It looks like a Lincoln Town Car plopped down atop a tow-truck chassis — so massive you’ll have trouble fitting it into one parking space length-wise or width-wise. The shadow it gets to cast is so vast the windshields on cars driving next to it can frost over in the chill. It is capable of towing 31,200 lbs. —– nearly 16 tons —– which in fact is more than what everything you own weighs, barring your house. It’s brutal, but rather comfortable. It’s the Ford F-450 Super Duty Platinum Crew Cab dually 1½-ton pickup.

ford f-450While Ford has been grabbing attention for its new all-aluminum 2015 F-150 half-ton pickup, its cleverly updated Super Duty line of large capacity pickups are no less than scene-stealers. Unlike F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks, the F-450 cannot pass for an ordinary truck, as it’s available only with dual rear wheels, and those wheels are commercial grade 19.5-inchers. The wheels are aluminum, but most of the body is still steel.

ford f-450An even more bigger news here is the second-generation of Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel V-8. The block is now cast from “compacted graphite iron” for more strength. The Power Stroke’s turbo sits in between the cylinder banks, and the exhaust ports now dump into that valley. This brings on a drastic reduction in the length of the exhaust tracts and, improves turbocharger efficiency. Audi and BMW utilize this “reverse flow” design on their turbocharged gas-burning V-8s, nonetheless, it’s a novelty in this class of diesel ogre.

ford f-450The 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 is rated at 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of torque — some really beastly numbers. The Power Stroke is down a meaningless five lb-ft to the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel six used in Ram trucks but up 55 hp. And it has a 95 lb-ft and 144 hp advantage over the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 in the GMC Sierra and Silverado HD trucks.

At this juncture don’t forget that all these trucks are massively powerful and capable; their abilities are way beyond what the owners of the big boats or long horse trailers will ever need. But overkill has always been a cultural imperative in America. So go ahead and embrace that.

ford f-450Unlike GM and Ram who avoid marketing their 1½-ton trucks as consumer pickups, Ford has no hesitation in doing that. So, obviously F-450’s chassis is beefier than what is under the competition’s one-ton duallies. Now, talking about F-450’s rear suspension, it’s jarring when the truck is lightly laden and faced with surmounting a mall speed bump. Lugging a fifth wheel trailer the truck is more, well, nuanced in its tail but still stiff.

ford f-450Driving the F-450 is much different from whipping along in a little larger F-150. For example, the steering is really slow and feel-free, the brakes need deliberate application, and the 172.4-inch wheelbase and 263 inches — 21.9 feet! — of overall length imply squeezing into many traffic holes just isn’t an option. The engine delivers great acceleration and works well with the six-speed automatic transmission, but this thing weighs over 8,500 pounds even before you put anything in it.

ford f-450One vital thing that the F-450 captain need to note is the truck’s great width. Extend the side mirrors to their limits and the truck is 110-inches wide – more than a full foot wider than an F-150. If you forget to monitor the rear wheels in the mirrors it might drift over into another lane and even with the on-board cameras, parking needs lot of focus. This is not a truck for casual, one-handed horizon chasing.

By coincidence, the four-wheel drive system works brilliantly. But it’s for pulling trailers along muddy ranch roads or up slippery launching ramps. Trail crawling is not recommended.

ford f-450The most bizarre element of the Platinum edition of the F-450 is the war on among luxury and utility inside the Crew Cab. There’s plenty of leather inside, loads of storage cubbies and Ford packs on the electro-gadgetry. But the fake wood on the dash is laughably absurd, and the industrial grade of many interior surfaces fights against leather. After all, even though this truck is priced a whopping $74,665, many interior pieces are shared with work truck Super Duty F-250s that carries a mere $32,240 price tag.

Just opening the massive doors on the F-450 feels like a party and the engine is flat-out superb. But I must warn you, this specialized equipment is a tool for titans of capitalism, with a wealth of toys who take them to many far-flung places. If you’re that guy, it doesn’t get better than this. InformaticsAUTOCARSINTERNATIONALf 450,ford f 450 specs,ford f 450 super duty,ford f-450,ford super duty,ford trucksIt looks like a Lincoln Town Car plopped down atop a tow-truck chassis --- so massive you'll have trouble fitting it into one parking space length-wise or width-wise. The shadow it gets to cast is so vast the windshields on cars driving next to it can frost over in...Daily News, News Magazine, Online Magazine