising to nearly 60% in some heavy-duty segments. But it faces some stiff new competition from its key rivals, Chevrolet, GMC, and RAM all getting ready to roll out HD models of their own.

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Paul Eisenstein

Paul A. Eisenstein is an award-winning publisher, photographer, editor, and one of the world’s most widely published automotive journalists. His work appears in a wide range of print, broadcast, and electronic outlets, including AutoWise, GearJunkie, NBC News, Forbes Wheels, and his own automotive website, TheDetroitBureau.com. He’s a North American Car and Truck of the Year juror, and board member and past president of the Automotive Press Association. J.D. Power also named him a “Pioneer of the Internet."