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Ford F650 and 750 monster utes

The latest generation F650 and F750 trucks will go on sale in the US early next year. Unfortunately, Ford does not plan to build them in right-hand drive for Australia, but you can bet some will be imported and converted by third parties.

Ford has added a new prime mover model, which can be fitted with a swiveling trailer, as well as upgrading the engine line-up and revising the exterior design. Ford has not released the details, but it expected the trucks will be able to run a gross vehicle mass (the combined weight of truck and its load) of around 13,000kg. Customers can also use the F-Series machines with rigid bodies, a pantech box, a tipper or a simple flat ute tray.

The F650 and F750 are really trucks in their own right, but Ford insists on including them in the F-Series family, along with the Ranger-sized F150, the F250, F350 and Super Duty pick-ups. Most are used for hard work, but several are purchased by customers who simply want to be seen driving a massive pick-up truck.

The current F650 and F750 used a Cummins diesel, but the next generation model switches to a Ford diesel that has just been introduced in smaller F-Series trucks. Previous F-Series pick-ups used a diesel from Navistar's International truck operation, which was rebadged as a Ford Power Stroke. Ford has since developed its own Power Stroke diesel engine line, including the 6.7-litre unit that will power the F650 and F750. It is a common rail V8 with a turbocharger sitting on top, in the gap of the V.

This is a fairly advanced unit with a compacted graphite iron block (for lightness and strength). Ford has also fiddled with the exhaust, running the pipe out through the gap in the V, to react quickly to throttle input and spin the turbo as quickly as possible. It runs Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), which traps soot and burns it off at super-high temperatures. Power outputs haven't been announced for the medium duty trucks yet, but expect around 298kW (400hp) and a smidge more than 1000Nm for the top-spec model.

There is a switchable engine brake to help prevent the truck running away on hills.A six-speed torque convertor automatic is the standard transmission. It has a super low first gear. Some Americans still refuse to use diesel, even in such big rigs, so Ford will also offer the F650 and F750 with a petrol option.

It is a 6.8-litre naturally-aspirated V10. Not surprisingly, Ford does not mention its fuel economy figures, but we're tipping they are going to be ugly. Ford does offer customers a factory conversion to allow this engine to run on either Compressed Natural Gas or Liquefied Natural Gas. The current F650 and F750 trucks look dated, but the new-generation trucks have been given a fresh new look that ties in with the new F150 pick-up. It is a rugged design, with a massive chrome-ringed rectangular grille dominating the design.

Ford is really keen to point out that the new F650 and F750 are tough. Indeed, the press release announcing the new trucks mentioned the word 'tough' no less than nine times. Ford is also talking up the testing regime it has subjected to the new trucks to. It claims it used robots for some of the F650 and F750 tests for the welfare of its human staff. "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," says Ford US vehicle development operations chief, Dave Payne. Instead, robots drive the trucks over what Ford describes as 'tortuous' surfaces.

James Stanford
Contributing Journalist
James Stanford is a former CarsGuide contributor via News Corp Australia. He has decades of experience as an automotive expert, and now acts as a senior automotive PR operative.
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