2014 Ford F-150 Tremor: Our Time With Brad Keselowski

4 Tremor Action II

Photography by Evan Sears

To celebrate its return to the half-ton sport-truck arena, Ford put together a fun afternoon for us to get some time in the passenger seat of the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor — its first regular-cab short-bed configuration with the 365-horsepower, twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6. And not to let a good opportunity go to waste — after all NASCAR is at the Michigan International Speedway this weekend — Ford brought one of NASCAR's hottest and most successful drivers, Brad Keselowski, last year's Sprint Cup champion. Keselowksi served as our pilot during hot laps around the MIS, where the Tremor just served as a pace vehicle during the weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The truck is a wonderful collection of parts-bin performance pieces that all work together as if they were all planned from the beginning back in 2009. But that isn't true. When those models came out early in 2008, the economy was in full free fall and no manufacturers were expanding their vehicle lineups. It's no surprise that when mapping out models and configurations, the EcoBoost engine was not available for a regular cab with a shortbed in either 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. However, more recently, customers have been telling dealers they want to see more performance-oriented sport packages. Ford listened, and the results will be seen in the 2014 Tremor.

The Tremor is an FX2 or FX4 pickup (determined by 2WD or 4WD) offered in the regular-cab short-bed configuration. Ford also packages 4.10:1 axle gears, the switch-operated locking rear differential, custom blacked-out 20-inch rims and 275/55R20 Pirelli Scorpion STR tires. The FX appearance package has new graphics on the hood and sides of the truck, and the Tremor name will sit (much smaller than our photos would suggest) on each bed quarter panel.

10 Tremor static II

We're told using the EcoBoost engine in this truck was a little tricky because it was not designed to go into the 126-inch-wheelbase F-150, so making the engine and transmission fit with a new rear driveshaft (for both drivetrians) was a chore. The interior presented other challenges. Because the FX appearance package requires the black-leather-with-red-piping bucket seats and center console, it was reverse engineered to make it work since it wasn't designed to allow for this packaging. It also required refitting the regular cab dashboard to accommodate the MyFord Touch system. There's a tight fit at the bottom of the climate controls, which essentially crash into the center console. Thankfully it all fits and looks good.

From the passenger seat, which is where we had to stay while Keselowski drove us on a short road course inside the MIS, there seems to be plenty of throttle response when the turbos kick in. Keselowski got the backend loose for us a few times, almost drifting through two corners. We were in the 4x4 model but Keselowski was adamant about driving the truck like it would be set most of the time — in two-wheel drive with the traction control on. For the most part, he said, the nannies were quite permissive, only jumping in and pulsing the brakes when things got a little too wild (apparently some good wheel spin and small amounts of slide don't qualify — and these trucks didn't have the exact software setting the production vehicles will get).

We should note that the roof-top light bar and inset LED lights in the grille on these F-150 Tremors are only there because they're required safety equipment for pace vehicles. Likewise, the monster graphics on the bedsides were also specially designed so that race fans can see the name of the truck from the top rows of the bleachers.

We can say after 12 to 15 hot laps with Keselowski at the wheel, the brakes and tires were heated and smelling good. Still, he noted very little fade even on the final laps. It wouldn't surprise us if SVT doesn't offer some performance brake and tire upgrades for the Tremor, maybe even a lowering kit. And if it doesn't, we have no doubt there will be plenty of aftermarket companies just itching to jump right in.

9 Tremor EcoBoost II

In the end, our drive with Keselowski was both exciting and frustrating. Exciting because anytime you give us the chance the watch a professional dial in a set race course, it is something to behold. There's no question Keselowski has skills behind the wheel and does a pretty good interview as well (don't miss our videos of the Tremor and an interview with Keselowski). However, it was a little frustrating because the two Tremors we had at our event were such early preproduction vehicles that Ford didn't want us to develop our own driving impressions. No worries. That will come. In the meantime, we're told the Kansas City plant will be rolling these trucks off the assembly line by the end of September and they'll be in dealerships by October.

Although pricing has not been officially announced, we can assume the Tremor will not have entry-level pricing. You can figure this specialty package will cost somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000. We're guessing it will be closer to the latter. More to follow.

For the full 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor press release, click here.

For a PDF download of the Tremor specification highlights, click here.

 

13 Tremor tire II

The unique wheel and tire combination for the Tremor is specifically setup for the truck. It's worth noting there are absolutely no suspension or braking changes to the truck when compared to other FX pickups. FX2s will sit a little lower than the FX4.


