The all-new 2023 Ford Super Duty was revealed last night, showing off all of its many changes, new features, and updated interior and exterior styling. One of the most notable tidbits that emerged from this unveiling is that four-wheel drive is now standard on the XLT trim and up, which leaves the entry-level, work truck-oriented XL as the only version of the pickup that’s available with two-wheel drive. However, it’s also proof that Ford’s plan to reduce the complexity of its ICE vehicle lineup is still going strong.
There were hints that such a move was coming as recently as last year, when the 2022 Super Duty King Ranch and Platinum trims dropped the two-wheel drive configuration in favor of standard four-wheel drive. However, giving the XLT – a volume trim in the pickup’s lineup – standard four-wheel drive is a much bigger and bolder move.
Regardless, the signs that such moves were coming have been pretty obvious in recent months. Ford CEO Jim Farley recently said that the Ford Blue (ICE) lineup is too complex, leading to some changes in the 2023 Ford F-150 lineup. The Limited trim is only available as a hybrid with four-wheel drive for 2023, while the Tremor is dropping its 400A Standard configuration for the new year, a move that also affects the Raptor, which is no longer available with the less expensive 800A Standard Equipment Group. Even bigger changes could be on the horizon, however. As Ford Authority reported back in March, the Ford F-Series lineup may even be dropping some cab configurations in the future as fewer customers opt for regular cab pickups or even SuperCab models.
Regardless, Farley still expects Ford Blue to grow its business and attract new customers, but at the same time, that lineup will offer fewer configurations moving forward, which will help it improve profitability while also eliminating less popular offerings. Part of that plan also involves focusing on “passion brands” like the Super Duty, which is a massive profit generator for The Blue Oval already.