THE TREMORS CONTINUE
Ford shakes it up again by adding a Tremor Trim to the F-150
Ford released the Super Duty Tremor in response to the Ram Power Wagon, the long-standing heavy-duty king of off-road. Then, Ford followed up with the Ranger Tremor as North Americans clamoured for the Ranger Raptor from overseas. The most recent addition is the 2021 F-150 Tremor, which makes the most sense of all of the Tremor packages as it is available in the number one selling pick-up in North America – one that sees more work sites and off-road back-country playgrounds than any other light-duty truck, perhaps any truck.
One consistent feature that we find outstanding in the Tremor line-up is the off-road performance boost doesn’t come at the cost of reduced payload and towing capacities.
“Like the Super Duty Tremor and Ranger Tremor, introducing the all-new F-150 Tremor is a direct response to see how customers use our trucks to enable their outdoor lifestyles,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager. The Tremor comes standard with 4x4 in a SuperCrew cab with a 5.5-foot box, 3.5-litre EcoBoost® V6 engine, and 10-speed automatic transmission.
The existing FX4 package is still offered but like other ‘off-road’ truck trims – including the Z71 from Chevy – it’s more boast and badge than performance. The Tremor package in the 2021 F-150 is noticeably different. The front and rear springs are retuned for added ground clearance and better traction through improved ground contact for the wheels while rolling.
This is matched to the Tremor-specific monotube shocks up front and twin tubes in the rear, which are tuned for softer damping at low speeds with extra damping for harsher offroad terrain and higher speeds. It is a passive and not active damping system, so there is no on-the-fly tuning for the shocks. Ford says the front hub knuckles and upper control arms have also been revised with upgraded ball joints and bushing materials compared to the outgoing F-150 model. This all adds up to 4 cm (1.5 in) more total travel in the rear and an additional 3 cm (1 in) of total travel in the front.
More ground clearance and an extra 3 cm (1 in) in width comes from the 33” General Grabber A/T tires circling 18” wheels, resulting in an approach angle of 27.6 degrees, breakover angle of 21.2 degrees, and departure angle of 24.3 degrees. If the approach angle and ground clearance prove inadequate, you’ll be testing the Raptor-style bash plate below the front bumper.
In the end, and at the beginning, it is all about traction. Ford has decided to include a locking rear differential as standard equipment and promises an optional upgrade to a Torsen limited-slip differential (LSD) up front at a future date. The Torsen LSD is exceptional at improving traction and steering control in deep sand (i.e. Baja mode) and the F-150 Tremor uses the same system as in the F-150 Raptor but packaged to fit in the F-150 architecture. If you’re not familiar with Torsen (short for torque sensing), it is significantly different from a typical limited slip diff. You can watch a good 3D animation and explanation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEiSTzK-A2A.
Also similar to the F-150 Raptor is an available torque-on-demand transfer case that merges allwheel drive and four-wheel-drive.
As we mentioned earlier, functional work and play muscle are good with a max tow of 5,000 kg (10,900 lb) and a max payload of 855 kg (1,885 lb). And you can get the 2.0 kW Pro Power Onboard to conveniently charge battery power tools and run air compressors etc. Other off-road features include fixed close-to-the-body running boards to avoid rock damage, front and rear recovery hooks, and an auxiliary
power switch pack to control optional winches, lights, and compressors.
Ford loves tech (and so do we) so many of the features available in the Ford Bronco and other off-road enhanced Ford models are included such as the 360-degree camera system including a front camera system that can show you the predicted path of the tires.
The Ford Trail Toolbox is a set of off-road driver-assist apps including Trail One Pedal
Drive for rock crawling, Trail Turn Assist to make tighter turns, and the ‘usual’ selectable drive modes - Normal, Sport, Tow/Haul, Eco, Slippery, with the addition of Deep Snow/Sand, and Mud/Rut modes. Also, the Tremor has Rock Crawl mode, which automatically turns on the rear locking differential; turns off stability and traction control; eases off throttle response; adjusts the shift points; and displays the available 360-degree camera view on the centre screen.
Old favourites are also standard like Hill Descent Control and lest we forget Trail Control – the cruise control for tough terrain – just set the speed and focus on steering.
Ford made sure folks will know you invested in the Tremor package. They created a more aggressive look by redesigning the hood, adding a black-out front grill with hits of the Tremor Active Orange to the Ford oval, front tow hooks, badging on the fenders, bedsides, and tailgate. Touches of orange continue in the interior’s seat trim and stitching, as well as the materials and finishes to the instrument panel, dash, and doors.
This truck should be great for avid off-roaders who want to take their toys into the backcountry and who are looking for a complete solution direct from the manufacturer with a warranty. The F-150 Tremor from Ford will let you get the most of what you need in an off-road truck, with usually low financing or even a lease if you can write it off through your company.
Ford says the F-150 Tremor will be available ‘next summer,’ but no exact date has been set. Ford also says that there will be more news coming including pricing and pre-orders in early 2021.