Although the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor is essentially an FX2 or FX4 with a regular cab and short bed, it feels substantially different from the standard version. The weight difference is only a few hundred pounds, but the Tremor feels lighter and more agile. We had the chance to ride along with a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver at Michigan International Speedway for a couple of laps around the infield road course.

The Tremor marks the return of the sport truck for Ford. Although the Tremor is very clearly not a Lightning, it does its best to fill a gap that's existed for a decade. The Ecoboost twin turbo V-6 produces the same 365 hp as in other F150s, but acceleration definitely felt quicker in the Tremor. Maybe more important than being slightly quicker is the handling. The truck feels balanced and neutral. Even from the passenger seat, it's obvious the front and rear are giving up at about the same time, and the attitude and can be adjusted with throttle position. The truck rotates in a way the longer wheelbase trucks just can't. Understeer seemed minimal and body movement was well controlled.

Obviously, the Ecoboost sounds nothing like the V-8, but it still sounds good. The intake noise from the turbo mixes with the low growl out the back. The sounds might be a little more sport sedan than musclecar, but it is a bit like listening to the future of trucks. Although riding along with a professional driver is fun, this event made me even more anxious to get behind the wheel of the Tremor.