We spent an afternoon with NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski as he took passengers for hot laps around Michigan International Speedway in the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor Sport Truck. The 2014 F-150 Tremor was the pace truck for the NASCAR Trucks Race this past weekend at MIS, but won’t go into full production until late October.
Boasting 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque from Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V-6, the 2014 F-150 Tremor is only available in the short wheelbase, regular-cab configuration, but can be had with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The twin-turbo V-6 is mated to the F-150’s standard six-speed automatic. In order to put that power to the ground, the 2014 F-150 Tremor is fitted with an electronic locking rear differential and a short final drive ratio of 4.10:1 to optimize acceleration.
When the truck goes on sale around Thanksgiving, look for the rear-wheel drive FX2 model to start at $39,400 and the all-wheel drive FX4 to be about $4,000 dearer. Both models come standard with the F-150’s FX Appearance Package, including flat black accents, 20-inch matte black wheels wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion STR rubber, HID headlights, and a unique exterior graphics package. Inside, the 2014 F-150 Tremor features a flow-through center console, leather bucket seats with Alcantara seat inserts, and a red-stitched steering wheel.
Our pilot for the day, Brad Keselowski, was last year’s Sprint Cup champion and is currently ranked 8th in the Sprint Cup standings after a 12th place finish this weekend at the Pure Michigan 400. This was Brad’s first time driving the 2014 F-150 Tremor, but as you would expect, he didn’t hesitate to push the truck hard. Relaxed and smiling, Brad pulled himself into the Tremor and got comfortable in the bucket seat. When the first rider, a Ford electrical engineer, hopped into the passenger seat, Brad’s only question was, “How fast?”
“As fast as you can go,” she responded immediately.
Glancing over at the grim-faced safety steward, Keselowski floored the throttle and disappeared in a whoosh of induction noise.
When our turn was up, we asked for the same full-tilt treatment. Brad pushed the Pirelli’s well past their limit through the first few turns on the interior road course before flatfooting the Tremor on MIS’s banked oval. We hit 105mph before Keselowski got on the brakes hard, the truck’s back end squirming, and dove into a 90 degree left hand turn that re-entered the road course. A couple of clipped apexes and a full-ABS stop later, it was clear that Brad was not the weakest link in this scenario.
The 2014 F-150 Tremor, though, had shown off impressive power and poise well outside of its intended environment. With a tow rating of 8,000lbs and a 0-60 time likely in the 6-second range, we’re guessing this schizophrenic truck will appeal to the work hard, play hard crowd. - Tom Foley