It's all about finding that sweet spot.
Not everyone wants or needs a new Ford F-150 Raptor. It's expensive and its off-roading capabilities are sometimes above and beyond what some customers want. In short, it's too hardcore. And yet the even more extreme and pricey F-150 Raptor R is just around the corner. Fortunately, Ford is fully aware of this, hence the also excellent F-150 Tremor.
Located in the space between the F-150 FX4 package and Raptor, the Tremor hits the sweet spot for many with its powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, retuned springs, revised front hub knuckles and upper control arms, and model-specific monotube shocks up front and twin-tube shocks in the rear. A set of 33-inch General Grabber all-terrain tires wrapped in 18-inch wheels, widened body compared to the standard F-150, and a locking front and rear differential further round out the package.
But why the V6 EcoBoost engine and not, say, the PowerBoost hybrid setup? After all, the PowerBoost also uses this same engine though it's combined with batteries and electric motor.
Muscle Cars and Trucks asked F-150 product marketing manager Joe McCarty this very question and his response makes complete sense. "Right now it's just the 3.5L because it has the right balance between towing capability, horsepower and torque," he said. "The (PowerBoost) hybrid is our horsepower and torque leader, but the 3.5L is our towing leader. For this customer we wanted to achieve a strong towing performance… the 3.5L (EcoBoost) is the sweet spot for that."
The Tremor's towing is rated up to 10,900 pounds while the F-150 PowerBoost can handle up to 12,400 pounds. However, it lacks an off-road suspension system, a feature that usually reduces tow and payload figures. The latest Raptor, to further compare, has a maximum tow rating of 8,200 pounds. The Tremor clearly beats the Raptor in this regard but falls behind the hybrid. McCarty did not appear to completely rule out a Tremor hybrid or other possible engines in the future.
What's for certain, however, is that the Power Stroke V6 diesel option will never happen because it's being discontinued in the near future.