Hype Delivers: 2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty Diesel Review
Big news has finally hit the pavement: The Ford 2008 F-Series with its 6.4-liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel engine is here. The Super Duty set standards in the over 8,500-pound truck segment when it was launched in the late nineties and has collected numerous Best-in-Class awards since. The F-Series alone makes up half of the Ford Motor Company's profits.
To squelch out any competition, this 3/4-ton model has been overhauled from the inside out. The 6.4-liter engine is loaded with new technology, such as Piezo-electric fuel injectors, which is said to be the first of its kind in the U.S. market. This high-precision system helps reduce emissions up to 97 percent and enables the engine to run smoother and quieter.
Also new are the Integrated Tailgate Step and Stowable Bed Extender; power-telescoping trailer-tow side mirrors; five all-new wheel designs; redesigned climate control system with a Rapid Heat supplemental heating system for all diesels; newly designed leaf-spring rear suspension; and a lowered frame with a new front stub that has been e-coated.
ORC was able to test-drive a 5-speed 2008 Ford F-250 4x4 SuperCab Lariat with the 6.4-liter V8 diesel engine. With all of the options and improvements listed above, total MSRP price for the vehicle is $51,755.
The 2008 Ford F-250 4x4 SuperCab Lariat with the 6.4-liter V8 diesel engine.
First of all, this is not your typical smoking diesel.
The tightly packed 350-horsepower 6.4-liter Power Stroke Twin-Turbo Diesel engine on the F-250 delivers 3,000 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque, starting at 2,000 rpm and utilizing the Ford Clean Diesel Technology™ that has seen more than 10 million miles of testing. The high-pressure, common rail fuel system of Piezo-electric fuel injectors and an advanced diesel filter system reduce particulate output by more than 90 percent. This puts emissions numbers are on par with gas engines. And none of the power is compromised: The duel turbochargers provide a response zero-to-60 times of more than a second faster than the 6.0-liter engine.
Upon first impression, when accelerating it takes a second for the turbo to kick in but the F-250 moves well when it does. It has smooth steering and an impressive turning radius, but you better find a big parking spot.
The F-Series alone makes up half of the Ford Motor Company's profits.
FORD STEPS IT UP
This 3/4-ton truck has a stout grille stacked tightly between elongated headlamps with 'Super Duty' stamped across the top, and is finished with a snug bumper. The look of the 2008 F-250 is compact and cleaner, but still meaty and bold.
The Super Duties are offered in three cab styles: Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab, along with two bed lengths. Trims include the XL, XLT, Lariat, Harley-Davison and King Ranch. Also, for the first time ever with the F-250, an FX4 model will be available on 4x4 SuperCab and Crew Cab.
The specification on the Lariat we tested included: 18" premium forged polished aluminum wheels; manual rear sliding window; dual zone electronic automatic temperature control air conditioning; color-coordinated full carpet; electrochromic self-dimming mirrors; power seats; premium leather seating surfaces; 40/20/40 split bench seats with center armrest, cup holder, and storage; and color-coordinated leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and climate controls.
The interior is pretty plush for a heavy-duty work truck, but still very all male. The seating front seating sits high and comfortable, but the SuperCab space can be described as squished.
Several of the features and specifications on the Super Duty F-250 Lariat really stood out:
- The large, extending side view PowerScope™ mirrors telescope or fold at the touch of a windowsill switch. Extending outward up to 2.75 inches, they feature a power-adjustable main mirror with a manually adjusted spotter mirror. The mirrors are integrated into the vehicle’s seat-position and pedal-memory system. They also have heated glass, clearance lamps and integrated turn signals.
- The Tailgate Step is a 16.7 by 4.5-inch, flip-down step that is housed in the tailgate. To use the step, the tailgate drops into the down position and the step is pulled it straight out in one motion. A grab handle that fits into the tailgate folds up and can support up to 350 pounds. The tailgate liner has an added coating creating a non-slip walking surface.
- Ford is now offering the Rapid Heat supplemental heating system for all diesel truck customers. The system provides a faster warm-up. The redesigned climate control system creates a balanced airflow by using a more reliable, more durable, higher capacity compressor. Floor ducts for the heater now run under the seat.
The rear leafs on the F-250 has been extended in order to be mounted farther for better handling.
OW, TOW, TOW YOUR BOAT
The F-Series are towing monsters. First of all, a diesel motor always offers better torque for towing, and this story begins with the 6.4-liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel engine.
Next, kick in the TowCommand™ System, the industry’s first factory-installed and warranted electronic trailer brake controller. It offers a smoother operation and stronger trailer brake activation when the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is operating.
Included in this system on the 5-speed automatic is the TorqShift™ transmission with Tow/Haul mode. The TorqShift® is a converter designed to maximize low-speed torque capability. It changes shift points under acceleration and also prevents the transmission from upshifting when the vehicle crests a hill.
Now the real fun starts: An available reverse camera system is mounted in the tailgate handle bezel with a screen in the rearview mirror. This camera is activated when the vehicle is shifted into reverse, giving the driver a clear view of what’s behind the vehicle. The video image is displayed in the self-dimming rearview mirror. The rearview camera system is designed in a way that the tailgate can be removed from the truck without needing to un-hook or unplug the camera.
TorqShift® in the Tow/Haul mode, combined with the telescoping trailer two mirrors and a reverse camera system is an unheard of way to keep your towing situation controlled.
Furthermore, all F-250 and F-350 4x4 use a coil-spring front suspension that flexes well over rocks and ditches. The leaf-spring rear suspension is extended and mounted farther for better handling.
Ford offers unheard of ways to keep your towing situation controlled.
STEEL HORSE AWARD
To find things wrong with the F-Series, you'd have to really nit-pick it apart. The exhausted is double-tipped – not sure about functionality on that. Perhaps a smaller rim to a bigger tire would be better – so you don't have to worry about the rim rubbing over curbs.
How Ford will reach out to improve this perfect Steel Horse is beyond me. When you break truck history with a 6.4-liter diesel engine that can reduce emissions, you deserve to sit back and collect some awards – including one of the most prestigious truck awards, the Texas Auto Writers Association “Truck of Texas”, which Ford took for the fourth consecutive year despite one of the most competitive years for new truck launches.