11 Tremor interior II

The bucket seats and center console are a tight fit but give the interior a sporty look. 

 

3 Tremor Action II

Our short road course test drive includes a short run on the MIS oval where Keselowski runs the truck just under 110 mph before he late-brakes, dives down the track, and squeals the tires back onto the infield road course. The traction control setup has no modifications; it's a simple on and off, with the "off" not completely off. 

 

7a Tremor Brad II

Even as he's running the course, Brad Keselowski comfortably talks about what he's looking for ahead in the next turn, and then the one after that. 

 

14 Tremor sticker

No, these are not going to be the size of the stickers for the option package, although this is the exact font type. These stickers are unique to the preproduction trucks, so that fans at MIS would not misidentify the Ford 150 Tremor. The actual stickers will be much smaller. 

Comments

Tremor stands for the way the hood and body panels vibrate whenever a ladybug lands on the think aluminum sheet"metal".

@ Truth About Trucks No Tremor stands for the feeling you get as the tire falls off the truck, or if you drive in the rain the engine Tremors as it try's to run on water.

Well, it certainly doesn't look as slick as the old lightening. Just too much of a box and it sits a bit high for a sport truck not that I like any truck slamed on the ground but maybe an inch or two lower. Maybe they could take some of the front end design off the Raptur and apply it here.

Brad, and his dad Bob, are probably wishing Brad was in a Dodge. But when Ford pays the bills...

Brad's teammate Joey Logano won, yeah, but both him and Brad can very easily miss the Chase for the Cup. Brad is only 12 points up on Kasey Kahne, the 11th place car, but Brad has zero wins.

Anyway, the first thing most people will do is tear off that ugly sticker.

Looks lightly sprung in the front, it's a small wonder it's didn't go around on you.

I don't see why it would be so hard to fit the driveshaft, wouldn't the trans sit just as far back in a v-6 3.7 single cab? Is it still a two piece? One more thing to go wrong.

Give me a High Horse Power Blown V8 Please!

There are many components that can be changed without huge effects that would cause this F150 to give me a Tremor in my pants. If the new Tremor’s share similar dimensions to the Russian Kirovec K-701 and they do go to fiberboard panels, that will have a greater effect on stamping plant. I would change the dash and interior panels to Hess truck collectibles standards which will also have minimal effects of the production line and child safety. Same can be said for most components.

I had read that one of the reasons that GMC delayed going to a 6.5 box in the 1/2 tons was because GM couldn’t decide if razzmatazz or caput mortuum should be offered as color options. They had to change multiple things in the spray booths just to be able to consider these new colors. That’s so cool and presumptuous of them. Who needs a High Horse Power Blown V8 when you can get a GMC in razzmatazz!

GUTLESS
GLORYLESS
TREMBLING WITH FEAR OVER THE RUMBLE BEE
ANOTHER WANNABE PICKUP
FORD TREMOR

@Len

I do not mind that they went with the EB but if they would have made the 5.0L an option some more people would be interested as some people like you will want to go V8.

You can already get a 5.0 in a RC.

And they added an STX sport package for 2014. So same difference except for the 4.10 gearing. They don't need a 5.0 Tremor.

Why do truck and car "performance" package always come with the heaviest wheel/tire combo in the parts bin?

This is stupid...everybody knows that unsprung weight hurts performance, it doesn't help it. Twenty inch wheels belong on '84 Cutlass Supreme's cruising Memphis.

That truck appears to have terrible body roll in corners and is nose diving like crazy under braking. That doesn't look fun at all.

Load it up with as much HP as you want but, a truck will never make a good road course racer.

I have never understood "performance" trucks like this. Why not buy a Mustang and get an old beater truck for work.

I have yet to experience any such "Tremor" pulling heavy loads in the hot June/July NJ rain storms we have been having thus far. After 57....nearly 58k miles now and my 11 Ecoboost FX-4 Supercrew w/ 6.6 ft bed is flawless. This truck gets used and abused most of it's driving time, and just keeps on trucking strongly. Even our family farms 11 XLT 7700 Ecoboost w/ over 80k miles has been excellent. FORD all the way!!!!!

GUTS
GLORY
RAM!

More money grabbing OPTION PACKAGE BS FROM FORD!!!!
The FANBOIS WILL LOVE IT. Keep guzzling the blue Kool Aid.

