Ford’s current lineup of off-road vehicles is stacked. Besides the radical, revived Bronco and new Bronco Sport, the iconic F-150 Raptor has been redesigned, and a new Tremor package available on every Ford truck increases all-around capability. Both the Tremor and Raptor are designed with off-road use in mind, but for different performances and different preferences. Why would you pick one over the other? Read on to understand your choices between the Raptor and the Tremor package.
What Is the Ford Tremor Package?
Forget the F-150 Tremor FX2 and FX4 street trucks. Today’s Tremor package adds capability to with equipment that improves off-road prowess while enabling strong towing and hauling. Available on the midsize Ranger, full-size F-150, and Super Duty trucks, it’s targeted at drivers who seek to venture off the beaten path with gear loaded up in the bed or on a trailer.
The Tremor package can be chosen on several grades of each of Ford’s trucks, and, in the case of the Super Duty, with a gas or diesel V-8 engines. Regardless of powertrain, the suspension is reworked for better ground clearance, wheel travel, and body control in off-road driving. Trim-specific wheels shod in large-diameter all-terrain tires aid unpaved excursions. Locking differentials and underbody skid plates help keep things moving forward. Ford trucks with the Tremor package look the part, gaining specific styling cues as well as bumpers that enhance approach and departure angles. All of this is done with as little compromise to towing and hauling capacity as possible.
Ford F-150 Raptor Off-Road Equipment
The F-150 Raptor is Ford’s now-legendary off-road performance pickup, inspired by trophy trucks and desert racers to go fast over all manner of terrain—or even leave the ground. Although it’s capable of rock crawling, the Raptor is tuned more for handling and speed. It rides on a bespoke frame, specific to the standard 35-inch or optional 37-inch all-terrain tires. Those are linked to purpose-built suspension systems, which provide well over a foot of travel thanks in part to their Fox adaptive shock absorbers. Locking or limited-slip differentials and drive modes programmed for different types of terrain let the Raptor take on everything from sand dunes to mud pits to rocky trails.
Let’s not pretend that aesthetics aren’t part of the Raptor’s appeal. Flared-out bodywork and massive stature give the truck an imposing presence. Model-specific running lights and grille treatment make the Raptor an unmistakable truck. It’s available only in four-door SuperCrew configuration. Maximum payload of 1,400 pounds and 8,200 pounds of towing capacity make the Raptor capable, but not as capable as other models in the F-150 range.
What Engine Is in the Ford F-150 Raptor R?
With its twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6, the standard Ford F-150 Raptor should be a quick pickup. But now that the 702-hp Ram 1500 TRX is on the scene, Ford won’t let that supercharged V-8-packing, Truck of the Year-winning monster steal the spotlight. Get ready for the F-150 Raptor R, scheduled to debut for 2022. It will receive a powerful V-8 engine; our guess is a modified version of the supercharged unit found in the Mustang Shelby GT500. Outright power may fall short of the TRX, but the F-150 Raptor R could close the gap with lighter weight, more transmission choices, and extensive chassis tuning. However it takes shape, expect the 2022 Raptor R to keep a focus for high-speed running over towing and hauling.
Ranger Raptor or Ranger Tremor?
Is there a Ford Ranger Raptor? Yes—sort of. This midsize off-road pickup truck follows a similar formula to its F-150 Raptor stablemate, wearing aggressive bodywork and riding on performance-tuned suspension that brings ground clearance to about 11 inches. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter twin-turbo I-4. If that engine sounds unfamiliar, you’re right—the Ranger Raptor isn’t sold in the U.S. To the chagrin of off-road pickup fans, it’s only offered in markets abroad.
Instead, customers in Ford’s home market get the Ranger Tremor. That model lacks the Raptor’s flared-out fenders but still looks tough. With 17-inch wheels paired to 32-inch all-terrain tires, ride height for the Ranger Tremor measures 9.7 inches. Thanks to external reservoir Fox monotube shock absorbers plus upgraded front suspension coils and rear leaf springs, wheel travel is much greater than the standard Ranger. Although we’re irked that we can’t buy a Ranger Raptor, we’re impressed by the Ranger Tremor’s performance—its off-road capability and improved ride quality make it the best Ranger on sale in North America.
What’s the Best Off-Road Ford Pickup?
Context is important for determining whether a F-150 Raptor or Ford Tremor pickup is better for you. If you need a full-size truck, the Raptor seems to offer a lot: awesome looks, on-road performance, and fast dirty fun. The F-150 Tremor could be a better all-arounder, but the Raptor’s hardware should help it keep up.
Tremor is the way to go if you’re after a midsize or heavy-duty truck, simply because there’s no Raptor equivalent in those categories (unless you live in a country where the Ranger Raptor is sold). Although the Super Duty Tremor feels too large for true off-road exploration, it’s still a mightily capable machine. In our experience the Tremor package turns the Ranger from a letdown into something great. The point is that whatever size or performance level you’re after in a Ford pickup truck, you have options between the Raptor and Tremor models.
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Pros Over F-150 Tremor
- High-speed performance on- and off-road
- Aggressive supertruck styling
- TRX-fighting Raptor R model on the way
2021 F-150 Tremor Pros Over F-150 Raptor
- Higher towing and payload capacities
- Available on several trim levels
- Likely less expensive; more efficient
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