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Ford Motor Co. plans to bring back the F-600 Super Duty Chassis Cab to add another workhorse to its stable of F-Series work trucks.

That's part of an effort to leverage an already strong commercial fleet business here in the U.S. to reach more buyers who might have been looking for something just slightly smaller than the F-650 Ford currently sells.

"This is going to supplement those sales," said Mike Pruitt, Ford Super Duty chief engineer.

The last time Ford sold the F-600 was in the late 1990s. The new model slots between the smaller Super Duty trucks, which Ford is refreshing later this year, and the larger Medium Duty trucks and chassis Ford sells. Ford said the F-600 will have the "capability of a Class 6 truck" with a Super Duty package. 

The new truck will be available mid-2020, the automaker said. Ford is refreshing and updating its entire commercial lineup, including the Transit van, all the Medium Duty trucks, the E-Series and its stripped chassis. The commercial lineup now has standard modems with 4G LTE Wi-Fi. That enables available telematics and data services, according to the automaker.

Parts of Ford's driver-assist feature package are being introduced to the lineup as well. The Medium Duty trucks get optional adaptive cruise-control, lane-departure warning and driver-alert systems, among other things. The all-new 7.3-liter V-8 gasoline engine that will debut on the new Super Duty will also be available on Ford's larger vehicles.

The new F-600 will be the same size as the F-550, but with an upgraded driveline, chassis, tires and wheels to give it a higher gross vehicle weight rating, which essentially means it can carry more.

Meantime, the automaker is updating the Transit van for the 2020 model year to make it easier to drive. The van gets two new engines and a 10-speed transmission aimed at boosting fuel economy, and available all-wheel drive. The exterior gets a new grille and some other tweaks. Inside, there's a new instrument panel and an available touch screen.

The automaker is updating its E-Series and stripped chassis vehicles, too.

The F-650 and F-750 Medium Duty trucks get the new 7.3-liter gas engine or a 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel mated to a 6-speed TorqShift heavy-duty automatic transmission. Ford is also updating the instrument panel and including standard AM/FM stereo radios with Bluetooth capability. The big trucks lacked the creature comforts of Ford's mainline trucks until now, officials said. Those trucks will be model year 2021 vehicles, with production starting in January 2020.

ithibodeau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

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