When you don’t exactly need a Raptor but still want to be a total boss off-road.
Perhaps a Super Duty with a Tremor Off-Road Package will fancy your tastes?
From 35-inch tires to custom drive modes, this new Super Duty is the real deal.
Is this a case of Ford splitting the difference? This being the Tremor Off-Road Package for the 2020 Ford Super Duty. And splitting the difference means, perhaps, that rather than having to buy a big, fire-breathing Raptor or nothing at all, you could get an F-Series Super Duty for 2020 and add on a whole bunch of sweet off-road bits. Sounds like a plan. Hence the Tremor Off-Road Package, a serious hardware and tech upgrade for those who want to take their big new Ford Super Duty off the beaten path.
Now, a while back, Ford made this big off-road special called the Raptor. People loved it. And by people, I mean ink-stained wretches like myself. That crowd wants to play in the mud and dirt with their 4X4 toys, but there are some who like to customize things further. Why? Because they’re a fickle lot and like to pick and choose, a la cart, what gear goes into their rigs, rather than getting the whole deal from the factory.
And FoMoCo also realizes this goes the other way. What if you’re a truck person most of the time and an off-roader some of the time. Doesn’t make sense to have some near-Baja 1000 special if you only hit the out yonder once every so often. Or, as Todd Eckert, Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager put it; “A growing number of Super Duty customers use their trucks for more than work. They’re fishing, camping and towing boats on weekends, and they go off-road, so we designed this truck specifically for them.” What that translates to is, in short, more ground clearance, bigger shocks, bigger tires, and more off-road capability.
Ford says it’s the most capable off-road Super Duty ever, but they would say that.
What Is The Tremor Off-Road Package?
The Tremor Off-Road Package has nothing to do with the rather charming monster movie with Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward (sadly); but it does have everything to do with actually working in off-road situations. For a start, you lose none of the Super Duty’s towing or payload ratings. The package is available for XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum F-250 and F-350 Super Duty, with either the 7.3-liter gas V8 or 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. The Tremor Off-Road Package can be added to any 4×4 single-rear-wheel, crew cab Super Duty truck with a 6.75-foot box. If you want it for the F-250 models, you have to get the high-capacity trailer towing package. But you were going to get that anyway so no biggie.
The first thing you’ll notice are big, 35-inch-diameter Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires. These would be the largest diameter tires available on a heavy-duty pickup, which Ford demurely refers to as “aggressive.” The wheels are also 18-inch, black matte-finish numbers. Along with the boss meats and rims you get a two-inch front-end lift and a shorter air dam for a total of 10.8 inches of ground clearance. Have to deal with streams? How about water fording of 33 inches? Add to that the best approach and departure angles of any Super Duty ever: 31.65 and 24.51 degrees, respectively.
The “progressive-rate” springs balance the towing performance while controlling body motion on rutted, bolder-infested trails. Ford dropped the spring rate on the rear stabilizer bar for less giggling of your head over those rutted, bolder-infested trails. Shocks are custom, 1.7-inch piston twin-tube dampers, which is impressive as a factory part. They have, of course, substantial oil volume for lower internal temperatures.
The rear diff is a full-locker with electronic shift-on-the-fly ability. Up front you’ll find a new Dana limited-slip differential. There’s an optional torque-steering package for the front axle that can sense a loss of traction and use the brakes to send power to the wheel with traction. Additional hardware goodies include running boards that tuck up next to the body, so as not to get torn completely off by that humongous rock you just cleared.
There are five drive modes in the 2020 Super Duty with the Tremor package: Normal for around-town use, Tow/Haul for better performance when towing, Eco for enhanced fuel economy, Slippery for icy conditions, and Deep Snow/Sand for low-traction situations. Unique to the Tremor is a rock-crawl mode for 4×4 low situations. It’s enabled by the standard TorqShift 10-speed automatic transmission, so it’s a snap to use.
Come Crawling Back
Trucks with the 7.3-liter gas engine have a 53:1 crawl ratio while those with the 6.7-liter diesel have a 44:1 ratio. And, for the first time ever, there’s Trail Control for the Super Duty. This feature, pulled from the F-150 Raptor and Ranger, functions in any mode like cruise control, but for off-road driving. If you still get stuck, then I don’t know what to tell ya son.
The Tremor Off-Road Package will be available when the 2020 Super Duty launches later this year. No word yet on price.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.