2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty Prototype Catches Fire, Burns in Desert

#Ford, #Ford

Ford is busy testing the next-generation Super Duty pickup trucks, and things got dicey with this particular prototype during a recent towing test in the desert. Our spy photographers caught quite a show as this 2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty caught fire, burned, exploded, and eventually melted, leaving a mass of charred metal by the side of the road.

Thankfully, the two engineers driving the prototype escaped uninjured, amazingly enough. Obviously fires are not outside the realm of possibility when testing a prototype vehicle (an Acura NSX prototype caught fire just a few weeks ago), but the photos of this Ford truck fire are particularly dramatic. We can see that the fire started in the front wheel well and quickly progressed from there — our photographer said that the entire truck burned to the ground in just 21 minutes. Outside temperatures were reportedly hovering around 120 degrees Fahrenheit when the fire happened.

Seeing the burned-out shell of the 2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty confirms that, like its light-duty sibling, this truck will adopt an aluminum construction for much of the body. While we don’t know what caused this insane fire, we’re sure Ford is hard at work attempting to fix any problems with this prototype that led to the catastrophic failure.

Expect the 2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty to debut sometime next year, with production of the F-250, F-350, and F-450 versions to start in early 2016. We anticipate a robust lineup of gasoline and diesel engines, most likely updated versions of the current 6.2-liter gas V-8 and the 6.7-liter turbodiesel, that should put the F-Series Super Duty at or near the top of the class in towing, payload, and other capability measures. The new Super Duty trucks’ lighter weight should also help with fuel efficiency relative to the competition.

Check out the gallery for the unbelievable 2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty fire photos, and stay tuned over the coming months for more news on the development of these highly capable pickups.

Ed McDermed
BMW guyThe melting point of aluminum is 1221 degrees F compared to 2500 degrees F for Steel. If you were outfitting Forest fireighting crews with pickups would you prefer a pickup with an all aluminum body where the aluminum panels are glued onto the frame or an all steel body where the panels are welded onto the frame? Paper burns at 451F, wood flashes at 572F, the temperature of the forest floor during a fire is 1472F and the temperature of the front of a forest fire can reach 2192F.You certainly would not want to try and shelter in an Aluminum Ford Pickup when it would just catch fire and melt from the heat! I would not want to buy an alluminum car where the panels are going to melt or fall off when the glue melts every time my radiator overheats.
BMW guy from SMF
All the dumb comments are coming from the super smart people out there ... everyone, it is a prototype!  Likely an oil line was leaking and hit the exhaust ... bad stuff can and does happen with a hot engine being tested.  We should be happy the manufacturers actually test their products at the extremes to find weaknesses before they are sold and delivered to customers.  Drive I5 up the grapevine on any summer afternoon and there will be a burned out big-rig, small car, old minivan, etc.  It happens ... better in a test environment than the real embarrassment of burning on a test drive (like the 2015 Chevy Tahoe did recently).
Isn't it ironic that they were towing water but had no way to use it?  Brilliant.
Tony T
When "testing prototypical vehicles, components for vehicles, engines, new cooling system's or exhaust" I'd imagine that these types of combustible occurrences are more likely! Wind tunnel testing allows similar validation within the confinements of a company, but there's nothing like real world extreme testing.    
if you want a burned garage. buy one of these acura or ford.
Porsche, Acura, GM and now Ford? Cars just bursting into flames? Geez have we forgot how to engineer cars?
@Hawkwing Far better to have the prototypes burst into flames while being tested than to have the actual production vehicles doing so with civilians (non-automotive employees, that is) at the wheel.

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price


new cars

Read Related Articles