2020 Ford F-250 Is the Quickest Diesel Truck We’ve Ever Tested

  • A 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty sped to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, making it the quickest diesel pickup we’ve ever tested.
  • The Ford’s record run comes courtesy of its Power Stroke 6.7-liter turbo-diesel V-8, and it’s the only three-quarter-ton truck with over 1000 pound-feet of torque.
  • A 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500HD diesel is the next-quickest diesel pickup, but even with a 340-pound weight advantage it was 0.1-second slower.

    Watch this ad for the Ford Super Duty, and you’ll hear the gravel-voiced narrator say torque or towing four times in the first 12 seconds of the 30-second clip. But a 2020 F-250 fitted with the mighty 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 isn’t just brawny. It’s the quickest diesel truck we’ve ever tested, hitting 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

    2020 ford f 250 super duty tremor 4x4 pickup truck

    Andi HendrickCar and Driver

    Our F-250 Lariat was configured with a crew cab (SuperCrew in Ford speak), a 6.8-foot box, four-wheel drive, and a single-rear-wheel (SRW) axle. It also had the off-road-oriented Tremor package that includes knobby 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, a limited-slip front differential, and an electronic-locking rear diff with a 3.55 gear ratio. This setup tipped our scales at 8120 pounds, which is about as heavy as three and a half Mazda Miatas.

    Should you want to coax the best time out of your Power Stroked F-250, here are tips from technical editor David Beard, who piloted the Ford to this record-setting run: First, switch the transfer case to 4Hi, lock the electronic rear diff, and turn off traction control. Then step on the brake pedal while adding pressure on the gas pedal to preload the driveline, and right before the maximum amount of boost is available–this metric is displayed in the instrument cluster–release the brakes. Hit the sweet spot and the Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission will quickly shift from first gear to second on its way to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. Keep the pedal to the floor to clear the quarter-mile in 14.6 ticks at 94 mph, 1 mph shy of the truck’s governed top speed and another testing record for a diesel-powered truck.

    2020 ford f 250 super duty tremor 4x4 pickup truck

    Andi HendrickCar and Driver

    So, what makes the F-250 SuperCrew quicker than every other compression-ignition truck we’ve tested? It has the most power. Ford’s Power Stroke not only makes a best-in-class 475 horsepower, but the iron-block V-8 generates a glorious 1050 pound-feet of earth-moving, redwood-uprooting torque. The 2021 Ram 3500 offers a high-output Cummins diesel that currently owns the HD torque crown with 1075 pound-feet. But the diesel F-250 is the only three-quarter-ton truck that eclipses the 1000 mark. The Ram 2500’s Cummins 6.7-liter diesel inline-six tops out at 850 lb-ft, and the Duramax 6.6-liter diesel V-8 in the GMC Sierra 2500HD and Chevy Silverado 2500HD peaks at 910 lb-ft.

    And there are other important variables that impact acceleration times. For example, despite the F-250 SuperCrew’s huge torque advantage, we tested a diesel-powered extended-cab 2017 Silverado 2500HD that had a similarly quick sprint to 60 mph (6.2 seconds) and quarter-mile time (14.8 seconds at 93 mph). However, the smaller-cab Chevy benefited from a curb weight that was 340 pounds less than the Ford’s.

    The rule of thumb is that every 100 pounds of curb weight corresponds to a change of approximately one-tenth of a second during zero-to-60 runs. We tested a diesel 2020 Silverado 2500HD Z71 4×4 crew cab that weighed 8210 pounds (90 pounds more than the Ford) and clocked a 6.5-second trip to 60 mph and a quarter-mile time of 15.0 seconds at 92 mph. That apples-to-apples comparison strengthens the Super Duty’s bragging rights as the quickest diesel truck we’ve ever tested.

    At least until we test an even lighter regular-cab F-250 with the stonking Power Stroke. That configuration has a real chance to reach 60 mph in the high-5.0-second range. Maybe then we’ll see a new metric in those Built Ford Tough commercials.

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