Behind the Wheel

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor Review: A beautiful, big, and beefy brute

The 2020 Ford F-250 Tremor is a beast on and off the streets.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

America is a big place. We have big mountains and big monuments and big highways and even bigger open spaces. There's Yosemite, Big Sky, the Grand Canyon and the Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor.

The Tremor package is a new standard for the Ford Super Duty with a $3,975 price tag that adds on with 35-inch off-road tires (the largest fitted to a heavy-duty pickup), skid plates, black aluminum wheels, new suspension hardware and nearly two-inches of lift. There's also a limited slip front differential and a locking diff out back, with a feature called Trail Control that lets you set a low-speed cruise control so all you have to do is steer.

It takes a big, incredibly capable truck and makes it even more incredibly capable. It's Ford's competitor to the GMC Sierra HD AT4 and the Ram Power Wagon, and yes, of course, I tested it extensively by driving it around on the roads and parking lots of Southern California.

The truck is designed to be more off-road capable than a traditional Super Duty truck.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Yes, it's an off-road beast and it would be equally at home in a rocky desert or a logging trail as it is in the urban jungle, but plenty of Tremor buyers will never go off road with it — but they will enjoy the visual upgrades and will be able to tell their friends about its off-road chops, too.

See, the Super Duty Tremor looks awesome. Those huge chunky tires on the matte black wheels are fantastic. The front grille? That's black too, along with a lot of the trim and the fender extensions and the fixed side-step. It's a murdered out machine.

My test unit also included the $2,045 "Godzilla" 7.3-liter V8 engine, making 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. A $10,000 upfit 6.7-liter turbodiesel is available too, which makes a mind-boggling 1,050 pound-feet of torque, which may be necessary if you need to relocate a small town. As is, it can tow well into the tens of thousands of pounds depending on whether you use a conventional hitch or the gooseneck, or several tons worth of payload.

The Super Duty retains its towing ability with the package.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Its do-it-all attitude makes it very competitive within the newly created "heavy duty off-road pickup truck" segment.

I can hear you asking already about fuel economy. What fuel economy? This thing is so big they don't even require fuel economy ratings on it. And on a $73,465 truck, do you really care? No, you do not. It does hold 34 gallons of fuel, however, which means your fill-ups will be under $100 as long as gas stays below $3 per gallon.

What else? It's incredibly difficult to park unless you have a wide open parking lot, though the surround cameras really help. It's the usual Ford Super Duty setup inside, though it doesn't have the latest and greatest infotainment system that the new F-150 has - that will come in a future update. But, it does have a quad-barrel convertible cupholder that turns a storage bin in the center console into an extra two cupholders if you're picking up coffee for the whole worksite.

Visibility is tremendous except for directly in front of the massive front grille, which is large enough to hide a smallish adult so be sure you know what's around because this thing feels a bit like a locomotive when setting off. The ten-speed transmission is invisible, and there's always prodigious power no matter what you're doing when you stab the throttle (at least when you aren't towing).

202 The Ford pickup enjoys increased ground clearance.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

202

The truck isn't exactly stable on the highway, however. The huge tires and sprongy (yes, I made that word up) suspension means it does tend to drift a bit in your lane. That's all well and good, until your lanes narrow because you're in a construction zone and then you realize — at 75 mph — just how large this truck is. That said, people do get out of the way when they see you coming.

That's the point, right? You buy this truck because either you need to traverse a log-strewn Forest Service road or because you work-hard-play-harder in the mud, or because you want people to look at your truck and think either of those things might be true. Regardless, the Super Duty Tremor gets the job done.

In fact, it gets the job done so well that Ford is bringing the Tremor package to both the smaller trucks in the lineup, the F-150 and the Ranger. Those won't have quite the gravitas of the big boy Super Duty, but expect them to perform well just the same.

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Ford just announced specs for the new hardcore off-roader.

