Why The Ford Super Duty Tremor Isn’t Called A ‘Raptor’

We Spoke With Ford’s Product People Earlier This Week To Answer A Puzzling Question

For those following along, a rumor floated around the internet up until this week that the Ford F-150 Raptor was destined to get a 7.3L V8 engine that people expected to deliver more power and a better soundtrack than the truck’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6. Turns out what was actually happening was that Ford was working on a more off-road oriented variant of the Super Duty. This week, the 2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor was revealed to the world, with more ride height and improved off-road capabilities than the standard Super Duty, while offering both that “Godzilla” 7.3L gasoline V8, and the mighty 6.7L Power Stroke V8 diesel engine, as well.

In terms of content, we expect the 2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor to compete in the same space as the 2020 GMC Sierra HD AT4. The goliath 2020 Ram HD Power Wagon still has some off-road kit that the new Ford does not, such as electrically disconnecting anti-roll bar, and a 12,000-pound Warn winch, but at the same time does not offer a Cummins diesel engine as an option. All in all, Ford, GM and Ram have seen customers take to the aftermarket to upfit their trucks with lift kits and off-road accessories – which ultimately meant that the automakers were leaving money on the table. This new wave of large “Bro-Dozer” off-road trucks are completely customer driven, and highly profitable.

But the question remains: why not call this new off-road truck – the Tremor – a Ford Super Duty Raptor? The name recognition is there, after all. As is the reputation of being one of the most capable off-road trucks on the planet.

During the reveal event on Tuesday, June 25, several ranking members from Ford’s product development explained to MC&T that the team chose the “Tremor” name for this Super Duty variant because the Raptor represents something different: high-speed Baja dune running. In short, Raptors jump. And the 2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor was built to navigate more low-speed events like rock crawling, river fording, and wheel articulation – the opposite of jumping. The F-150 Raptor can do all of those things, too, however, but its speciality is found out in the dunes. Ford’s people mentioned similar nature with the Ranger Raptor, as well. Too bad they don’t sell it in North America (yet).

The 2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor comes with unique 1.7-inch piston twin-tube dampers work to control body motion. At very low speeds (like rock crawling), they are tuned for soft damping, which is dialed up for control over more severe impacts. Internal hydraulic rebound helps soften the blow of the hardest hits.

Other hardware features on the Ford Super Duty Tremor is an electronic rear locking differential, and Dana limited-slip front differential. Additional hardware includes metal off-road running boards that are low profile to minimize possible damage from off-road events, as well as extended-axle vent tubes and the same underbody skid plates as fitted to Super Duty FX4 models.

Providing grip are 35-inch-diameter Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires – the largest in its class. The 2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor also features a 2-inch front-end lift and shortened air dam. In total, the Super Duty Tremor features 10.8 inches of ground clearance, a best-in-class water fording rating of 33 inches, and the best approach and departure angles of any Super Duty ever – 31.65 degrees and 24.51 degrees, respectively. And while payload and towing estimates are expected to be lower, Ford has so far claimed that both ratings will be beyond that of the Ram Power Wagon.

The 2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor launches later this year.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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