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2007 PickupTruck.com Heavy Duty Shootout, Part 2 of 3
By: Mike Levine, Kent Sundling, MrTruck.com and Neil McGarry
2007 PickupTruck.com

Part 2: Quarter-Mile Drags
[Intro] [3/4-Ton Unloaded] [3/4-Ton Loaded] [1-Ton Unloaded] [1-Ton Loaded] [F-450] [Diesel v Gas Comparison]

Part 1: [1] [2] [3] [4] Introduction to the 2007 Heavy Duty Shootout
[Intro] [Truck Specs] [Dodge] [General Motors] [Ford] [Squat Test]

Part 3: Hill Climbs
[Intro] [3/4-Ton 7% Grade] [1-Ton 7% Grade] [Diesel v Gas Comparison 7% Grade]
[3/4-Ton 15% Grade] [1-Ton 15% Grade] [Diesel v Gas Comparison 15% Grade]

[F-450 All Grades] [Summary]

Enter the Drag Strip

When the green light drops, the blah blah blah stops.

There are few automotive experiences that get your heart rate up or your hands sweating faster than rolling up to the starting block for the first run of the day at a drag strip. (Sitting next a six-foot tall brunette model inside the cabin of a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano 6.0-liter V12 at the North American International Auto Show is about the only thing we can think of.)

But our pulse surged even faster when we realized it wasn't just our selfish pride that was at stake drag racing the guy in the lane next to us - there was also skin in the game for the OEMs who'd just loaned us the seven heavy duty pickups we'd be racing testing against each other.

Some may ask, what's the point of running heavy duty pickups through the 1/4-mile? Isn't the job of a three-quarter or one-ton rig to simply deliver a heavy load or haul a trailer from point A to point B? You'd be absolutely correct except for one circumstance where the 1/4-mile test almost always comes in as a handy measurement - getting on the freeway.

The tests we performed represent a reasonable scenario for those drivers interested in learning how quickly they can accelerate up to 60-mph plus to join the flow of traffic on a freeway, without holding other drivers up behind them or causing an unsafe situation in a slow moving vehicle towing a trailer.

As we mentioned in Part 1, we rented the asphalt at Milan Dragway, just outside Detroit. The track features an IHRA sanctioned 1/4-mile dragstrip. It's perfect for determining time and speed performance over a fixed distance, unloaded and loaded.

We originally set out to test all seven trucks at Milan, but due to time restrictions and the number of runs required for the trucks, only the one-ton diesel trucks were completed at Milan, plus the F-450 uninstrumented. We ran and completed testing all the three-quarter-ton gassers the next day at Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds (MPG).

All the runs at Milan were carried out at wide open throttle (WOT) in the normal 1/4-mile direction, using the right hand lane, starting from the regular start line. Every run was initiated by following the staging and countdown lights on the Christmas tree from a dead stop.

To make Milan a bit more interesting, we invited all the manufacturers to send as many PR and engineering folks as they wanted to observe the testing first-hand. Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford Motor Company all took us up on that offer and had at least one person onsite during the races. Some even took turns racing each other.

In the pictures that accompany this story, you'll see the trucks racing each other. However, Ricardo Inc. only collected metrics and data from one truck at a time using an Oxford Technical Solutions RT3102 - so how the trucks performed head-to-head with each other wasn't necessarily indicative of the final results you'll read about.

All the tests were conducted at Milan and MPG in 4 wheel drive (high range mode) with tow-haul engaged when towing, and disabled when not towing. A minimum of three runs was carried out in each configuration tested. The fastest runs are presented in the results.

We didn't have time but an interesting test would have been to have done these runs for three days, to see how the adaptive computer programs would have changed acceleration and shift points in the transmissions. Though under load, such as a trailer, we may have been close to our top parameters.

Three-Quarter-Ton SRW Crew Cab Short-Bed 4x4 Gas Pickups

There was a side benefit that came from testing the three-quarter-ton trucks on the level surface at MPG. Using Ford's two-mile long straightaway, we were able to capture speed and times up to 90-mph, even though the distance required to hit this mark took over a quarter-mile. You'll see this extra data in the bar graphs and tables below.

Gear Ratios:

  2007 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT Quad Cab 4x4 5-speed 545RFE 2008 Ford F-250
FX4 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x4 5-speed 5R110
2007 GMC Sierra 2500 HD SLE Crew Cab 4x4 6-speed 6L90HD
Rear Axle Ratio 3.73 4.30 3.73
First: 3.00 3.11 4.03
Second: 1.67 2.22 2.36
Third: 1.00 1.55 1.53
Fourth: .75 1.00 1.15
Fifth: .67 .71 .85
Sixth: - - .67

Testing Conditions:

Location: Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds (Romeo, MI), elevation 970 feet
Conditions: Weather: Dry, Sunny
  Temperature: 72 - 81 F
  Windspeed: 11.5 - 17.3 MPH (WNW-NNW)
  Humidity: 28 - 51 %

Three-Quarter-Ton Test Results - Without Trailer:

Three-Quarter-Ton 1/4-Mile Without Trailer Summary
2007 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 5.7-L V8 4x4 SRW 5-speed auto 3.73 2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 6.8-L V10 4x4 5-speed auto 4.30 2007 GMC Sierra 2500 Crew Cab 6.0-L V8 4x4 6-speed auto 3.73
0 to 30 mph
3.28 s
3.33 s
3.22 s
0 to 40 mph
4.69 s
5.00 s
4.77 s
0 to 50 mph
6.71 s
7.14 s
6.41 s
0 to 60 mph
9.23 s
9.71 s
8.60 s
0 to 70 mph
11.94 s
13.22 s
11.19 s
0 to 80 mph
15.19 s
17.69 s
14.02 s
0 to 90 mph
21.44 s
23.04 s
18.10 s
1/4-Mile Time
16.96 s
17.45 s
16.63 s
1/4-Mile Speed
82.95 mph
79.53 mph
86.77 mph

Part 2: [Intro] [3/4-Ton Unloaded] [3/4-Ton Loaded] [1-Ton Unloaded] [1-Ton Loaded] [F-450] [Diesel v Gas Comparison]