When you think of Ford pickup trucks made for off-roading, if you’re anything like most people, your mind presumably goes to the likes of the F-150 Raptor or the new Ranger. But why should folks who need more capability than those trucks offer to be left out of the fun?
Heavy duty truck buyers, after all, are just as likely to enjoy the great outdoors as folks buying Ford Performance-tuned toys and tidy little four-cylinder pickups. Once primarily the stripped-down work vehicles of contractors and ranchers, heavy-duty trucks have gained a massive following among the broader public in recent years, encouraging automakers to crank out new body styles, fancier trim levels and more consumer-friendly options to woo buyers into dropping big bucks on the big trucks. So far, Ram has largely dominated the off-road-focused heavy-duty market with its Power Wagon rigs. But now, Ford is tossing its ten-gallon hat into the ring with the new Tremor package for the 2020 Super Duty.
To help the giant truck conquer rocks, mud and dirt without sacrificing too much of the Super Duty’s hauling capability, the Tremor package brings with it progressive-rate springs, a retuned rear stabilizer bar designed to keep occupants’ noggins from bouncing around too much on the trails, and giant 1.7-inch piston twin-tube dampers made to soak up the impacts of rough terrain. A locking differential out back and a limited-slip diff up front help ration the power, while a quartet of 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires — the largest ever seen on a heavy-duty truck — wed the truck to the ground. All told, Super Duties with the Tremor package pack offer 10.8 inches of ground clearance, approach and departure angles of 31.65 and 24.51 degrees, and can plow through water a full yard deep.
The package brings electronic upgrades as well as mechanical ones. Trail Control (think off-road cruise control), for one, makes its Super Duty debut here. The Tremor trucks also pick up a rock-crawling drive mode to go along with ones for street driving, towing, slippery roads and deep sand and snow; this delivers a granny gear-like 53:1 crawl ratio in gas-powered trucks and a 44:1 crawl ratio in diesel-powered ones.
Speaking of engines: The Tremor package will be available on four-wheel-drive F-250 and F-350 Super Duty models with the 6.8-foot box packing either the 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 or the all-new 7.3-liter gasoline eight-cylinder that goes by the delightful codename of “Godzilla.” Ford hasn’t revealed the power outputs for either engine yet — those will be coming later this year — but given the constant one-upsmanship of the heavy-duty truck wars, it’s safe to assume the diesel will pack a torque figure close to (or north of) 1,000 pound-feet and the gas motor will deliver more horses than even the Raptor’s 450-hp twin-turbo mill.
No precise word yet as to when the Tremor package or the 2020 Super Duty will be in showrooms — Ford just says “later this year” — but you can bet we’ll be lining up to fire it down some trails as soon as it’s available.
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