Ford Ranger shakes it up

Under most circumstances, at least when you’re discussing human behavior, “tremor” doesn’t usually connote something good. Unless, of course, that behavior involves joyful bashing in the boonies. That’s the kind of edge, pun intended, that Ford has grabbed onto in announcing a new off-road option package for its reinvented Ranger midsize pickup. Take a look at the rig in the manufacturer’s photo. See some familiar themes? The Ranger Tremor’s high-ride stance and wildly aggressive tire-and-wheel combo is a page ripped from the playbook of the F-Series Raptor, a similarly themed option that turned the full-size Ford truck into an off-the-lot interpretation of the Baja prerunner that’s all ready to go right from the dealership.

Ford describes this as the most bush-capable pickup it’s ever offered in the long history of the Ranger, which dates back to when it was built in the Ford plant in Edison Township, New Jersey, that was razed closed to 20 years ago. So this is a long and proud segment of blue-oval heritage. The Tremor is all about stance, a characteristic enabled by FOX monotube shock absorbers and rear piggyback reservoirs, tuned front coilover and rear leaf springs, huge General Grabber tires under wider fender lips and skidplates underneath. The Tremor package will also include package-specific seats with Miko suede-like inserts. We especially like another nicety from recent F-Series practice, extensive power-exporting capability, manifested here by a six-switch, dash-mounted auxiliary power switch panel that can run lights, compressors and winches, just for openers. The standard powertrain is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost with 270 horsepower linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

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