Off-Roading

Tremor Off-Road Package makes 2020 Ford Super Duty immensely capable

The new Tremor Off-Road Package makes the Ford Super Duty an even more capable off-roader.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2020 Ford Super Duty is one heck of a capable truck and with the freshly announced Tremor Off-Road Package, the model gets even more off-road cred.

Aimed squarely at the Ram Power Wagon buyer, the Tremor Off-Road Package is available for XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum F-250 and F-350 Super Duty models that are powered by Ford's new 7.3-liter V8 or 6.7-liter PowerStroke diesel engine. It can be specified for 4x4 single-rear-wheel SuperCrew trucks with a 6.75-foot box. F-250 models also require the high-capacity trailer tow package.

The package equips the truck with 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, the largest diameter tires available a heavy-duty pickup. Those are housed on 18-inch matte-finished black wheels. The truck receives a 2-inch front-end lift and a shorter air dam. The result is 10.8 inches of ground clearance.

Ford claims that the truck has a best-in-class 33 inches of fording ability. It also has a 31.65-degree approach angle and 24.51-degree departure angle.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2020 Ford Super Duty with the Tremor Off-Road Package

Additional exterior equipment includes off-road tuning boards that can be tucked, extended-axle vent tubes, and the same skid plates that are on FX4 models.

Underneath are progressive-rate springs, with the rear stabilizer bar tuned for a lower spring rate. There are also 1.7-inch piston twin-tube dampers, a locking rear differential with electronic shift-on-the-fly engagement, and a Dana limited slip front differential.

Drivers of trucks equipped with the package can take advantage of selectable drive modes: normal for around-town use, tow/haul for optimized performance under load, eco for enhanced fuel economy, slippery for icy conditions, and deep snow/sand for low-traction conditions. Unique to Tremor models is a new rock-crawl mode, which is optimized to operate in 4x4 low and is enabled by the standard TorqShift 10-speed automatic transmission. Tremor trucks equipped with the 7.3-liter gas engine have a 53:1 crawl ratio and those with the diesel have a 44:1 crawl ratio.

For the first time ever, Super Duty gets Trail Control, which is like cruise control for off-road driving.

The Tremor Off-Road Package on the 2020 Ford Super Duty when it arrives on dealer lots later this year.

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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