Ford ups Super Duty’s off-road chops with Tremor package

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is looking to cash in on the continued popularity of pricey pickups and stave off the competition with the Super Duty Tremor, an answer to Ram’s off-road Power Wagon.

The off-road package, unveiled Thursday, will reach dealerships in the fourth quarter along with other versions of the freshened 2020 Super Duty.

It’s available on XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trims of the F-250 and F-350 with either the truck’s new 7.3-litre V-8 gas or 6.7-litre diesel engine.

The addition to Ford’s formidable Super Duty lineup is meant to capture cash that customers would otherwise spend on aftermarket add-ons. Ford says some 70 per cent of Super Duty customers accessorize their vehicles, sometimes spending tens of thousands on upgrades, and that roughly 15 per cent of buyers upgrade the stock wheels and tires within six months of purchase.

The Tremor package also helps shore up Super Duty’s dominant market position, directly confronting a popular niche filled by Ram.

“Tremor balances what customers demand in terms of work with what they need in the great outdoors,” Todd Eckert, Ford’s truck group marketing manager, said in a statement.

The trucks sit five centimetres (two inches) higher in the front with a total of 27.4 cm (10.8 inches) of ground clearance to help slog through mud, water and uneven terrain. Ford says the pickups can navigate up to 83.8 cm (33 inches) of water, a best-in-class mark.

The package comes with unique tires, wheels, suspension, shocks and dampers. It features trail control, also available on the F-150 Raptor and Ranger, and a unique rock crawl mode.

Officials did not discuss pricing or power figures but said the Super Duty Tremor will have greater towing and payload than the Ram Power Wagon, although the figures will be slightly lower than for the standard Super Duty.

The Tremor name will adorn the shocks and appear on the rear side of the pickup box.

Brian Rathsburg, Ford’s Super Duty marketing manager, said the package targets a different buyer than the F-150’s Raptor performance variant. He said it represents “an enhanced version” of the company’s FX4 off-road package that’s available on the Ranger, F-150 and Super Duty.

The FX4 and Tremor packages cannot be combined, and Rathsburg said Ford expects half of Super Duty customers to pick one or the other.

“There’s a recreation element to this,” Rathsburg said. “We see it more of an evolution of the Super Duty customer as their lifestyle changes.”

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