2013 Ford Super Duty Platinuim joins luxury ranks

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When Ford introduced the F-150 Platinum Edition in 2009, it became an immediate hit with truck buyers who could afford it and didn’t need the power and towing capacity of a Super Duty. This month the company introduced the big brother Platinum Edition to meet those needs, and fill out its luxury truck portfolio.

As with all Super Duty trucks, it can be ordered as an F-250, F-350 or F-450 with a choice of either the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine or the 6.2-liter V8 gas engine. Only a crew cab is available.  No changes have been made to drive trains, horsepower or torque, towing and load capacity and the other specs currently available for Super Duty Trucks.  That should satisfy those truck buyers who appreciate the packages but want to make a serious statement about their vehicle.

Distinctive Platinum Edition tailgate is immediate identifierNew grille makes a major design statement

Starting with the updated grille design, featuring a satin chrome surround with a perforated mesh inside, this truck sends an immediate message that it is powerful.  The front end also has a monochromotic bumper and chrome tow hooks to enhance the statement.

Everywhere on the exterior of the Super Duty Platinumchrome is is accent  (the Ford people describe it as “lavished”) with badging that includes the Platinum name in chrome on the boxsides and a tailgate trimmed with a satin chrome applique similar to that of the front grille and that currently on the F-150 Platinum. Also in chrome are door handles, mirror caps, running boards and exhaust tip. Twenty-inch polished-aluminum wheels with painted black inserts complete the package and assure that — whether you are coming, going or simply parked — status is clearly defined.  The color range is broad and distinctive when combined with the chrome tailgate.  Among the alternatives is a Kodiak Brown that was extremely fresh and powerful looking as an alternative to  red, black, silver and white.  A blue jean metallic is available for all Super Duty models other than the Platinum Edition.  Pecan and black interiors are the choices and I was blown away by the K0diak/Pecan combination.

The really big story though is on the interior of this new edition. There are real wood grain appliques on the instrument panel, center stack and door trim and the steering wheel has real wood accents, leather wrapping and heat. I used to scratch my head at heated steering wheels but must admit that, on a chilly morning, this feature is welcome — along with heated and cooled seats.


Simply outstanding details

And speaking of seats, these will do everything short of giving you a massage. On the driver’s side there is a 10-way power adjustment and both captain’s chairs are upholstered with a softer premium leather also featured on the armrests and console.

Other features include power-adjustable pedals, rear-view camera, remote start, universal garage door opener and power-telescoping mirrors.

This is the first heavy duty truck that has Ford’s much improved SYNC with MyFord Touch. The company drew a lot of heat from customers and critics who found the last iteration of their connectivity offering simply too difficult to bother with. The new version on this Super Duty is much improved. With SYNC, drivers can connect compatible mobile phones and media players via Bluetooth or USB to make calls and play back music using voice control. Now provided is access to a vehicle health report and 911 assist (both no charge for the life of the vehicle) and traffic alerts and search capabilities for a range of resources.

MyFord Touch is available on the Super Duty for the first time. There is an 8-inch high-resolution touch screen (navigation system is standard equipment) and the placement of the screen in the dash works very well for a vehicle this size. Larger buttons, designed specificallly for drivers wearing gloves, make access to phone, hvac, entertainment and navigation, along with expanded voice control vocabulary are a major step up from the previous MyFord Touch product. Where I never felt comfortable endorsing it before, I am quite impressed now.

I haven’t had a chance to drive this 2013 Platinum Edition yet. Ford introduced it in Detroit earlier this year in coordination with the Professional Bull Riders Association. It will be out much later this year and I suspect my first chance will be the Truck Rodeo of the Texas Auto Writers Association in early October right about the time it should hit dealer showrooms.  Last year, the Super Duty won the competition in its class and one thing is certain — Ford will be trying to continue their winning streak.

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