2020 Ford Super Duty F-450 front view

How does engine horsepower affect the Ford vehicle towing capability?

Ford truck and SUV towing capacities and horsepower ratings 

There is a positive correlation between horsepower rating and towing capacity in vehicles. We don’t have the exact formula, but we do have the horsepower and towing ratings of Ford vehicles available for you. Keep reading below to learn how engine horsepower affects Ford vehicle towing capability. 


How much horsepower does a Ford vehicle need for towing? 

On the internet, you can find all sorts of formulas for calculating horsepower needed for towing. Some may say that one horsepower is equivalent to 25 lbs of towing; however, there are multiple factors that impact a vehicle’s ability to tow, including vehicle weight, engine torque, and more.  

In the charts below, we will show you how Ford horsepower ratings translate into towing capacities. The final column shows approximately how much weight is being towed for one horsepower 

2020 Ford SUV and crossover – horsepower and towing 

Ford SUVs are popular vehicles for towing. Their capacities are more than efficient for towing standard equipment. You can see in the chart below our rough estimate for how much towing capacity each horsepower has.  

ModelHorsepowerTowing CapacityTowing Capacity for 1 HP
2020 Ford EcoSport123-166 hp1,400-2,000 lbs11-12 lbs
2020 Ford Escape181-250 hp1,500-3,500 lbs8-14 lbs
2020 Ford Edge250-380 hp3,500 lbs9-14 lbs
2020 Ford Explorer300-400 hp5,300 lbs13-18 lbs
2020 Ford Expedition375-400 hp9,200 lbs23-25 lbs

2020 Ford pickup trucks – horsepower and towing 

Ford pickup trucks are some of the most popular vehicles for heavy-duty towing. They exceed all expectations for power and capability. As you can see in the chart below, each horsepower seems to do double the work. 

ModelHorsepowerTowing CapacityTowing Capacity for 1 HP
2020 Ford F-150250-395 hp5,000-13,200 lbs20-33 lbs
2020 Ford Ranger270 hp7,500 lbs28 lbs
2020 Ford Super Duty F-250385-475 hp12,800-22,800 lbs22-48 lbs
2020 Ford Super Duty F-350385-475 hp12,500-35,750 lbs33-75 lbs
2020 Ford Super Duty F-450385-475 hp36,400-37,000 lbs78-96 lbs
Why are Ford pickup trucks able to tow such high capacities? 

High towing capacity is a combination of engine horsepower, engine torque, and towing features such as the type of connection the load has to the truck. For example, goose-neck towing is known to have a higher capacity. There are many other factors that may impact a vehicle’s ability to tow. 

Ford Super Duty pickup trucks are the top-rated towing trucks in our quick comparison. For their ratings, we used Regular Cab configuration ratings. Other cab configurations may vary.  

2020 Ford Super Duty F-450 front view with trailer