In the fitting setting of the Texas State Fair, Ford unveiled its new '08 Super Duty. With it's lineup of new features and increased capability, it's clear Ford wants to retain its leadership in the 3/4 and 1-ton pickup market.

Gone is the unloved 6.0L Power Stroke, replaced by a new 6.4-liter sequentially-turbocharged unit that has thankfully abandoned the problematic HEUI injection system for a state-of-the-art Piezo-electric common-rail system. Even with the extremely strict new diesel emissions going into effect starting with the '07 model year, this new engine cranks out a healthy 350 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 650 lbs./ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm.

The 5.4-liter 3-valve Triton V-8 and 6.8-liter V-10 are essentially carryovers from last year. The 5-speed TorqShift automatic carries over as well. Properly equipped, the '08 F-450 can haul a payload of more than 6,000 pounds, and a maximum towing capacity of 24,000 pounds.

The new interior, which shows a close family resemblance to the F-150, is a vast improvement over the previous Super Duty's cobbled-together interior, and includes an MP3 player hookup and dual-zone climate control as an option, as well as an available rear-seat DVD entertainment unit.

The new Super Duty also features and industry-first retractable step built into the tailgate. Tested up to 1,000 pounds, the step stows in the tailgate when not in use.

The truck is expected to go on sale in early calendar 2007.