Think pickups have always been brawny? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This coming model year sees manufacturers beefing up their trucks to previously unimagined levels. The new Chevrolet Silverado HD, for example, will be able to tow up to 35,500 pounds in some configurations. And, not to be outdone, Ford is planning to step up the game with its own heavy-duty model, adding the new F-Series Super Duty Tremor off-road package.
No, it’s not a Raptor for the Super Duty crowd. The Tremor isn’t aimed at those who want to run the Baja 500. Well, not with their pickup, but it will let you crawl over just about anything carrying a massive load.
“A growing number of Super Duty customers use their trucks for more than work,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager. “They’re fishing, camping and towing boats on weekends and they go off-road, so we designed this truck specifically for them – more ground clearance, bigger shocks, bigger tires and more off-road capability. Tremor balances what customers demand in terms of work with what they need in the great outdoors.”
If the name sounds familiar, you have a good memory, though the original Tremor, sold only for the 2014 model-year, was actually a sporty, short-cab version of the Ford F-150.
This Tremor is a decidedly different animal, mixing both appearance and performance elements into one package. Upgrades include:
· 35-inch-diameter Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac maximum-traction tires mounted on 18-inch matte-black wheels;
· Progressive-rate springs and a retuned stabilizer bar, as well as custom 1.7-inch piston twin-tube dampers work to control body motion;
· A new Dana limited-slip differential;
· Off-road running boards and skid plates borrowed from the FX4.
The package also brings Trail Control to the Super Duty line for the first time. Think of it as off-road cruise control, allowing you to set a (very low) speed and cruise along without having to worry as you jounce across boulders and ruts.
The Tremor also gets a two-inch front end lift that, with a shorter air dam, increases the ground clearance of a Super Duty model to 10.8 inches, while water fording climbs to 33 inches. There are big improvement to approach and departure angles, as well.
Several new or improved features also aim to ease the hassles of towing. The Pro Trailer Backup Assist system first introduced on the F-150 is now offered in this Super Duty package, as is an updated version of the Trailer Reverse Guidance camera system.
According to Ford, more than two out of three pickup buyers add aftermarket accessories – as anyone who’s attended the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas is well aware. And the new package could save them the time and energy of having to find the appropriate accessories. Ford expects fully half of its Super Duty buyers will choose either the Tremor or similarly rugged FX4 packages going forward.
Tremor will be available on a broad range of Super Duty models, including XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum F-250 and F-350 using either the new 7.3-liter gas or 6.7-liter diesel engines.
The automaker is expected to announce pricing closer to the Tremor’s on-sale date later this year.