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2021 Ford F-150 Tremor: Off-Road Capabilities and Where It Outshines Ram's TRX

As we dream about the upcoming F-150 Raptor, Ford has just reintroduced the Tremor model, a performance version of America's best-selling truck that promises to be the perfect partner for off-road enthusiasts. Can it challenge the high-flying Ram 1500 TRX, though?
2021 Ford F-150 Tremor 8 photos
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The first F-150 Tremor made its debut for the 2014 model year. It was a special edition that brought visual and performance enhancements, among which there were exclusive bucket seats, custom suspension, and an electronic locking rear differential.

Its 2021 successor builds on the excellent towing and payload capability of the standard F-150, bringing a multitude of all-terrain upgrades that should help it tackle the toughest trails with ease.

The new model is built on the same high-strength steel frame and military-grade aluminum-alloy body as every other F-150 and comes in SuperCrew configuration with an exclusive 5.5-foot box.

In terms of power, the F-150 Tremor does not even come close to the TRX’s 702 hp (524 kW; 721 PS). It uses the 450 hp (336 kW; 456 PS) 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 that was also used on the second-generation F-150 Raptor. Basically, it is a detuned version of the same engine used by the Ford GT while the 10-speed 10R80 automatic transmission is shared with models such as the Mustang, Ranger, Bronco, or the Lincoln Navigator.

The truck comes with four-wheel drive as standard and receives an upgraded suspension system. The latter features revised front hub knuckles and upper control arms, retuned springs for increased ground clearance and grip, and Tremor-specific monotube shocks at the front and twin-tube shocks at the rear. These are tuned to offer softer damping in severe off-road conditions.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor comes equipped with 33-inch General Grabber all-terrain tires fitted on custom 18-inch wheels that increase the truck's ground clearance and stance.

All these modifications result in an approach angle of 27.6 degrees, a break-over angle of 21.2 degrees, and a departure angle of 24.3 degrees. These are inferior numbers compared to the TRX, which has a 30.2 approach angle, a 21.9 break-over angle, and a 23.5 departure angle.

To navigate through the toughest off-road paths, the Tremor’s standard running gear includes a locking rear differential that can be upgraded on all equipment levels to an optional Torsen limited-slip version.

There is also a torque-on-demand transfer case available. It is similar to the high-performance unit in F-150 Raptor, combining all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive capabilities to cope with any off-road environment.

Additionally, the new Tremor has a maximum conventional towing rating of 10,900 pounds (4,945 kg), which enables customers to haul their boat, family camper, or UTVs on their next adventure.

Dirt bikes, quads, or an overland setup can also be easily transported thanks to the generous maximum payload rating of 1,885 pounds (855 kg).

This is where the Tremor surprisingly outperforms the TRX, which has a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds (3,675 kg) and is able to carry up to 1,310 pounds (595 kg) of payload.

The Tremor also features purpose-built off-road technology like the available 360-degree camera package, which helps drivers navigate around obstacles, or the Pro Power Onboard generator that provides 2.0 kilowatts of exportable power.

A set of off-road assist features called Ford Trail Toolbox is also available, offering trail one-pedal drive, a feature that Ford implemented to make rock crawling easier. The driver needs only to operate the throttle, while braking is automatically applied when the pedal is released.

Added to the truck’s selectable driver modes is the new Rock Crawl mode, which automatically engages the rear locking differential, turns off traction and stability control, decreases throttle response, and displays the available 360-degree camera view on the main infotainment display.

Another very useful feature for off-road driving is Trail Control function which works like a conventional Cruise Control, but is optimized for off-road use. It enables drivers to set the desired speed and focus on the steering while the truck automatically manages throttle and braking.

To limit damage from rough terrain, the Raptor-inspired off-road fixed running boards are installed close to the body. In the rear, the cutout bumper features two rear recovery hooks and houses a high-flow dual exhaust system.

Although we are still hoping to get a new Raptor version, the F-150 Tremor is an excellent alternative that should perform well in off-road environments. It might not be as powerful or flashy as the Ram 1500 TRX, but it has superior towing and payload capabilities. After all, those are more useful in the real world than the ability to fly over dunes.

 
 
 
 
 

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