Ford

After years of speculation over the Bronco's return, Ford finally pushed the revived SUV to market last year. The rumor mill immediately kicked back into action with speculation of a higher-powered Raptor version of the Bronco to match Ford's F-150 Raptor here in the U.S. We've seen teases and a short film on the SUV, but today, The Blue Oval announced specs for what will surely be a highly desirable new vehicle in 2022 and beyond.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor The Bronco Raptor gets upgraded cooling and engine tuning to handle high-temperature operation.Ford

The Bronco Raptor gets an exclusive twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 400 horsepower, which is a big improvement over the standard SUV's V6 that makes an already healthy 330 horsepower. Four-wheel drive and a ten-speed automatic gearbox are standard. Ford says the Raptor also comes with a new towing mode that allows a max tow rating of 4,500 pounds - a 1,000-pound improvement over the base Bronco. Trail Control, trail Turn Assist, and Trail One-Pedal driving are also present here.

The Raptor gets seven of the standard Bronco's G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) driving modes, including a new Baja Mode that works with the engine's turbo system to reduce lag and improve performance during high-speed runs in desert temperatures. An active exhaust allows four selectable sound modes, including normal, sport, quiet, and Baja, and the Raptor's intercooler helps keep operating temperatures at reasonable levels when running in hot weather.

Using the Bronco's modular design, Ford gave the Raptor unique front and rear quarter panels, fender flares, and door appliqués. The new body components add 9.8 inches to the Raptor's width, and removable running boards help improve rock crawling abilities. Model-exclusive amber LED running lights accent the Raptor's front end, and Raptor logos set the hardcore model apart from its "lesser" counterpart.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Amber LEDs and special badging designate the much-upgraded Raptor model.Ford

Inside, the Bronco Raptor gets a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with configurable view for vehicle performance and other information. Black marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized flooring are standard. Orange accents on the dash vents, door netting, and steering wheel help break up the all-black interior, and Ford offers a synthetic suede upholstery upgrade for buyers wanting a little more comfort with their capable off-roader. A 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and 360-degree camera system are also standard.

Bronco Raptor hopefuls can start placing orders in March, but be aware that there will be a wait involved for everyone. Ford says that the majority of 2022 Bronco Raptors will go to existing reservation holders based on their reservation timestamp. It's worth noting that many 2021 Bronco buyers are still waiting for the SUVs, which are being converted into 2022 orders, so the wait time for the Raptor could be severe for anyone without a standing reservation.

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Off-road performance truck

Shelby American announces new Ford F-150 Raptor

Shelby just announced the new truck, which has a starting price of more than $124,000.

Shelby American

The third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor is a true off-road menace, with a strong turbocharged V6, beefy tires and shocks, and a luxury-level interior. Most people would consider the truck overkill for all but the hardest-core off-road enthusiasts, but the wizards at Shelby American have other ideas. As it has done with Ford vehicles for years, Shelby gave the new Raptor a performance makeover, and the finished product is quite impressive.

Shelby F-150 Raptor There's no mistaking a Shelby-tuned Raptor. Shelby American

The F-150 Raptor is already a capable beast, but Shelby turns things up a few notches. Performance upgrades include a performance intake and high-flow filter, an aluminum intercooler, a tune that pushes power to more than 525 ponies and 610 pound-feet of torque, a Shelby exhaust, and a BDS lift kit. The Shelby Raptor rides on 18-inch wheels with 37-inch BFG KM3 Mud Terrain tires.

If you’re thinking Shelby slaps a few go-fast parts on the Raptor and calls it good, think again. The truck’s interior features embroidered custom leather upholstery and exclusive floor mats. A unique serial number plate is mounted in the dash. Shelby also fits billet racing pedals, carbon fiber accents, and deep tinted windows.

Outside, the Raptor gest several touches to let everyone know it’s not a standard Ford. A special Shelby hood with intake and extraction vents is standard, along with power side steps with rock sliders. A bevy of Shelby logos and badging grace the truck’s body, and both bumpers have been replaced with steel units to accommodate light bars and additional tow points.

Shelby F-150 Raptor Shelby fits performance parts and gives the truck a tune.Shelby American

If you’re hoping to be one of the insane few to own a Shelby Raptor, get your wallet ready. The truck’s base price starts at $124,820, which includes the MSRP of the truck itself. That said, it’s unclear how extreme demand and supply chain issues will impact Shelby’s ability to get new trucks to modify.

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