As if the Ford lineup of F-150 models isn’t popular enough, Ford decided it would be a good idea to add the Tremor to its arsenal. While many 2021 Ford F-150 enthusiasts are excited and happy for the Tremor option, a few question this move as they feel the Tremor is basically just a toned-down version of the mighty Raptor. It’s a harsh assessment, to be sure, but there might be a good case for the argument that the Tremor is just the Raptor’s little brother. If you have done any research on the Tremor, you will have noticed several media outlets referring to it as baby Raptor, Raptor lite, sub-par Raptor, and the lesser Raptor. Ouch.
As fate would have it, the Tremor wasn’t even a planned Ford model; it just sort of happened by accident. According to Motortrend, a few years back, Ford’s design team was just having some fun by adding a vented hood and dual exhaust to the F-150, upper management caught wind of what was going on and liked the idea, and the rest is history. So the big question is if the Ford F-150 Tremor is just a knock-off of the Raptor, or can it stand on its own merits?
What Is the Tremor Package?
The Ford Tremor offers much of the Raptor’s off-road chops, but it can’t fly across a sandy desert like the Raptor. But unless you plan on entering the Baja 1000, this isn’t going to make much difference as the Tremor still has plenty of off-road cred and even a little character. While the Tremor doesn’t offer as much off-road savvy as the iconic Raptor, it still boasts upgraded driveline hardware and suspension as well as increased suspension travel, which is critical in off-road conditions. The Tremor also offers more ground clearance than the standard F-150 and a front limited-slip differential to accompany the locking rear differential. Off-road running boards and skid plates give the Tremor undercarriage protection and ground clearance.
An off-road truck needs to be fitted with proper rubber, and the Tremor answers with 33-inch General Grabber all-terrain tires wrapped over 18-inch matte-finish wheels. The Tremor will also share many of the same suspension and other off-road upgrades as the Raptor, including the torque-on-demand transfer case, which merges all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive capabilities for the best possible performance in all conditions and on all surfaces.
The 2021 Tremor package is only available in the four-door SuperCrew model with the 5.5-foot box and is fitted with the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with 400 horsepower accompanied by a 10-speed automatic transmission and comes with 4×4 as standard. Upon seeing the Tremor, you will notice it enjoys a unique grill and aggressive profile; the grille sports a blacked-out Ford oval logo and an orange bar that horizontally crosses through the middle. Ford calls this Active Orange, and the highlights can also be found on the recovery hooks in the front.
As with the Raptor, the Tremor comes packed with all of the modern tech features you desire. Many of the tech features are focused on off-road performance. For example, the selectable drive modes include a special rock crawl mode in addition to the other modes available in a regular F-150. The Tremor even offers a Trail Turn Assist option that will allow for tighter turns at low speeds. Should you choose a range-topping Tremor, you will enjoy a 360-degree camera, Trail One-Pedal Drive, and other advanced features.
What the Raptor Brings to the Table
At first glance, the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor doesn’t look dramatically different from its 2020 model year, which is somewhat of a surprise as this represents a new generation Raptor. Taking a closer look, you will notice a few new design features, including a heat extractor on the hood and functioning side vents at the top of the fender. Overall, the Raptor retains its aggressive look. On the inside, the Raptor has gone through a few notable changes for the 2020 model year. Sitting in the driver’s seat, you will notice a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system as well as a fully digital gauge cluster. To your right, the shifter on the center console folds flat to allow a working space.
Under the hood, the Raptor also features a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. However, it is a high output version with well over 400 horsepower, making the 2021 Raptor is as capable as ever when it comes to off-road performance. Engine and transmission aside, the Raptor boasts several features that propel it to the top of the wanted list for off-road enthusiasts. The old leaf spring suspension has been replaced by a new five-link coil-spring setup. The class-leading 24-inch coils were implemented for greater suspension travel and control, which is critical in high-speed desert running. The 17-inch wheels are wrapped in 37-inch tires, which represents the largest tires ever to be fitted on a factory light-duty truck. Another impressive feature of the Raptor is ground clearance, which nets just over 13 inches, making it best-in-class.
How Does the Tremor Stack Up?
In about every way, the Raptor is the better vehicle, but that is how Ford wants it. While there are several features that stack up very well with the competition, the Tremor just can’t compete with the Raptor. That is not to say you should skip the Tremor in favor of the Raptor, not at all. In fact, there are very few drivers out there who would ever fully utilize the Tremor’s off-road capabilities, much less the Raptor’s off-road capabilities. Unless you are planning on doing some desert racing, you should probably at least look into the Tremor.
The Tremor might not have the same off-road savvy as the Raptor, but it is still a nice ride. In addition to excellent performance, the truck looks pretty sweet, is stocked with the latest and greatest tech features, and will get you to many places that other four-wheel drives would struggle to reach. As a matter of fact, the Tremor is a very practical truck; it remains a seriously good off-road vehicle and still delivers excellent towing and payload capacities – in fact, the missing ultra-high-performance equipment means that the Tremor actually has better towing and payload than the Raptor.
More Off-Road Options Than Ever
Now, there is a move Ford could make next year that would thrust the Raptor to all-new heights, and that would be the addition of a V8. There are some people who are willing to bet big money that Ford will add a supercharged 5.2-liter V8, the very same engine utilized in the Mustang. If this comes to fruition, you can expect the Raptor to blow away the competition with a blistering 750 horsepower. If this dream becomes a reality, it will further push a wedge between the Raptor and Tremor.
As things currently stand, the Tremor cannot compete with the Raptor, but it is still in the same ballpark, so to speak. The addition of the V8 in the Raptor will put it in a category all on its own and leave the Tremor in the dust. However, this could also open up more space for the Tremor to grow even more capable in the future. The Raptor is now competing directly with the Ram 1500 TRX, and the addition of the Tremor to the lineup is to give consumers more choices. And as such, the Tremor is a fine choice in its own right.