The full-sized truck lineup is perhaps the most cutthroat game of leap frog we have ever seen. Sales numbers that are brought in by the F-150, Silverado/Sierra, and RAM are company alternating in magnitude and can’t dictate the careers (or lack thereof) of many, many top executives. With every subtle nuanced change in model lineup, the game begins again, and each truck gets bragging rights for something for a brief period of time until it gets bounced yet again.
Strangely enough though, despite the constant desire to see their chosen truck out-dual the competition, most of those customers (Ford estimates seventy percent), once they’ve celebrated their week of victory, then take their champion steed and almost instantly modify it. So great still isn’t good enough, and perhaps there’s something to be said for a personalized touch.
For 2020, Ford has done its homework (and also taken a page out of Chevy’s book) and recognized this trend of buying and instantly modding and, not surprisingly, tried to capitalize on it — enter: the Super Duty Tremor.
The SD Tremor is going to be an option package that essentially does all the things that Ford has found its customers attack right out of the gate to modify, but offers it up with a warranty instead of the usual warranty-voiding issues that plague new truck owners. Both functional and cosmetic, the Tremor package will be available on the XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trims in F-150, 250, and 350 levels.
So what’s included? A two-inch lift above the stock spec to start out, which also entails having to reconfigure some of the suspension geometry (an often overlooked aspect to some of those shade tree mechanics). Progressive rate springs keep the ride in check, while the rear stabilizer bar has been tweaked to allow for more flex. The net result is a much more aggressive stance, with little sacrifice to ultimate towing capacity.
Larger twin-tube shocks replete with higher fluid capacity have higher stress tolerance, but in truth, we aren’t sure why Ford didn’t go with traditional monotubes like most modders go with. Cost is most likely the culprit, but this seems to be a short sighted thought since this will probably be the one thing that gets switched out for serious off-roading.
Up front, the air dam has been reduced in length, which may not sound like much, but that reduction translates to a much improved ground clearance (10.8-inches) as well as an approach angle of 31.65 degrees and a departure angle of 24.51 degrees (both improved). There is also 33 inches of water fording depth, which makes the Tremor package the class leader in that category — at least this week. The quickest change is always wheels and tires, so Ford sculpted in room for larger 18-inch matte black wheels that are shod in massive 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, and truthfully, they look great.
The SD Tremor models get a trick rock-crawl mode added to the transmission functions, which allows the truck to modify its shift points and throttle modulation in anticipation of boulder-sized road blocks. There will be a Trail Control low-speeds cruise control that also makes a cameo appearance on the Raptor models as well. An electronic locking rear-diff as well as a limited-slip front diff aid all kinds of off-roading adventures by not only sending power to the wheel with traction, but simultaneously braking the wheel or wheels that are slipping in an effort to maintain as much traction as possible.
The only downside to the SD Tremor is that we don’t yet know what Ford is going to want to charge us for the package. But, what we do know is that when Ford took this and leapt over the Chevrolet Midnight Edition package (essentially the same package setup but with a Bowtie badge instead), Chevy was charging just over a grand. So if Ford wants to keep its newfound leader-of-the-pack role, the SD Tremor package will have to be in the same ballpark to remain competitive. And considering how much it costs to modify these trucks with aftermarket parts, the idea of better mods with a warranty from the factory is enough to help the SD Tremor not only leap frog over Chevy and RAM, but also every tuner shop out there — at least for this week.