Ford's Missed Opportunity - Tremor Edition

You may remember the F-150 Tremor, the "little" sport truck that was slated to be the SVT Lightning's feisty and inexpensive little brother. Our own Jalopnik last reported on it in June of last year when it was speculated to cost between $23,000 and $27,000 which, as Mr. Hardigree pointed out, was a pretty conservative estimate. But, even if it was priced in that ballpark, Ford was sure to have a home run on their hands. Pun fiercely intended.

The idea was stupid simple. Take relatively a stripped out F-150, add some off the shelf parts that are available across the platform, and make a lightweight sport truck that hadn't lost all semblance of practicality — and could even be had with 4WD(!). With the short bed from an extended-cab, the 4.10 gears and locking rear differential from a Raptor, and the intoxicating torque from a sweet 3.5L EcoBoost, this truck was ready to dominate the dwindling sport truck market.

So, you may be thinking to yourself:

"Well hey, what the hell? Why have we not heard about this since then? What's the haps, bro?"

I'll tell you what happened, guy who uses terrible slang. What if I told you that the Tremor is already out there, revving meanly at stoplights, soaking your sister's panties, and decimating OEM spec rubber? Surely you would have noticed this, right? You don't have that backwards No Fear hat pulled down that far over your eyes, do you?

No, the Tremor was quietly released with little fanfare late last year. Besides its initial announcement, Ford has hardly mentioned it at all. If you go into the "build your own" configurator, it isn't even listed as an available model. The only way to actually build it is to select the FX2 model, and manually switch the cab style to single cab. Then, magically, a Tremor appears in the picture even though it's still listed as an FX2. The only other mentioning of it is a tiny thumbnail on the F-150 page that lists some specs and not much else when you open it.

Ford's Missed Opportunity - Tremor Edition

So what was the problem? Well the more observative of you will have noticed the whopping $38,545 starting price in the picture above. Yeah. The affordable little sport truck ended up costing over 40 grand out the door once you've factored in taxes and fees. So where was the disconnect here? How did this truck go from a speculated sub-$30k steal of a deal to being just a few kilobucks short of a freaking SVT Raptor?

Well, I have a theory on that.

It's pretty much standard practice these days that new models and special editions are announced long before pricing. There are plenty of reasons for this, so we pretty much just keep our mouths shut and accept it. Usually it's not too difficult to figure out about how much a company plans to charge, so there are rarely any big surprises.

The Tremor is a big example of where that seems to have backfired.

Ford's Missed Opportunity - Tremor Edition

After a fair amount of research, I couldn't find any official announcement of pricing, and the few initial press releases from Ford made no mention of cost, only raw specs and marketing jargon (new drinking game, take a shot every time you see the word "Eco" in a Ford press release).

So my theory is that the auto-journo world saw a rather insubstantial press release and speculated that it should be relatively affordable given how bare bones the truck seemed to be. It's easy to see where they drew that conclusion, too. It's a single cab, short bed truck with less body material than a base model, it doesn't really have much that you can't get individually from other models, and it's not wearing an SVT badge. In fact, historically, Ford trucks wearing the Tremor name have been just a trim line of a trim line, and really nothing special. And why not believe it when reputable sites have sources "familiar with the plans:"

Officially, Ford is not giving pricing, but those familiar with the plans say the Tremor is likely to have a sticker price between $23,000 and $27,000.

Once again, even $27k sounded like a pretty low estimate, but around $30,000 or a bit higher still seemed plausible, and that is still what most people would call an affordable sport truck. Especially when said sport truck should be good for near Lightning performance when the SVT originally sold for more than $40k (adjusted for inflation) when new.

Ford's Missed Opportunity - Tremor Edition

Now, somehow even more quietly than when they released it, Ford is set to take the Tremor out back and put a slug in it's sporty little head. That's right. It's dead after just one model year.

This is really a shame since the new F-150 would have been a perfect candidate for all this sportiness, given the weight it has shed for the 2015 model year. A ~700-lbs drop would have done wonders for embarrassing over confident teens at stoplights, and displaying it's tire slaying skills for your Bud Light touting buddies.

Hopefully Ford will take this lesson on the chin and come back with a worthy successor, but I'm not holding my breath that we'll see that any time soon. On the bright side, we'll hopefully see these drop way down in price in a few years after everyone's forgotten what was special about them.

Either way, I think it's safe to file this one under Future Classics.