When Ford unveiled the redesigned F-150 in 2021, it hid substantial technological changes and new features under a slightly revamped – but still new – exterior. Despite the visual similarities to its predecessor, the new truck pushes the F-150 forward in almost extreme ways. With the introduction of the F-Series Super Duty 2023, Ford is taking a similar approach.
Look past the revised grille, which expands on the truck’s current twin-trunk look, and beyond the sharp (but familiar) headlights, and the Super Duty’s exterior design doesn’t do much to show just how new it is. But the side of the new Super Duty delivers on that. It rives the slab sides and is fuss-free, apart from the side grille, which acts as a heat extractor. The simple and simple wheel arches barely protrude from the sides of the body, while even the high-end models have no distinctive ornamentation beyond the front or rear.
Ford is also conservative in the cabin, retaining the same basic layout as last year’s truck. The center stack is almost indistinguishable from what came before it, although Ford updated the Super Duty steering wheel and added a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster as an option. But customers upgrading from a Super Duty built since 2017 will instantly feel at home in this new truck.
Like the F-150, the big changes are under the skin. As reported, the new 6.8 liter gas-powered V8 arrived and sits at the bottom of the engine lineup. Based on the 7.3-liter Godzilla V8, Ford promises an increase in low-end torque relative to the previous 6.2-liter engine. And if you’re a fan of diesel power, Ford is introducing a high-output version of the 6.7-liter PowerStroke.
Along with the lineup of four new engines, each Super Duty will use a 10-speed automatic. Finally, the days of paying extra for four-wheel drive are gone – it’s standard on the XLT trim and above. The bad news here is that Ford hasn’t shared horsepower, torque, fuel economy, or even towing/payload for its newest workhorse.
Joining the powertrain changes are some big tech additions starting with a new heads-up look. Also joining the fray is the Onboard ProPower, and while it’s only available in 2.0 kilowatts (like the non-hybrid F-150), the critically acclaimed generator system should be a welcome addition to any campsite or worksite. Speaking of camping, Ford is adding more technology to make towing easier, including a completely hands-free upgrade to the Pro Trailer Backup Assist called Pro Trailer Hitch Assist. Tap the button and the Super Task will direct itself to the right decision to drop the trailer into a hitch.
Goosenecks and five-wheeled turrets also get into the tech game, as the high-end Super Duty models take a why-I-don’t-think-of-that approach and add a secondary camera and proximity sensor to the top of the rear door. So even when the bed is open, the driver still has a rear view of the camera. Beyond that, a blind-spot supplement makes towing safer, while the navigation system will now consider trailer dimensions and only plan paths on roads that can accommodate a wide or high load.
Ford is also expanding Super Duty’s off-road capabilities, showing over the backdrop that the hardcore F-Series dominates trades that rely on working the ground, such as mining and quarrying and forestry. The Tremor off-road package is back, although at one time a special trim on the Maverick, Ranger, and F-150, it remains the package of choice available on the various Super Duty trims. The new Off-Road XL package adds 33-inch rubber, locking rear diff and underbody protection with revised air dams for better clearance as well as fording air.
For businesses, the Super Duty 2023 standard 5G modem will make it easier to monitor trucks via Ford Pro Telematics and Fleet Management Software (check out our review of E-Transit to learn more about what the system can do). And businesses alike will find it easier to customize Super Tasks, thanks to the Upfit Integration System. Instead of bulky controls, UIS will give aftermarket companies the option to add digital switches to the Super Duty infotainment to control add-ons along with safety measures to keep workers safe.
The bad news? Super Duty remains an ICE-only affair and Ford hasn’t added the BlueCruise to its popular pickup just yet. But even with that annoyance, there’s more technology here that should make life easier for the power users who devour this workhorse on a regular basis. Find out more about Super Duty’s output, performance, and pricing as it approaches its early 2023 sale date.