Will Tremor shake up Ford v. Jeep off-road rivalry?

Ford says Ranger will get factory-installed off-pavement package for 2021

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Ranger Tremor
For 2021, Ford will offer a Tremor package for its Ranger mid-size pickup truck to enhance off-road capabilities | Ford photos

The new Bronco won’t be in dealer showrooms for a few months but Ford already has fired another salvo across Jeeps’ bow in their battle for off-pavement supremacy among American automakers. This latest shot comes in the form of the 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor, which Ford proclaims as the “most off-road-capable factory-built Ranger ever for U.S. customers.”

OK, perhaps that’s not saying all that much considering the capabilities of previous generations of Rangers.  But consider as the Tremor rolls onto dealer showrooms with lifted suspension featuring Fox 2.0 monotube shocks, front coil-over and rear leaf springs designed for increased wheel travel, revised anti-roll bar for more comfortable off-road travel, redesigned front knuckles, 32-inch Continental General Grabber all-terrain tires, and a 6-switch auxiliary power pack to deal with such accessories as winches, light bars and air compressors.

This Lariat has been equipped with the new Tremor package

“Compared to base Ranger, front suspension travel increases to 6.5 inches. Rear suspension travel increases to 8.1 inches,” Ford said in its announcement. “Together, these improvements mean customers can confidently tackle more challenging terrain on their way to their next epic destination.”

Approach, departure and breakover angles are all increased, and by as much as 2.7 degrees, Ford said. 

“Ranger Tremor includes a frame-mounted steel front bash plate and underbody skid plates, rear locking differential, Terrain Management System with four distinct drive modes and Trail Control. 

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“Tremor’s traction control system is recalibrated for improved acceleration and traction in gravel, so customers can punch it in a washout with gusto.”

The truck also has a wider stance than other Rangers, hoop-style steps, front and rear “recovery” hooks, and seats with Miko suede inserts.

Ranger XLT with Tremor equipment and graphics

“Ranger Tremor can be your daily driver during the week then transform into your off-road adventure vehicle come Saturday morning,” Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager, was quoted in the announcement. 

“With its added off-road capability combined with the six-switch auxiliary bank and more than 200 Ranger-specific dealer-installed available accessories, Ranger Tremor is a very capable overlanding rig.”

Ranger Tremor is powered by a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine with 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque fed through a 10-speed automatic transmission and standard 4×4 drivetrain with locking rear differential.

The Tremor package will be available on XLT and Lariat SuperCrew Ranger trucks for $4,290, starting early in calendar year 2021, Ford said.

Badge and hoop-style steps
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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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