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Ford Shows Mighty F-350 Tonka Truck

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Ford’s new, full-scale F-series concept vehicle takes its cues from Hasbro’s Tonka toy
truck styling. Dual rear wheels with 22-inch rims and custom Goodyear tires and a
shortened, six-foot open bed give the Mighty F-350 a rugged look derived from the F-350
Super Duty Crew Cab. A combined storage system and “smart box jump seat” positioned between
the center stack console and the front passenger seat allow ample room for a sixth
passenger. Folding rear seats maximize usable space in the cabin, and house removable “tool
box” luggage.

The F-350 Tonka introduces a combination of technologies that deliver
cleaner, more-efficient operation. The vehicle’s Power Stroke diesel Super-600 concept
diesel V-8 engine is teamed with the five-speed PowerTorq transmission, making it Ford’s
first application of a five-speed automatic with a diesel engine. The 6.0-liter, 32-valve,
turbocharged V-8 concept diesel engine is rated at 350 hp and delivers up to 600 lb-ft of
torque when teamed with the PowerTorq automatic.

With lower emissions and better fuel
economy than any V-8 diesel truck engine on the road today, this concept powertrain also
features Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA). The HLA system, currently under research, is
designed to improve fuel economy in large trucks by an estimated 25 to 35 percent in city
driving. A reversible pump/motor attached to the driveshaft through a clutch system and an
energy storage module work in tandem with the traditional powertrain. The HLA system
recovers energy normally lost during vehicle deceleration, stores it in the form of
hydraulic pressure and then reuses it during acceleration. A camera-operated lane departure
warning system helps keep the driver alert by emitting a soft audible sound signal if the
vehicle unintentionally drifts outside of the lane. Additional cameras mounted within the
bed help the driver monitor truck-to-trailer coupling, as well as reversing.


No decision
has been made for a production version.

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