Ford will introduce a light commercial heavyweight to the Australian market in mid-2001 when it imports a range of Brazilian-built super-duty F250 and F350 trucks.

With a towing capacity of almost 4 tonnes (at full GVM) and engines ranging from a 5.4 litre petrol-powered V8 to a 7.3 litre Intercooled turbocharged V8 diesel, the F-series will be available in both two and four wheel drive variations.

"The super-duty F250 and F350 are designed for some pretty serious applications," says Ford Australia light commercial brand manager, Kevin Lillie. "The F350 4WD diesel is rated to carry over 2500kg and produces a stump pulling 678Nm of torque. Two pretty impressive numbers if you've got a big load to haul."

The F250 and F350 have been engineered for the right hand drive market and are factory built, not converted from left-hand drive. [In the 1970s and 80s Ford Australia assembled various F150-series models using imported kits.]

An extensive local testing program was undertaken to ensure that the F250/350 would meet the unique and often grueling conditions of the Australian market.

The latest F-Series will be available in a large variety of models and configurations including single, super and crew cabs in addition to XL and XLT specification levels.

Ford expects many of the super-duty F-Series will find homes in agriculture, mining and service industries with heavy-duty towing and carrying requirements.

There are no plans to re-introduce the F150 range because the load capacity of the Falcon 'ute' [a 'utility' pickup derived from the six-passenger sedan] is just as good and, on some models, better than the F150.