(Image: Ford)

The 2017 Ford Super Duty shares an aluminum cab with the F-150, with one key difference: the shifter on the column instead of the center console. That made room for the most impressive advancement in cupholder technology America has ever seen.

Ford is very proud of their “quad-barrel” cupholder and has taken every opportunity to remind the media “it’s patent-pending,” at the Super Duty introduction event in Denver last week.

It’s actually hardly the most awe-inspiring piece of technology on Ford’s fancy new road barge, but it is sweet in its simplicity.

Photo credit Ford

In case the illustration above didn’t make the concept clear, you’ve got a regular two-slot cupholder to the right and a little storage pocket to the left. But slide the top bit of plastic and voilà– four cupholders!

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With two people on a long haul, four forward cupholders are essential. (Two coffees, two waters. Obviously.) When the truck’s door pockets are stuffed full off tools and diesel receipts, you’re going to be pretty stoked that you have all is beverage space where it’s readily-accessible.

And in a full-four door cab, four cupholders in the center are just the beginning. Oh yeah, they’re in the back and back doors as well. (Image by the author)

It’s amazing how much a little piece of plastic can change a truck’s interior. I have no doubt that Ford’s convertible cupholder system will be one of the first things sales people are showing customers on lots this summer. And why not? It is awesome.

Now that maximum payload and towing capacities are already beyond the needs of any mortal human across the industry, innovations and gimmicks like this are going to start playing a bigger part in pulling people across pickup truck brand-loyalty lines.