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Ford regains performance truck throne with SVT Tsunami

By George P. Burdell / The Detroit News

DEARBORN -- Bigger is definitely better.

Dodge's reign over the performance truck market will be short-lived, as Ford plans to topple the SRT-10 this fall with a bigger, badder contender from SVT that is certainly worthy of the crown. With 512 horsepower and 640 lb.-ft. of pavement-ripping torque, the SVT Tsunami is likely to show the industry who's king after all.

"We paid attention to criticisms of past SVT products, but realize we can't take a one-size-fits-all approach" said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's director of advanced product creation. "So now we've got the top-of-the-line Tsunami, rounding out the SVT lineup with usable cabin space and race-inspired performance while maintaining the versatility of a work truck."

Based on the Super Duty F-350 platform, the Tsunami is SVT's latest and most outrageous offering yet. But don't dismiss this pretty contractor vehicle as an overweight marketing toy. This truck means serious business and benefits from all of SVT's usual enhancements. Motivated by the familiar 6.8L Triton® SOHC SEFI 30-valve V10 engine, SVT promotes additional thrust with the help of an intercooled supercharger and tuned exhaust. This powerplant, also slated for use in the next generation Lightning, is more than adequate for propelling Ford's largest and heaviest weapon.

An SVT-tuned suspension and larger brakes round out the Tsunami's performance package, and aggressive styling including sculpted sills and a deeper fascia with SVT's trademark round fog lights differentiate the Tsunami from regular F350's. Unique 6-spoke wheels on wide rubber complete the look, giving the Tsunami a menacing stance. Interior appointments include the requisite white-faced gauges and special Alcantara sport seats in front and back, with bright metal trim and carbon-fiber accents to help express the sporting nature of this special Super Duty.

When the Tsunami hits the streets this fall, it will be the most powerful factory-built truck ever and just the kind of flagship vehicle SVT needs to reclaim its position at the top of the performance truck industry. Ford is expected to sell the Tsunami for just $54,795 -- significantly more than the starting price of a base-level F350 Super Duty.

Following next year's arrival of the Shelby Cobra GT500, SVT will launch the Sport Trac Adrenalin -- a sport utility truck based on the next-generation Explorer. The company has also committed to building a Lightning, based on the F-150, while Ford designers and engineers are contemplating an SVT version of the Fusion, Ford's new midsize sedan that will debut this fall alongside the Tsunami.

The F350's are 7000lbs, so I highly doubt that will take a RAM SRT 10.


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