MathewJohn, come back in five years and tell us how the truck is holding up, I would hope a 2 year old truck would not be falling apart already even it it has 85K on it, thats not a ton of miles these days.

Michigan Bob does not own a pickup truck!

It looks pretty silly sitting so high up in the air, doesn't it? I can't believe Ford is going to sell a sport truck with a stock ride height... How is a high center of gravity and lots of body lean a good thing on a sport truck?

I'm not a Toyota fan, but the Tacoma X-Runner had the right formula...big wheels, lowered ride height, and the big engine with a 6-speed manual. If Ford is really interested in being in the sport truck business, that would seem to be the way to go.

i want one!! just have to get the 4x4 model and remove the decals.

Ford have nothing to do what a joke again..better to concentrate to build quality truck....

This truck needs a V-8....the EcoBoost just doesnt cut it...lame sounding,I need a nice rumbling V-8 otherwise I need to be high as a kite to relax..

I would like to see the 5.0 from the Mustang in here ! And the Camaro V-8 in the Silverado and the new HEMI Supercharged 6.2 in the RAM R/T ..Never would own a V-6 truck,never,ever,ever....

Again I saw one fully excellerating and the sound of the eco boost made me nearly vomit !

I just cant get past the cheap looking stickers..Then you have the bad sounding 6 cyl,6cyl LOL !!

What's with all the GM fanboys? "It needs a V8!" Your V8 is two seconds slower than this V6! For that performance deficit, you can keep your sound. No new stock V8 sounds like its "rumbling" anyway.

Defiantly needs a rear stabilizer bar, can't believe they would not at least at this $200 part.

I have to agree with Alex.

This day and age you don't need a V8 for performance. There have been many fine sixes, just look at some of the M Series BMWs, Nissan Skylines, etc.

The Eco Boost V6 is as good an engine for performance as a V8. I can understand if you want a tow vehicle, but even then the number of cylinders has little to do with performance.

Diesel appears to be less affected by cylinder numbers as well.

But the comment about buying a Mustang instead of the Tremor is sound. You buy a 'truck' because it's a truck, not a racing car.

I will be very happy when the F-150 comes out with the 3.2 Duratorque diesel.

Love the Bank Gothic Font (the "Tremor" - usually seen as "Sport" or "Off Road" on the FX packages). In pic six, looks like Brad was doing some hard braking as the rear of that truck pointing north. That Ram Rumble Bee on the other article looks kickass. I'd like to see a Chevy Silverado Xtreme or RS/SS concept just for fun.

I agree with JJ. They already had a Regular Cab with the 5.0 and nobody bought it. And a STX is coming with sport package with the same 20" black wheels, 5.0 etc. These are "low information shoppers" whining about stuff that is alaready available.

@Big Al from Oz - Don't you just love Al's comments....lol
He starts with "the fine M Series BMWs, Nissan Skylines" with sixes in them....and he ends with "You buy a 'truck' because it's a truck, not a racing car"

"I can understand if you want a tow vehicle" HeeeHeeee...why the #uck else would you buy a truck over a car....to sleep in the bed if you’re homeless?

People say that one of the signs of insanity is when you argue with yourself. What do you think of rubber rooms Al?

@Druggie - Apparently Al likes M Series BMWs, Nissan Skylines over Mustangs...oh yeah and trucks with car engines that can't tow.

More fake posts under my name. This site's moderation is a joke.

"What's with all the GM fanboys? "It needs a V8!" Your V8 is two seconds slower than this V6! For that performance deficit, you can keep your sound. No new stock V8 sounds like its "rumbling" anyway." -Alex

Their IQ is about the size of their show size. I don't expect anymore from these festering gob of trolls.

I found a picture of HEMI V8, johnny doe, Michigan Bob & Truth About trucks.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fc%2Fc7%2FJohn_Bauer_1915.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imdb.com%2Ftitle%2Ftt1740707%2Ffaq&docid=nYyOLI6qIGC8aM&tbnid=M4JlBg_ro1n7NM%3A&w=1356&h=1267&ei=N6wSUtPJNI-j4AOx_oGQCw&ved=0CAIQxiAwAA&iact=c

The "rippled" sheet metal on the Tremor is a problem because of the huge flat expanses of my butt. The Sierra had more curves/bends/folds than my wife at the Pizza Hut buffet.

The panels on Ford's and Ram's are thin too; that’s a problem because I’m into BBW.

