Ford's 2011 Super Duty upgraded, boasts 400 hp, 800 torque

In what was a long-expected move, Ford is announcing upgrades to the Scorpion 6.7-liter diesel for the 2011 Super Duty, among other crucial improvements.

When Ford first announced power figures for its all-new, in-house designed Scorpion diesel engine, it was the king of the diesel hill with 390 horsepower and 735 lb-ft of torque.

As expected, most of the truck world was wowed by the numbers at the time of the Scorpion's reveal - but General Motors quickly rained on Ford's parade when it released the figures for its 2011 Heavy Duty diesel, a 6.6-liter LML Duramax capable of producing 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque. In fact, Ford's reign as the power king in the heavy duty truck diesel realm was so short lived that it ended before customers could even buy the truck.

But now, according to the Detroit News, Ford is set to announce later today that it was able to re-tune the existing trucks to pump out segment-leading figures of at least 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque. These figures will easily put Ford back on top of the segment for bragging rights of the most powerful powertrain, and Ford is confident that GM will be unable to fire back with a change of its own due to the limited capability of the aging Duramax.

"We're really excited about this," said Chris Brewer, chief engineer for the Super Duty pickup truck, "because there's no hardware involved."

This means that owners will be able to take their 2011 6.7-liter Scorpion-powered trucks back to their local dealers and in a matter of roughly 20 minutes have their power figures boosted to match the newly upgraded numbers. The change requires no hardware, only a new engine tune that Ford says was better optimized for maximum power, without any drop in fuel economy or an increase in emissions.

First the engine, then the frame
In order to be able to truthfully claim class-leading figures in power, capacity and towing, Ford also went back to the drawing board to add strength to the Super Duty's frame. The result? The F-350 will now be capable of a maximum payload capacity of 7,70 lbs, up from the 6,520 lbs on the frame's original specifications. When it comes to fifth-wheel towing, figures also get a nudge from 21,600 to 22,600 lbs.

The updated frame, as well as the new engine tune will begin being applied to all new trucks beginning next week, with the trucks arriving in dealers by the tail end of August.

1.'2011 Super Duty reclaims...' view