2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor Tested: Gas or Diesel?

The 2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor packs a nice list of off-road equipment, but which engine under the hood is the best match for all that gear?

That’s the question we set out to answer on an off-road course in Arizona, prepared for us by Ford in an active gravel pit.

Two engines can be had under the hood of the Tremor, either the updated 6.7-liter V8 turbodiesel making 475 horsepower and 1050 lb-ft of torque or the brand new 7.3-liter gasoline V8 pushing out 435 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. Both use a new 10-speed automatic transmission with a wide ratio spread, allowing the lowest gear to provide tons of torque while the top three ratios are all overdrive, providing ideal highway fuel economy.

We took the diesel Tremor out first, and it was immediately clear that the torque in this engine feels unstoppable. Crawling up and over obstacles takes a light sniff at the throttle, and modulating the power can be done delicately with your foot. That’s the advantage of all the torque.

Tremor-specific shocks are part of the package, but you’ll never get around the weight of a heavy duty or the need for payload and tow ratings to stay high. That means that this truck rides fairly stiff, and in the diesel, things are even heavier up front.

Jump into the Tremor with the 7.3-liter gas engine and the power feels nearly as strong, but the weight is where the differences truly are. With the gas engine, the truck feels much more light on its feet and agile. It doesn’t crash down as hard over obstacles, needing less suspension to keep things smooth. Some Super Duty pickups gain as much as 700 pounds when the diesel is added, and lugging all that weight around off-road is not ideal.

To see both of these Tremor trucks in action, watch the video above.

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