Although Ford representatives jokingly call their press conference at the 2014 NTEA Work Truck Show the company’s “biggest truck launch of the year,” they’re not entirely kidding. After all, the automaker is using the Indianapolis-based trade show to unveil the new 2016 Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, which are literally the biggest, largest trucks in Ford’s global portfolio.
Unlike Ford’s full-size pickups, the company’s medium-duty models are updated rather infrequently. Although the F-650 and F-750 product lines have been treated to mild revisions over the years, they’ve essentially been unchanged since 2003, when International Trucks began building F-650 and F-750 models upon its own medium-duty frames. The 2016 Ford F-650 and F-750 trucks are almost entirely new designs – and, for the first time in over a decade, a true Ford-designed and Ford-built product through in through, including both chassis and powertrain options.
Although the cab structure, sourced from the 2015 Ford F-250, F-350, and F-450 Super Duty pickups remains largely unchanged, the 2016 F-650 and F-750 still receive a fairly extensive exterior makeover. It’s hard to believe, but the new exterior design makes the 2013 Ford F-650 we sampled last year look rather feeble. The new tilt hood incorporates a number of cues and components borrowed from Ford’s “smaller” Super Duty models. The massive dual-nostril grille, inspired by that used on the Super Duty pickups, is flanked by a chrome surround and trimmed with a black mesh insert. Faux air intakes placed ahead of the cab doors resemble a similar cue on the Super Duty, while the chromed one-piece headlamp housings are actually shared with the F-250/F-350/F-450.
Regardless of how one configures a 2016 F-650 or F-750, a Ford-built engine will lurk underhood. The gas-powered 6.8-liter V-10 carries over into the new trucks, but the F-750’s 6.7-liter Cummins ISB turbo-diesel six-cylinder – essentially the same diesel used in the Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks – is no longer offered. The lone diesel engine offering for 2016 is Ford’s own 6.7-liter Power Stroke Turbo-diesel V-8, which is already offered in the 2015 Super Duty range. Both engines are only offered with a Ford-built six-speed automatic, allowing Ford to boast it’s the only medium-duty conventional on the market with a driveline built entirely in-house.
For the first time since 2003, the F-650/F-750’s frame is also engineered and built entirely by Ford. Details on the chassis are fleeting at this point in time, but Ford notes the new chassis benefits from longer leaf springs, and offers an available anti-roll bar for improved handling. The automaker also notes it paid close attention to packaging ancillary equipment like fuel tanks, wiring harnesses, and diesel exhaust fluid reservoirs to ensure nothing protrudes behind the cab. That seems like a fleeting detail, but it considerably eases the installation of aftermarket bodies.
Pricing for the 2016 Ford F-650 and F-750 models has yet to be finalized, but a Ford spokesman tells us pricing for the new trucks should be “close” to existing models. If so, expect gasoline-powered F-650 models to start around $56,000, while the diesel-only F-750 should sticker just over $69,000. Production of both 2016 models will occur at Ford’s production facility in Avon Lake, Ohio, and will commence in early 2015.