The news story of lightening the GMC siblings is a few weeks old already and sources say that it won't happen until my wife loses at least 250lbs. So it isn’t gonna be anytime soon.

@Frank - Looking under the hood of that thing reminds me why your face looks like it does. did you forget that the engine fluids gets hot? Don't worry you can double bag your head.

@Frank, Rams V8 put the smack down on that V6 hair dryer from Furd. LMFAO!

@ Lou

You and I have something in common!!! I love full figured women too!!! The bigger the better!!! More cushion less pushin I always say!!! Matter of fact I added heavy duty springs and shocks to my F-250 to help hold the heavy duty cargo that I carry in the cab.

@Hemi V8, the Cummins I-6 and new EcoDiesel both have 6 cylinders and one of those "hairdryers."

This truck seems to do okay since they claim it is a "parts bin" truck. I have to agree with TRX-Tom, how hard is it to put this engine in a short box reg cab? The dimensions and weight of this engine is almost identical to the 5.0. Actually, the EB3.5 is slightly bigger and heavier. The transmission is the same.

Unique wheels and tires?
Nope.
The rims can be had on any Ford. They are a dime a dozen on FX4's. The Sterling Silver (dark grey) or black FX4 with these rims is extremely popular in my neck of the woods.

Funny, the passengers have to wear a race helmet but not the driver. Ford hoping to hire a different one next season?

The grill is just a FX4 bezel with a flat back "Limited" insert. I found out recently that the "middle" of the grill can be ordered separately from the rest of the grill. (According to a service advisor at my local Ford stealership).

You said if Frank we do have something in common. My wife has done a little modeling…really proud of her...enjoy the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0VtYe4lZ7I

As you know with women like this..........Lightning always comes before Thunder ;)

or are you mistaking flatulence for thunder?

More trolling.

That's what I call her..."more trolling"

@Alex, I could give two $#!^'s. Daddy's going to get the Big Bad Boy Hemi in my 2014 Power Wagon. With that Flowmaster exhaust and K&N intake she will sound like a beast. Nothing sounds better than a Hemi V8 with Flowmaster.

I am jealous Lou!!! If you ever split up, she's mine dude!!!! I may have to upgrade to an F-750 though but it would be worth it!!!!!!!

Here is an off the topic piece of important news,

"Sources tell us that Nissan and Cummins will make a joint announcement Tuesday regarding a diesel engine for the next-generation Titan. Our sources suggest the powertrain could be either a Chinese-made 4-cylinder engine or alternately a 5.0L V8. Currently, Ram is the only truck maker to offer a Cummins powertrain. Nissan recently hired Fred Diaz, Ram’s former CEO, to head up Nissan Division’s day-to-day operations."
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/


If one considers all of the stupid trolling on this site, it is no wonder that legitimate truck news can first be found on a CAR site.

@Lou

You are starting to sound like you have a split personality disorder!!! Are you ok man??!!!

@Alex - yes, Hemi V8, as his name implies only cares about Porsche copied hemi engines made in Mexico by Italian companies.
Are Flowmaster's made in China?

Looks like Porsche V8 forgot about the VM Motori Turbocharged V6 that is going into the Ram.

That motor must suck too.

Fake posts and more trolling.

Fake posts and more trolling.
Posted by: Frank | Aug 19, 2013 8:22:06 PM


No kidding!!! Why are you using my name??!!

@Alex - If you really want an engine Ford has announced plans to introduce a new range of engines called EcoDrive which will first be available in Belize starting this fall.
The EcoDrive range encompasses two four-cylinder engines, one direct-injected French fry oil mill.

F150 will be the first models to get some of these new engines, such as the gasoline turbocharged ECO4 with 106 bhp, the ECO5 with 145 bhp and the ECO4FF french fry oil outputting 81 bhp and 280 mg/dL Cholesterol levels . These power units will be mated to a newly developed 3-speed automatic transmission promising to deliver improved fuel economy and a poutine treat. A tweaked 4-speed manual gearbox will also be available for the workman model. Tow ratings haven't been announced yet but who needs them anyway.

These engines should put the smack down on the V8 Hemi's and save a boatload on gas!

When are we going to get to hear more about the ram 1500 diesel? I thought it was supposed to be out by now. What's the deal?

More fake posts. Like they say, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".

They're going to take Lou away to the funny farm...

Hat tip: oxi!


Lou,Frank, Have you noticed your the joke of the site. LMFAO!



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