Road Test: Roush Stage III F-150
A long, hard look at the Roush F-150 Stage III pickup may offer hints into just how difficult it will be for Ford’s SVT division to develop a next-generation Lightning that can compete with the Dodge Ram SRT-10.
As reported earlier, Ford SVT postponed the Lightning project to concentrate on building the new Mustang Cobra. Officials also said the new Ford F-150 platform created a few logistical problems with implementing production of the next Lightning. But we also believe SVT wasn’t going to release a new Lightning unless the team knew it could match the SRT-10 in performance, or at least give it a good fight for the money. That meant coming up with 500 horsepower or more. Since SVT had already developed the 550-horsepower V8 engine for the Ford GT, problem solved. Right?
The horsepower may have been there but you still have to make the entire driveline live under enthusiast conditions (read: burnouts, power slides, etc). And you have to overcome the extra weight Ford engineers piled on the new-generation F-150. The old Lightning weighed in at hefty 4670 pounds. That’s much higher than the 4185-pound base curb weight listed for a V8-powered 2003 F-150 regular cab Flareside 4x2, so you can see how much weight that performance and distinctive looks can add to a hot-rod pickup. Now consider that the base curb weight a 2005 V8 regular cab 4x2 is 4811 pounds. The next Ford Lightning would probably weigh in well over 5000 pounds. What if you tried to hop up a new SuperCab?
That’s what Roush Performance will do for you with its cool-looking line of trucks. There are a number of stages and models that the Roush can create for just about any F-150 configuration and trim level, including 4x4s. The lineup includes:
Open the hood of a Roush F-150 Stage 3 and there is a black Manguson supercharger sitting on top of the 5.4-liter Triton V8. Unfortunately the hood scoop didn’t direct air directly to the supercharger’s intake, but there is a cold-air box that helps avoid engine heat. The supercharger will add about 6 pounds of boost, lifting the horsepower to 405 at 5400 rpm. Peak torque of 480 lb-ft comes in at 4200 rpm.