Trucks & SUVs

Is the Ford F-150 Tremor More Than Just a Sub-Par Raptor?

It seems the automakers have finally gotten on board with the rest of the human race and admitted to themselves that desert running trucks are really cool. To that point, if the F-150 wasn’t popular enough already, Ford just expanded the Tremor outfit to include the 2021 F-150. Now, the Tremor package isn’t a Raptor, but, as they say down-home, “It’s a sorta’ one.” 

The F-150 joins the Ford Super Duty and the Ford Ranger in dressing like a desert racer. This choice comes as no surprise because the F-Series sells more units than any other truck and most other vehicles, period. Think of the Tremor like a more off-road capable F-150 FX4, but slightly less capable than the Raptor.

Ford wasn’t planning on making the F-150 Tremor 

According to MotorTrend, the design team at Ford wasn’t going to make an F-150 Tremor when designing the 2021 F-150. A couple of years ago, the team was having fun with the truck while in development and added little sportier cues like dual exhaust and a vented hood. 

After the team committed the ideas to clay, the top brass took notice and saw the shot for a sub-Raptor trim level for the Ford F-150. 

So, what exactly is the Tremor package?

All Tremor packages come with a trim specific skid plate to protect the front end from rocks and other off-road hazards, unique hoods and grills, and off-road running boards. Although the Tremor trucks look different, their beauty is more than skin-deep. 

2021 Ford F-150 Tremor
2021 Ford F-150 Tremor | Ford

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The F-150 Tremor is a beefy truck

The Ford F-150 Tremor only comes as a four-door SuperCrew model. It only comes with the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Seeing as how this is meant to be a purpose-built off-roader, the F-150 Tremor comes with 4×4 as standard. 

Ford upgraded the suspension and driveline components to make the Tremor more off-road ready. The Tremor has an extra 1.2 inches of ground clearance compared to the normal F-150s. The total ground clearance sits at 10.9 inches. 

When it comes to ripping through the desert in a Ford F-150, it’s suspension, suspension, suspension

2021 Ford F-150 Tremor
2021 Ford F-150 Tremor | Ford

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MotorTrend goes on to say that the 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor will sport trim-specific monotube shocks upfront and twin-tube shocks in the back. These rear shocks are dynamic enough to provide a sweeter ride at around-town speeds but stiffen up when it’s time to rip. Not only are the ride and stability better with these shocks, but the added height increases both approach and break-over angles on the nasty trails. 

How does the F-150 Tremor stack up against the Ford Raptor? 

As far as wheels and stance, and well, everything else, the Tremor is holding the Raptor’s water bottle when it’s on the field. The Raptor outpaces the Tremor in just about every way, but that’s the idea. The lesser Ford Raptor rolls on 18-inch wheels and 33-inch tires, while the Raptor is on 17-inch wheels and 35-inch tires. The Raptor also has more exaggerated fender flares and a wider stance to increase stability. Lastly, the Raptor sees the suspension upgrades of the Tremor and raises even more suspension travel. 

The Sub-Par Raptor is gaining steam

The Ford F-150 Tremor is debuting some new technology from Ford. The F-150 Tremor will have an optional off-road driving mode suite called the Ford Trail Toolbox. This toolbox will include enhanced Trail Control (which debuted on the Ford Ranger) and the all-new Trail One-Pedal Drive and Trail Turn Assist. 

Trail Turn Assist is a really cool new feature that applies brakes to the inside rear wheel in a low-speed corner to increase the truck’s ability to pivot on tight trails. MotorTrend notes that the Trail Control continues to work like off-road cruise control, keeping everything balanced and manageable. 

For the more new-school side of rock crawling, the F-150 Tremor will offer the Trail One-Pedal Drive. This feature is for anyone who didn’t grow up off-roading back in the manual transmission days. This driving mode applies the brakes slightly when the accelerator is released to keep the truck from rolling backward. 

The F-150 Tremor package is pretty rad

No, the Tremor can’t hang with the Raptor as far as stance, power, suspension, or nearly any other performance metric, but it does benefit from being young and getting all the new tech. The F-150 Tremor fills a great spot in the Ford truck lineup while just stretching past the gap it aims to fill.