Power Stroke, vs. Cummins, vs. Duramax: Which Is the Fastest Diesel Truck?

Diesel engines are great for towing, hauling, and generally making more torque than their gas counterparts. Some of the best trucks that every American manufacturer makes are the big heavy-duty 2500-sized trucks with diesel engines. And each has its own brand of oil-burner that is as much a part its brand as bowties, blue ovals, and horns. But which diesel truck is fastest?

TFL tested each, head-to-head

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These trucks are not fast. Or quick. Compared to sports cars and the new EV trucks like the GMC Hummer EV and Rivian R1T, big diesel 2500 trucks won’t cover ground quickly. They are, after all, four-ton pickups. They will all tow more than 30,000 pounds with ease, carry five or six adults in comfort, and have payload capacities of more than two Toyota Camrys. But they’re not fast.

While sports cars today (and EV trucks) are getting closer and closer to the 10-second mark in a ¼ mile, big trucks are lucky to be in the 16-second range. But in a quarter-mile drag race, the team at TFL Truck found that one reigns supreme.

2022 Ram 2500 HD with Cummins: 17:05 in the quarter-mile

2022 Ram 2500 HD Crew Cab Diesel, this could be the big and powerful truck you need. But its not the fastest truck.
2022 Ram 2500 HD Crew Cab Diesel | Ram

The 2022 Ram 2500 HD continues to build on Ram’s resurgence with especially nice interiors that are comfortable places to spend time. The Cummins diesel brand, too, is one of the most storied in the truck world. But it’s not the quickest, at least in this test. The Ram 2500 HD covered the distance in 17:05.

But, it was carrying the most speed at the end of the run at 87.8 miles per hour, which suggests that it was making more power than traction at the beginning of the run. The I6 turbo-diesel Cummins in Rams can make up to 850 pound-feet of torque, which is astounding, but it’s hooked up to an old-school six-speed transmission.  

2022 Chevy Silverado HD with Duramax: 16:52 in the quarter-mile

2022 Chevy Silverado 2500HD
2022 Chevy Silverado 2500HD | GM

The Chevy Silverado 2500 HD with the Duramax 6.6-liter V8 is an impressive truck. In the TFL video, you can see that in the first attempt it’s the quickest of the three big trucks. The Duramax diesel makes an incredible 910-pound-feet of torque and can tow more than 36,000 pounds. While it did a quarter-mile run in 16.52 seconds at 86.9 miles per hour, it was unclear from the video if the TFL guys ran it with the optional Z71 off-road package, which has bigger wheels and tires.

2022 Ford F-250 with Power Stroke: 16:05 in the quarter-mile

2022 Ford Super Duty F-250 truck
2022 Ford-F-250 | Ford

The Ford F-250 with the Power Stroke turbo diesel joined the 1,000-plus pound-feet of torque club recently, and with that diesel, it can tow up to 37,000 pounds and haul 7,850 of payload. Sure, it’s capable. In the drag race, TFL found that the numbers added up to the Ford being the quickest, running the quarter mile in 16:05 at 84.1 miles per hour.

The Ford isn’t the lightest, however, it makes the most horsepower and torque. In this case, the numbers don’t lie and the Ford is the fastest diesel truck, at least according to TFL.

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