Companies Collaborate to Build SEMA Stunner

June 27th, 2011

Text and photos by Kevin Wilson

How many times have you heard the phrase, “There is no ‘I’ in team”? The efforts of many always outperform the efforts of one. Unfortunately, for some folks, cooperation is hard to come by, let alone between companies. But in this case, several companies teamed up to build one cool 2011 Ford for the SEMA show and do some R&D on the new platform in the process.

With Ford wanting to make a big statement at the 2010 SEMA show with the all-new 2011 Super Duty, the show was heavily sprinkled with Super Duties, everything from mild to wild.

The point behind the Ford Image Vehicle program is to encourage aftermarket companies to get on the fast track in developing aftermarket goodies for new models. While some folks get their trucks directly from Ford, others, such as Brent Willsey, of Powerlabs Diesel, went out and grabbed the first one that showed up on the dealer’s lot.

To produce its SEMA truck and get in on the ground floor of developing power parts for the 6.7L Powerstroke, Powerlabs teamed up with Snow Performance and H&S Performance to put together an eye-catching, high-performance version of the 2011 Super Duty.

To make the truck stand out from the hoards of new Fords at the SEMA show, a new Skyjacker 8.5-inch suspension system was bolted to the truck to give it some attitude and altitude. The system includes all-new springs and shocks, along with dual steering stabilizers. The lift provides plenty of clearance for a set of 37-inch Nitto Trail Grappler M/Ts mounted on 22×12-inch Mamba M1 wheels.

Since development of performance parts was the original purpose of the build, Powerlabs Diesel started with the easy stuff: a Bully Dog GT tuner and aFe intake. A Snow Performance MPG-Max water/methanol system was also developed for the truck, which not only reduced EGTs, but also boosted seat-of-the-pants horsepower and torque, not to mention mileage, on the long drive from Idaho to Vegas.

After the show, the folks at Powerlabs Diesel ran the truck over to H&S Performance, which developed one of its Black Max tuners to work with the new Power Stroke. The truck also received a full 5-inch exhaust before it was rolled up on the H&S Performance dyno. The end result: nearly 500 rear-wheel horsepower on the dyno and 1,090 lb/ft of torque.

Of course, the main object of any SEMA vehicle is to be seen and admired, so Powerlabs went all out in the appearance category. Body-colored, match-painted Bushwacker fender flares help tuck the 37’s, while match-painted Fusion bumpers were bolted on, front and rear, with the front bumper being fitted with four KC HiLites driving lights.

Not-so-obvious changes are an HID headlight conversion and a set of Recon LED taillights. Covering the bed is a Loredo bed cover. The all-white theme is carried on with a match-painted grille and door handles. Leather seating is courtesy of Roadwire.

Despite all the stickers and logos (which are vinyl and can easily be removed), the truck really stood out at the show—so much so that we had to invite the guys from Powerlabs and Snow Performance to our annual Saturday-morning photo shoot to let you guys see what’s possible with the new Ford Super Duty.

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