Major mid-cycle revisions to Ford’s cash cow.
2020 Ford Super Duty adds Tremor Off-Road Package
That faint quiver you feel is the latest Ford Super Duty warming up to attack the boonies with relentless vigor. Noticing that 15 percent of F-250 and F-350 customers spend thousands of dollars accessorizing their new pickups, some astute Ford hand raiser suggested bringing that revenue in-house. This eases customer shopping stress, streamlines financing, and yields chassis gear that should perform better than the usual aftermarket hodgepodge.
Ford’s new Tremor Off-Road Package ventures well beyond the popular FX4 option, which starts at $400 on an F-250. Instead of decals and badges, this is the real deal with chassis upgrades that gird the Super Duty to annihilate rocks, trees, and rushing water. There are no interior changes.
The Tremor pack arrives with the new 2020 model year F-250 and F-350 pickups rolling forth in December. It can be ordered with all trim levels except the base XL and with either the new 7.3-liter gasoline V-8 or the upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel V-8. A new 10-speed automatic transmission will be standard in all new Super Duty models.
The Tremor is available exclusively with the Crew cab and the short (81-inch) box but not with the dual-wheel rear axle. Receiver, fifth wheel, and goose neck trailer hitch options and Ford’s advanced Trailer Reverse Guidance and Pro Trailer Backup systems all remain available with the Tremor package.
While no price info will be available until the new trucks go on sale, considering the scope of the changes, the Tremor option should not be frightfully expensive.
The Tremor package starts with 35-inch diameter Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires, the largest rubber available from any factory on a heavy-duty pickup, mounted to attractive 18-inch matte black wheels. Revised springs lift the truck’s front end 1.2 inches and the rear 1.6 inches. The front air dam is trimmed by 5 inches to diminish rock friction and there’s a full array of FX4 skid plates to protect the underbelly. Running boards are tucked tighter to the passenger cabin.
Front and rear springs are progressive rate to maintain towing and hauling capability while improving body motion control over rocks and rough ground. The Tremor rear anti-roll bar is softer to help maintain rear tire contact with terra firma. New twin-tube dampers have 1.7-inch-diameter pistons, increased oil volume, and valving tuned for supple action at low speeds combined with adequate control during severe impacts.
The rear differential can be locked on the fly. The front axle is equipped with a new Dana limited-slip differential. In off-road driving modes, one front brake is automatically applied to a wheel in the air to direct torque to the opposite side.
Tremor’s six selectable drive modes include normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery (for ice conditions), deep snow/sand, and rock-crawl settings. A twist of the knob selects regular or low range in the transfer case and programs the transmission to shift according to the particular driving conditions. Maximum torque multiplication is 53:1 with the gasoline engine and 44:1 with the diesel. A nifty new feature is an off-road speed control system called Trail Control, similar to one introduced on the F-150 Raptor and the Ford Ranger.
Ford rates Tremor’s fording ability at 33 inches (without specifying what doom befalls you when the water depth is 34 or more inches). The minimum ground clearance is 10.8 inches and, for those who track such details, the forward approach angle is just under 32 degrees while the rear is 24.5 degrees. These are the best specs Ford has ever engineered into a production Super Duty.
The beauty of Ford’s new Tremor package is that it doesn’t sacrifice pavement commuting competence, heavy trailer towing ability, and massive hauling strength to enhance off-road performance.
Your move, Chevy, GMC, and Ram.