Mountain Wheels: Ford’s Tremor packages amplify both Super Duty and Ranger presence

One of the largest vehicles on the market, the raised, off-road oriented Tremor version of the Ford F-250 Super Duty, mixes track and towing capabilities.
Andy Stonehouse / Courtesy photo

While the full-size, smaller edition of the Bronco and the new electric Mach-E Mustang and F-150 Lightning have garnered attention this year, Ford is still built on more standard trucks – as big and tough as it gets.

So here’s a look at two iterations of the new Tremor build package, an ultra-rugged and rugged all-terrain version available on two very different ends of the Ford truck family: the F-250 Super Duty and the smaller pickup. Tidy. That sort of upgrade doesn’t appear to be in the works for the new, smaller Maverick pickup just yet, but you never know.

The Super Duty Tremor can be ordered for the gargantuan F-250 or the even larger F-350, with equally noisy power options: a 7.3-liter V8 or a 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 that , like the competition, now offers four-digit torque output (1,050 lb-ft).

I had the baby of this lineup, an incredibly tall and long F-250 crew cab with the 385 horsepower 7.3 liter engine, 35 inch mud tires on 18 inch black painted wheels at low brilliance and even an optional 12,000- Warn winch built-in – all for just over $ 67,000.

At 266 inches, that officially makes it the longest truck I think I’ve ever driven, and the lift and tires mean the bed rails are way off the ground (5 feet, 6 inches, for real). The driveshaft and huge exhaust system are all there for you to see, as a result.

Logistics and handling become issues to consider in a truck that’s nearly impossible to access, turn around, or drive comfortably on those stretches of Interstate 70 before things are recently repaved.

But if you’re looking for extraordinary, almost Raptor-style off-road capability – and muscle that puts other trucks to shame – along with all the massive towing capacity the Super Duty lineup has, this was definitely one to beat.

They raised the front with unique springs to increase that ride height, added performance shocks to improve handling and off-road capability, and also included the relatively sophisticated Trail Control system, including rock tuning. -crawl for absolutely gigantic rock-truck action. , I imagine.

All-terrain, its bravado bonky is indeed tamed by this suspension configuration. Put it in real mud and you will see what Tremor was made for. Admittedly, it’s so high and wide that it eats away at any trail you plan to tackle, and the times I’ve had to do a 180, even on public gravel roads, this has posed challenges that I had never considered in a van.

I found myself jealous of that 1,050 pound-foot diesel torque because, frankly, the horsepower of the 7.3-liter gasoline engine was a bit short on my steepest climbs. And since I took Loveland Pass generating 6 mpg as I did, I guessed that was the whole trade-off for superlatives that overlap all other superlatives.

It might be a bit low-key inside, especially after seeing the redesigned chandelier and digital light show of the new F-150s and their electric / hybrid interpretations. The driving modes are hidden in the shift lever and the 4 × 4 switchgear is simple to use. But the leather is nice, the center console the size of a hot tub, and the details quite appealing.

Meanwhile, the Off-Road Tremor Pack for the 2021 Ranger, a $ 4,290 upgrade over the SuperCrew 4 × 4 version of the truck I drove earlier this year, also provided distinctive looks and features. additional capabilities to the US version of what is internationally a 10-year-old vehicle. Mine, including a spray-on bedliner and a towing package, topped out at $ 48,100.

Tremor makes Ranger a bit more contemporary and perhaps more patriotic than the dedicated 4 × 4 versions of Tacoma or Frontier. Its 32-inch all-terrain tires, cold-painted alloy rims, Fox shocks and raised ride height also pushed Ranger’s envelope a bit. I admired the six-switch control bank for all the LED lights and accessories you’d like to throw in there.

The power of the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo on the Ranger hovered between fair and maybe a little conservative. The 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque allowed the Ranger to glide over the passes and cruise comfortably, but in low-speed situations I found the turbo lag to be quite significant. The 10-speed drivetrain allowed for simple downhill speed control with the thumb.

Since it’s already smaller, a raised Ranger with very big tires lost some of its driving and cornering stability on the highway (my friends thought I was in a Mustang, not a big truck but a small one, and I did not want to try my luck). But off-road travel is indeed the strong point of the Tremor.

Andy Stonehouse

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