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.