INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana. Ford (NYSE: F) is offering commercial customers something they haven’t had before – a Class 5 experience in a Class 6 vehicle ready to work.
The truck manufacturer has completed refreshed its commercial lineup with the new F-600 Super Duty and an updated 2020 Transit van as well as F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks. The updates were made on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mike Pruitt, chief engineer for Super Duty, told FreightWaves the F-600 is in response to customer demand, particularly from the upfitting community which frequently forced customers to move from the Class 5 F-550 Super Duty to the F-650 due to the weight of the body.
“It was all about the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR),” Pruitt said. “A lot of the upfitters were maxing out on GVWR.”
The new F-600 adopts characteristics of the F-550 in a new Class 6 truck profile, giving customers looking for a larger truck for additional payload or upfit opportunities the chance to do so. The F-600 offers a Super Duty chassis cab in either 4×2 or 4×4 drivetrain configurations. An upgraded driveline and chassis components along with 19.5-inch tires and wheels boost gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) to 22,000 pounds.
The F-600 will be available for order in early 2020 and will be available in mid 2020. It includes three engine options: a new 7.3-liter gas V8, which replaces Ford’s current 6.8L model, a third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel or a 6.2-liter gas V8. A new 10- speed TorqShift automatic transmission is available across all engine offerings with available live-drive power takeoff provision with up to 300 lb.-ft. of torque.
“For 34 years, Ford has consistently sold more commercial vehicles every year than any other manufacturer because we listen to our customers then get to work developing the products and technologies they need,” said Mark Buzzell, Ford director of fleet, lease and remarketing operations. “The updates we’re announcing today were driven by our customers’ focus on improving safety, reducing cost, and increasing uptime and productivity. Giving our customers the freshest lineup plus driver-assist technologies and connectivity is a great example of Ford delivering smart vehicles for a smart world.”
Ford’s revamping of its commercial line includes updates to its popular Transit van, which is popular in last-mile delivery operations. Upgrades include two new engines mated to a standard 10-speed transmission that has been used in the F-150 since the 2017 model year, all designed to improve fuel efficiency over the 2019 Transit. Available all-wheel drive is now available to provide enhanced traction on icy, snowy or muddy roads, and additional seating options in passenger configurations, including a second-row seat in chassis cab configuration, giving the vehicle the ability to transport a work crew of 5.
Ford is also upping its connectivity gain on the vehicles with all product lines including standard modems with 4G LTE WiFi for up to 10 devices and new Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services available across the lineup. Telematics and Data Services enable fleet managers to enhance uptime and asset utilization, Ford said, while optimizing running costs, improving driver behavior, and protecting fleets using Ford OEM-grade telematics software. Ford said the solution integrates directly with the company’s existing telematics service provider or takes vehicle data directly into a fleet’s own IT systems.
Automatic emergency braking is standard on 2020 Transit and 2019 Transit Connect and available across the rest of Ford’s commercial vehicle lineup.
Additional elements of Ford Co-Pilot 360 technologies become available on Ford commercial vehicles for the new model year. For F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks, plus E-Series and F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis, traction control, hill start assist and auto headlamps are standard.
Optional elements on these lines include adaptive cruise control, electronic stability control, lane departure warning, Driver Alert System and auto high-beam headlamps.
Super Duty chassis cab also include standard auto high-beam headlamps and available lane departure warning. The Transit van includes standard forward collision warning, post-collision braking, Lane Keeping system and auto high-beam headlamps. New available driver-assist technology for Transit includes adaptive cruise control, Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage, enhanced active park assist, side sensing system, front and rear split-view camera and adjustable speed limiting device.
The 2020 Transit will feature a power sliding door for cargo variations and a new interior with a modern dashboard and features designed to improve comfort and practicality, such as a myriad of cupholders and compartments for storing gear and gadgets. Grab handles are improved, vents are updated to better direct heated and cooled air, and overall ergonomics are enhanced to make using everything a bit easier. Optional swivel front seats have been added due to customer demands, Ford said.
“When we introduced Transit five years ago, it immediately became America’s go-to full-size van for fleets, small businesses and large families,” Buzzell said. “We listened to our commercial and family customers and updated Transit with useful amenities like standard WiFi so kids or crew can stay connected, and helpful driver-assist features like available adaptive cruise control to take the stress out of traffic.”
Transit engine options includes the new 2.0-liter EcoBlue bi-turbo I4 diesel, a new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 gasoline engine with port fuel and direct injection and new 10- speed automatic transmission, plus new interiors and seating options. It comes standard with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
Maximum GVWR increases from 10,360 pounds to 11,000 pounds for the Transit chassis cab cutaway model.