INDIANAPOLIS. Ford Motor Co. took the wraps off its redesigned F-650 and F-750 medium-duty lineup— including a dedicated tractor model aimed at heavy-towing applications— here on the eve of the NTEA Work Truck Show.

The OEM said the trucks feature “a bold look inside and out, a powerful and efficient second-generation 6.7-liter Power StrokeV8 diesel, medium-duty six-speed TorqShift automatic transmission and a host of unique features not found on any other medium-duty truck.”

Along with the tractor version, straight-frame and dock-height models will be offered as well as Regular, SuperCab and Crew cabs.

Designated as 2016 models, the new Class 6/7 F-650 and F-750 trucks will be available in the spring of 2015.

“Every day, we’re thinking of new ways to better serve our hard-working customers,” said John Ruppert, general manager, Ford Commercial Vehicle Sales & Marketing.

“The same Ford engineers who developed the best-selling F-Series [pickups] have designed this all-new medium-duty lineup that can meet the demands of our toughest customers with trucks that are cost-effective, ready for work, and, most importantly, can help keep them going on the job,” he added.

Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbodiesel will be newly available on the F-650/F-750. The OEM noted that in “building upon the success of the Power Stroke in the F-Series Super Duty lineup, the 6.7-liter Power Stroke and TorqShift have been developed and tested for medium-duty applications, with three horsepower and torque levels and a five-year/250,000-mile limited warranty” in the F-650/F-750.

The diesel will be mated to a “commercial-grade six-speed 6R140 automatic transmission” with available PTO provision. Per Ford, it is the “only medium-duty truck manufacturer that designs and builds its own diesel engine and transmission combination, ensuring the powertrain will work seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations– from concept to execution.”

Ford pointed out that the Power Stroke engine’s “reverse-flow layout” places the exhaust inside the engine’s V-shape while the air intake is positioned on the outside of the V.

The OEM said this “segment-exclusive design naturally improves a variety of attributes,” including:

  • Shorter airflow from the exhaust system to the turbocharger sitting between the engine’s cylinder banks improves turbo responsiveness—“key to providing torque quickly to truck customers when they need it most”
  • Positioning the turbo inside the engine’s valley helps isolate the engine’s hottest temperatures, helping improve performance and efficiency, while also reducing noise, vibration and harshness to improve driver comfort

In addition, Ford said the Power Stroke’s drivability is enhanced with a tow/haul mode that includes a switchable integrated engine brake. The driver can regenerate the diesel particulate filter on-demand to clear out trapped soot from the exhaust system to help maximize performance. And provided standard is Intelligent Oil Change Monitoring, “so oil changes are based on driving patterns and load demands instead of fixed distance intervals.”

Per the OEM, the Power Stroke endured the equivalent of 500,000+ miles during testing on an engine dynamometer, “replicating the duty cycle of the harshest-use customer.”

As for the automatic gearbox, Ford said it boasts “a low first gear ratio for optimized takeoffs under load and optimized gear ratio span across all gears for optimized fuel economy. It’s also strengthened with new materials and extra pinion gears for medium-duty service.”

The F-650/F-750 will also be available with a “segment-exclusive” gasoline-fueled engine, the 6.8-liter V10. It will be mated to a 6R140 six-speed automatic. Ford noted this engine can be factory-prepped for conversion to operate on compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane autogas.

In addition, the medium-duty trucks will be offered with a choice of hydraulic or air brakes. The trucks will also feature an all-new Ford engineered frame and suspension that the OEM said includes a new anti-roll bar for enhanced roll control and longer leaf springs for an improved ride over the previous model.

According to Ford, much attention was paid to making the F-650/F-750 highly work-truck capable, starting with an “alll-new, upfit friendly chassis developed in cooperation with leading industry body makers.” The effort included redesigning the area behind the cab to more easily accommodate custom work-truck bodies and keeping the chassis “clean” for “accommodating vocational bodies with little to no modification.”

In Ford’s view, the trucks are “easier than ever to prep for medium-duty jobs” with such auxiliary components as the diesel exhaust fluid tank and standard fuel tank now located under the cab instead of behind it on the frame for a “clean cab-to-axle design that satisfies more truck body applications and makes customizing easier, which helps reduce the customer’s final costs and time to delivery.”

In addition, aluminum fuel tanks have replaced steel to cut weight and the electrical system is “more robust” than the outgoing model to handle larger component loads.

“We leveraged our strengths from being the leader in Classes 1-5 to create a better F-650/F-750,” said John Davis, Ford Commercial Truck chief nameplate engineer.

“We brought the new medium-duty program in-house to utilize our expertise from our other tough truck and commercial vehicle lines,” he added, “which ultimately results in a better product at a competitive price.”

Ford said the restyled exteriors of the F-650/F-750 both “command attention” and deliver improved functionality. For example, the all-new mesh grille, “framed by hallmark Ford nostrils,” helps improve airflow for optimal cooling performance. Also new are “sharp” fenders, aerodynamic headlamps and F-650/F-750 badges embossed in “Bold Leadership” font.

In addition, available PowerScope trailer-tow mirrors feature large standard and spotter mirrors as well as a “segment-exclusive” power telescoping and folding design.

The new F-650/F-750 interior was “designed and engineered with a level of fit, finish and refinement that matches that of Ford F-Series Super Duty F-250 through F-550 trucks.”

New interior features include:

  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Available SYNC and Crew Chief factory-installed fleet management telematics
  • A “rapid-heat, supplemental cab heater that quickly warms the cab in cold climates”
  • Available remote start
  • Steering wheel with advanced controls “to focus driver attention on the road”
  • A “click-of-the-turn lever” that features automatic five-blink turn signals

“We have a lot of design and feature comforts that you might otherwise find in more mainstream products,” remarked Davis. “Comfort and convenience additions include our quiet diesel, hands-free mobile device connectivity and improvements to ride and handling.”

Ford pointed out that the new F-650/F-750 will undergo “grueling testing to simulate the demands customers will subject the trucks to throughout their useful lifetime, from hauling heavy loads through the brutal summer heat of Death Valley to towing heavy trailers up steep grades – in temperatures from 40 degrees below zero to 120+ degrees Fahrenheit.”

This testing will include Ford’s robotic test-driving program, now in use at the company’s Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, MI.

The OEM said robotically driven vehicles are expected “to repeatedly perform tests on torturous surfaces that can compress 10 years of daily driving abuse into courses just a few hundred yards long,” over surfaces that include broken concrete, cobblestones, metal grates, rough gravel, mud pits and oversized speed bumps.

“Some of the tests we do on our commercial trucks for North America are so strenuous that we limit the exposure time for human drivers,” noted Dave Payne, Ford’s manager, vehicle development operations.

In wrapping up the rollout, the OEM stated that “every truck and van in the Ford Commercial Truck lineup will be all-new or significantly refreshed in the next 18 months.”