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Eric's Autos: 2021 Ford F-250

Eric Peters on

Optional in all trims is a new 7.3-liter monster V-8 that makes 430 horsepower and 475 foot-pounds of torque.

The third engine that's on offer is in between in terms of its displacement - 6.7 liters -- but mountainous in terms of its torque. It makes 1,050 foot-pounds, which makes pulling 24,200 pounds conventionally (and 37,000 pounds with a gooseneck) possible.

The big drag for this drags-a-lot engine is the almost $11K the option adds to the tab. Which is probably why Ford offers the 7.3-liter mountain motor as an option -- for just over $2K. It doesn't pull quite as much as the mighty diesel -- but it does pull close. Equipped with the 7.3-liter V-8, an F-250 can handle as much as 20,000 pounds.

Without pulling as hard on your wallet.

On the Road

Under the skin, everything the F-250 is built on is meatier -- and heavier. The cast-iron solid rear axle looks like it could support the weight of a skyscraper; the bundled leaf springs that suspend it from the frame are probably twice as thick as the F-150's. The frame is worthy of the armor belt of a battleship and those coil springs up front will last the life of the truck.

 

The price you pay for this is the same price a battleship pays for its armor and firepower. It is not as agile as a light-cruiser or destroyer. It needs a few feet more to make a turn-around (about 49 feet for the regular cab with an 8-foot bed; more for super and crew cabs, which are longer), and the hydraulic (versus electric in the F-150) steering is heavier and not as precise.

At the Curb

Dimensionally and visually, there's not that much difference between an F-250 and an F-150. Because the F-150 raided the F-250's closet years ago and assumed the "Super Duty" look -- including the upcanted profile of the driver's and passenger's side front doors as well as the super tall bedwalls.

They're so close it's hard to tell them apart unless you check for the gooseneck attachment points in the F-250's bed or look for the Super Duty lettering embossed on the tailgate.

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