An Aftershock, or an After Thought?
The up and coming Bronco seems to be the focus of the hype at FoMoCo lately with the "Build & Price" (supposedly) coming to Ford's website for the above mentioned. However, the Bronco is not the only thing Ford is focused on while we wait.
Just over a year ago Ford released the Tremor package for the already class leading capable F-250 Super Duty in conjunction with their new 445 cu/in big block, push-rod, 475lb-ft of torque at 4,000rpms monster of a V8 for the medium duty division of Ford. The Tremor package added skid plates and lockers, cool graphics and blacked out grilles, and 33" off road tires to the best selling truck in the nation for the person who wants to drag their 18,700lb fifth wheel camper to Moab then take it wheelin'.
The Tremor package finds its way in between the top-of-the-line, desert-running Raptor and the FX4 package so it makes sense that Ford would apply this badge elsewhere in their lineup. Choosing the Ranger to apply it to, though, means an ever growing itch for a Ranger Raptor might get a little scratch while the US waits for the F-150 Raptor's little brother. There's another reason, though, that Ford may be running this bit of kit on the Ranger sooner, rather than later.
If you've been paying attention there have been a plethora of spy shots of the rumored Bronco "Warthog" that have surfaced this week. The Warthog is supposed to be the "Raptor" Bronco with bigger tires, longer suspension travel, and possibly a V8, although Ford continues to argue there's no room for it under that big square hood. Some of the pictures have even exposed hand written "notes" on the fender liner that say Warthog. Suffice to say it's coming, we just don't know when.
So what do spy shots of a rumored Wrangler-killer, a 3/4 ton pickup with a big block, and a not-so mid-sized Ranger have to do with each other? Tremor! The Bronco is based on the already popular Ranger platform and with the stakes already growing between the Bronco and Wrangler, Ford decides to throw some parts at the Ranger to see how it performs. This gives them a chance to see how the market reacts, what the consumer likes/dislikes about some of the upgrades, and gather valuable information on the performance of these parts way before they commit to the desert-running, rock-crawling powerhouse that is expected to be the Warthog.
By no means is this meant to belittle the Ranger Tremor. If anything it gives credence to it as an off road capable mid-size pickup, the likes of which are necessary to stay competitive in the already flooded mid-size truck market. Yes, it still only comes with the 270hp/310lb-ft turbo 4 cyl backed with the ten speed auto.You still can't get a single cab (apparently that's against the rules) or the full four doors with a six and a half foot bed, like the Tacoma and Colorado/Canyon. What you do get for your money, though, makes those things sting a little less.
The Ranger Tremor includes upgraded bash plates, stronger steering knuckles, Fox shocks on all four corners as well as additional reworked suspension components which increase the travel to 6.5" up front and 8.1" out back. This makes room for 32" off road tires covered by extended fender flares. This is on top of the already astounding 7500lb tow rating and over 200 Ranger specific accessories from Ford. And probably the best part of the whole deal is the price. A measly $4290 takes your already capable Ranger and makes it a leader in the off road, midsize truck segment.
Probably the only complaint about the Ranger Tremor is we have to wait. It's not entering production until early next year and may be a whole year before we really start seeing them on the road. Sure, we can look at the stats, compare departure angles and horse power ratings, but until we see this truck pitted against the TRD Pro and ZR2 all we have are numbers. And with all the hype around the Build & Price for the Bronco it's hard not to mosey over to the Ranger's page in hopes of seeing a check box by the Tremor package line item.