The opulent V10 luxury truck you probably don't remember.
Name: Ford F-250 Super Chief (after the passenger train flagship of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway)
Debuted: 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit
Specs: supercharged V10 engine with 550 horsepower, 400 pound-feet (542 Newton-meters) of torque, tri-fuel (gasoline, E85 ethanol, hydrogen)
Why We Remember It Now:
Undoubtedly bold-looking and powered by an intricate V10 engine, the Super Chief was Ford’s way of blending the versatility of a truck with the upscale interior of a luxury car.
Gone are the days when trucks were nothing more than rugged workhorses with simple designs and spartan interiors. Nowadays, it’s all about cramming as much tech as possible into a pickup truck while attempting to make it as luxurious as a premium sedan. Ford had a similar thought some 13 years ago with the F-250 Super Chief – a concept that tried to be everything for everyone.
As flashy as trucks can get, the vehicle sat on 24-inch alloys housed in prominent wheel arches accentuating the sheer size of the behemoth. With suicide rear doors and a glass roof featuring an American walnut-coffered panel wrapped in leather, this was no ordinary F-250. A pair of ottomans served as the rear seats and the passengers had ample legroom with enough space for even a footrest after the engineers relocated two feet (60 centimeters) of bed space for the cabin.
Then there was the intricate supercharged V10 engine, which prompted Ford to label the F-250 Super Chief as being the very first vehicle to run on three different types of fuel: gasoline, E85 ethanol, and hydrogen. With the latter, the fullsize truck was able to cover 500 miles (804 kilometers) between fill-ups and helped the powertrain drastically reduce emissions by 99 percent compared to a similar engine fueled exclusively by gasoline.
With Ford attempting to showcase the best of the best among large trucks, the F-250 Super Chief was also a technological tour de force. Retractable monitors that emerged from the ceiling, electrically operated footrests, electrically sliding rear center console, LED headlights, and numerous safety aids helped the concept stand out among more mainstream trucks.
Even though it never saw the light of production day, the idea behind the concept lives on in today’s F-Series Super Duty Limited lineup.