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10 Mar 12 Super Duty Platinum adds big luxury to Ford’s big truck

Ford Super Duty Platinum

The Platinum is an impressive combination of technology, power, and bling, but who will buy it?

Ford unveiled its most luxurious truck ever, the F-Series Super Duty Platinum, at a Professional Bull Riding event in Detroit. It’s hard to think of a more American image, but will this new truck appeal 99 percent of Americans, or just a few?

Like Ford’s other Platinum models, this Super Duty has the most equipment and will likely have the highest sticker price. You can tell a Platinum from lesser trucks by all the chrome. The chrome mesh grille looks like it could blind pedestrians, so can the chrome swatch across the tailgate. The 20-inch polished aluminum wheels add to the spectacle.

Literally the biggest change in the interior is a massive center stack. The Super Duty Platinum is the first Ford truck to get the MyFord Touch system, which allows drivers to operate the navigation system, music, and climate controls with a touch screen or voice commands. On the super Duty, the system has redundant buttons that can be used when the driver is wearing gloves, which sort of makes MyFord Touch’s touch screen redundant.

At the top of the center stack is a “media bin” with USB, auxiliary, and a/v input connections, so Super Duty owners can plug all manner of electronic entertainment devices into this “work” vehicle. Other tech features include a rear view camera, Remote Start System, and SYNC hands-free communication.Ford Super Duty Platinum dash

Aside from the new trim and extra equipment, the rest of the truck remains the same. The F-250 Platinum Ford showed comes with the same choice of engines as lesser models: a 6.2-liter gasoline V8 with 385 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque, or a 6.7-liter Powerstroke turbodiesel V8 with 400 hp and 800 lb-ft. Both engines are coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission and can be had with rear- or four-wheel drive.

The Super Duty Platinum is a big truck with a lot of amenities, so it will have a fittingly hefty price. The current top-of-the-line Super Duty, the King Ranch, starts at $48,180; expect the Platinum to cost even more. The Blue Oval goes to great lengths to depict itself as blue collar, but will Ford’s typical customers want a truck that will probably cost more than $50,000?

That shiny chrome trim will not last long on a job site, neither will the upscale interior. And if someone can afford to spend that amount of money on a truck (and pay for fuel), they most likely aren’t in a profession that requires a pickup truck. On the other hand, Ford could be trying to attract wealthier customers. The Super Duty Platinum would definitely be useful to a boat owner or someone with a large estate, but it still doesn’t make sense. Why would an affluent buyer choose a ford pickup over something with more snob appeal? The Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade, and Ford’s own Lincoln Navigator are capable tow vehicles, and they have prestigious badges to go with their prestigious prices.

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