Chevrolet and GMC go toe-to-toe with Ford in their light-duty truck series, answering the F-150, the F-250, and the F-350 with their own versions. However, with the 2017 Ford F-450, Ford has created a truck that has no match--at least not yet. We'll preview its upcoming competition, the Chevrolet 4500HD, and see how it will likely match up with the dynamic Ford F-450.
Should the Ford F-450 Worry About the Chevrolet Silverado 4500?
What is the F-450?
Technically speaking, he 2017 Ford F-450 Super Duty is the biggest model in the F-Series Super Duty commercial lineup, although "biggest" is perhaps a misleading term. The F-450 isn't really any bigger physically than the other Super Duty pickups, but it is bigger in terms of capability. It really is a no-nonsense workhorse of a truck that is four-wheel drive only, always comes with dual rear-wheels, and is only available with one very powerful engine. That engine in question? A 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel, which offers a very capable 440 horsepower and 925 lb.-ft. of torque. Unlike every other Super Duty, the F-450 is also only available in Crew Cab format.
What will the Chevrolet 4500HD be?
While we're working on some degree of excited speculation, Chevrolet has recently confirmed that it's working what is being described as a "flagship, medium-duty truck," which is expected to be a direct rival for the Ford F-450 Super Duty. Unsurprisingly, the new truck is expected to wear the 4500HD designation. As there isn't a huge amount of originality in the current truck market, it would stand to reason the Chevrolet 4500HD would be an up-rated version of the current 3500HD, but that's not necessarily the case. Chevrolet also told us back in 2015 that it would be working with Navistar to build medium-duty, conventional cab Class 4/5 commercial vehicles, so this could well be the first of them and therefore something quite different to the existing 3500HD.
Like the Ford, the Chevy 4500HD will just be offered with a single diesel engine. In this case, we already know it will be a Duramax diesel, probably the latest L5P, which will be mated to a highly durable and capable Allison transmission. Potentially, the new truck would then have 445 horsepower and an impressive 910 lb.-ft. of torque, leaving it a little short of what the F-450 offers.
Ford F-450 vs Chevrolet 4500HD
From what we know so far, it's unlikely the Chevrolet 4500HD would beat the Ford F-450 in a head-to-head comparison, at least not in terms of power and capability. Even if Chevrolet squeezed some extra horsepower and torque out of the Duramax diesel to equal or even outdo the Power Stroke in the F-450, the F-450 has a big advantage the 4500HD is unlikely to be able to compete with: which is weight, or a lack of it. The latest 2017 Ford F-450 now has a lightweight aluminum body and high-strength steel frame that makes it extremely strong, capable and efficient.
To beat the F-450, the 4500HD would either have to be Chevrolet's very first aluminum bodied HD or its engine would have to be considerably more powerful than the one rumored to be included. Either way, the likelihood of this happening is fairly small.
The Ford F-450, unmatched and unparalled currently, is about to face some competition: the Chevrolet 4500HD. From what we know, the Chevrolet is unlikely to take down the F-450 in a head-to-head competition, but it will be interesting to see how Chevrolet comes for this Ford Super Duty heavyweight.