Trucks are big vehicles that provide a ton of space and capability for moving whatever you need. They are versatile vehicles that tend to look cool and are fun to drive. It’s no wonder that trucks are so immensely popular in a country as hard-working as the USA. But for some folks, an average every-day “big” truck just isn’t good enough; some needs exceed light-duty pickup designs. Such drivers desire a heavy-duty, or dare we say Super Duty, pickup truck like the newly redesigned 2021 Ford F-250, which toes the line between family vehicle and dedicated worksite machine.
The 2021 Ford Super Duty, which covers F-250 and F-350 variants, looks much the same as it has since 2017, and why shouldn’t it? A huge blocky grille, a proud stance, and a tough yet comfortable interior continue to announce to the world that they can relax now; the Super Duty is here. But beneath the surface, Ford has continued to push the limits of heavy-duty capability with an all-aluminum alloy body that reduces weight while some of the biggest, most powerful engines ever mounted to a consumer pickup truck take towing and hauling limits into the stratosphere.
The 2021 F-250 is highlighted by more than huge powertrain numbers. This year sees the introduction of the F-250 Tremor Package, which includes a lift kit, enormous tires, an integrated electric winch option, and specialized transmission controls to make it the most off-road-ready Super Duty ever! For drivers who expect to hit asphalt now and then, Ford offers a wide suite of advanced driver assists, including broad standard availability of automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring to help you stay safe. And don’t forget to check out Ford’s advanced trailering systems like the class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist; with a 2021 F-250, you’ll feel like a trailering superhero!
When it comes to heavy-duty pickup trucks, every maker knows they need to offer the best powertrains they can muster. That’s why every single 2021 Ford F-250 is offered with at least a 6.2L V8 engine that achieves 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Optimized to deliver high torque and power at low rpm, thereby helping the truck accelerate better when moving a heavy load, this engine comes with towing limits to satisfy virtually any driver’s needs. The conventional towing capacity for F-250s with this engine ranges from 12,300-15,000 lbs, and it’s rated to pull up to 15,800 lbs on a gooseneck/5th wheel trailer.
This engine isn’t just the least expensive of Ford’s three mighty options – it’s also the smallest, i.e., the lightest weight. That means drivers expecting to make heavy use of the cargo bed could be best served by the standard 6.2L because the lighter weight increases the payload capacity as high as 4,260 lbs. Heavier configurations of the F-250 see payload capacity reduced no lower than 3,040 lbs, so fear not – every Super Duty is prepared to carry more than half its own weight.
Many drivers will still opt for one of the more powerful engine upgrades. First among these is the huge 7.3L V8, a pushrod engine built from a cast-iron block and optimized for low-end torque and high-end power that it delivers in spades. This is the biggest, most powerful gasoline-fueled V8 in the class, generating 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque for the smoothest, most effortless towing experience you can get with a gasoline engine. Drivers who love the satisfaction of having the biggest block on the block should see this upgrade as a no-brainer – and they’ll see their maximum gooseneck towing capacity raised as high as 19,500 lbs for their investment.
Last but certainly not least is the 6.7L V8 Power Stroke Turbo Diesel. With a new fuel injection system delivering atomized fuel eight times per stroke at 36,000 psi, plus stronger individual components for added durability, this monster delivers the most torque of any heavy-duty pickup engine. How much torque is that? This thing lays down 1,050 lb-ft of torque, which is another way of saying that the actual thrust delivered from the wheels could launch a smaller vehicle into orbit and grants the Super Duty unprecedented towing capabilities. 475 hp, delivered at an rpm of 2600 rpm (lower than any competitor, meaning you get your best torque and power outputs in normal operating ranges), doesn’t hurt the numbers either.
So what can an F-250 do when equipped with the most powerful, most torquey engine in the lineup? It depends on the configuration, but if you’re serious about getting the absolute most out of your F-250, you’ll see the conventional towing limit reach 20,000 lbs! As if that’s not good enough, you can also have a gooseneck/5th wheel towing capacity of 22,800 lbs, nearly four times the weight of the truck itself. That’s why the F-250 is called a Super Duty.
For the first time in 2021, the F-250 is offered with the Tremor off-roading package. Let’s get the obvious thing out of the way – there is no way to make a 3-ton vehicle objectively “nimble.” If off-roading is your primary objective and you have no need for a 3,000 lbs payload or 12,000 lbs hauling capabilities, we’ll happily refer you to the new Ford Bronco or Ford F-150 Raptor. But if you love everything else about the F-250 and off-roading is of personal interest, then the Tremor package is meant for you.
Tremor is available on all but the spartan XL base trim level. Adding the package requires selecting a crew cab, upgrading the engine, and opting for a 4x4 drivetrain. With all that factored in, the under-$4,000 Tremor package brings the base price to around $54,000, which compares favorably to hyper-off-roaders without sacrificing any of the usual benefits of a Super Duty.
The earth will shudder as your Tremor-equipped F-250 thunders over river and stone, the tuned suspension performing the herculean task of controlling your massive truck’s momentum. The 35” maximum traction tires are the largest ever equipped to a factory-built heavy-duty pickup, and a front-end lift gives the F-250 Tremor a best-in-class approach angle of 31.7 degrees for navigating large, aggressive obstacles. Not even water intimidates the F-250, with a class-leading rating for 33” water fording depth.
The Tremor package also adds new controls to the driver’s fingertips. Rock Crawl transmission control mode is added for keeping the truck in low gear when navigating tricky terrain. Ford’s awesome Trail Control tech is added as well, a game-changing feature that gives drivers all the convenient attention-saving power of cruise control at trail-appropriate speeds. There’s also an optional electric winch, adding the power to save the day when you stumble across a less-fortunate soul on the trail.
Every single Tremor-equipped 2021 F-250 is rated to tow at least 15,000 lbs, and payload capacities reach as high as 4,210 lbs, sacrificing none of Super Duty’s characteristic utility in the pursuit of off-road ability. We admit, this is no Bronco – but then, you’d need 5 Broncos to match a single F-250 Tremor’s towing capabilities. Where other off-roaders would need to string up like a dog sled pack, a Super Duty driver is a team of one.
The 2021 F-250 Super Duty is one of the smartest trucks on the road. The list of standard and available tech is long, so we’re just going to dive right in with some of the best trailering and active driver assist features. Here is a list of some of the highlights of the 2021 Ford F-250.
Pro Trailer Backup Assist – backing a trailer into place has never been more intuitive thanks to this feature. An intuitive steering control knob makes it easy to direct your trailer where it needs to go!
Trailer Reverse Guidance – cameras placed on the mirrors expand the rear-view display to unprecedented levels, giving you maximum visibility. Guidelines actively adjust to show you exactly where your truck and trailer will wind up based on current position and steering, too!
Diverse Array of Cameras – 180 and 360-degree camera images showing all around your truck, an auxiliary camera to place anywhere you choose (like the back end of a trailer), and a high mount camera showing the truck bed that's especially helpful when connecting a gooseneck or 5th-wheel hitch, all serve to deliver high visibility that was previously unthinkable for a heavy-duty truck.
These are just some of the advanced safety features available to F-250 drivers. Automatic high beams, hill descent control, and a lane-keeping alert are also available to most configurations. The availability of AEB and BLIS on the XL trim (and standardization on XLT trim) is a standout in the segment, which isn’t known for broadly integrated driver assistance features like midsize sedans and crossovers. It’s just one more way that Ford has committed to making the Super Duty an unbeatable truck!