The 2020 model year is a big year for the heavy-duty pickup segment. Not only is GM rolling out the all-new 2020 Silverado HD and Sierra HD, but the Blue Oval is launching a freshened Ford Super Duty and Ram is launching a new Ram Heavy Duty. All trucks arrive on the scene with more muscle and more towing than their 2019 model year predecessors.
For its part, Ford just released the specs of its Super Duty trucks, which made us wonder how it matches up to the GM trucks on paper. To find out, we pulled out the technical sheets of the diesel-engined trucks and lined them up to see how they do in a spec sheet war. So without further ado, let’s have a look at maximum power, maximum torque, and maximum towing for the GM and Ford models.
Before we dive into the numbers, let’s first look at what each engine is bringing to the table, starting with the 2020 Silverado HD and Sierra HD. These two workhorses offer identical mechanical specs, as both are powered by the GM 6.6L L5P V8 turbodiesel Duramax engine. Originally introduced for the 2017 model year as a successor to the last-gen 6.6L Duramax LML V8, the L5P is the most powerful diesel engine GM has ever produced. The basics include an iron block, aluminum heads, OHV valve train, and 16.0:1 compression ratio. The engine mates to the GM-designed and Allison-branded 10-speed automatic transmission.
Meanwhile, Ford uses the 6.7L Power Stroke V8 that, like the L5P, is also the most powerful diesel engine the GM’s cross-town rival has ever built. Framed as a third-generation PowerStroke, this engine features an iron block and aluminum heads, OHV valve train, and 15.8:1 compression ratio. Ford is also offering it with a 10-speed heavy-duty TorqShift automatic transmission.
On to the specs. As a cursory glance reveals, the 2020 Ford Super Duty has the 2020 Silverado HD and Sierra HD beat on all fronts, at least in terms of maximum numbers examined in this diesel particular comparison.
Peak power figures show the 2020 Silverado HD and Sierra HD down 30 ponies, with 445 horsepower posted by the GM trucks and 475 horsepower from the Ford.
Torque differences are more dramatic, with the GM products making 910 pound-feet versus the 1,050 pound-feet posted by the Ford. Hence, GM is down 140 pound-feet. Interestingly, the peak figures arrive at identical engine RPMs for both trucks.
The power and torque deficits translate into lower maximum towing numbers for the 2020 Silverado 3500HD and Sierra 3500HD, with a figure of 35,500 pounds from the GM products via fifth-wheel/gooseneck. Meanwhile, the 2020 Ford Super Duty F-350 posts a slightly higher 35,750 pounds.
The 2020 Ford Super Duty F-450 boasts a 37,000-pound max tow rating, a 1,500-pound difference compared to its GM rivals… though it’s worth noting that the F-450 does not represent a direct comparison to the GM 3500HD trucks
|Vehicle||Engine||Displacement||Configuration||Power (hp) @ RPM||Torque (lb-ft) @ RPM||Maximum Towing (lbs)|
|2020 Silverado HD||Duramax Turbodiesel V8 L5P||6.6L||OHV||445 @ 2800||910 @ 1600||35500|
|2020 Sierra HD||Duramax Turbodiesel V8 L5P||6.6L||OHV||445 @ 2800||910 @ 1600||35500|
|2020 Ford Super Duty F-350||Power Stroke V8 Diesel||6.7L||OHV||475 @ 2800||1050 @ 1600||35750|
|2020 Ford Super Duty F-450||Power Stroke V8 Diesel||6.7L||OHV||475 @ 2800||1050 @ 1600||37000|
We should note that these are the paper specs, and don’t take into account how each truck “feels” when being pushed to the limit. Traditionally, the GM trucks have delivered the most confident-feeling towing experience, despite having slightly less maximum trailering figures on paper. Whether or not that will continue to be the case for this generation of heavy-duty trucks has yet to be determined. But, for the time being, Ford looks to have the biggest numbers in the segment, though – per tradition – we don’t expect that to remain the case for too long, as the game of one-upmanship will continue to rage on.