LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN WITH 2001 MODEL
By: Michael Levine
does indeed strike twice with the introduction of the new and improved
2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning at the 35th Annual SEMA show in Las Vegas.
by Ford Specialty Vehicle Team's Chief Engineer, John Coletti, the 2001
Lightning is an improvement over the previous model in nearly every category.
Lightning's 5.4-liter supercharged engine has been tweaked for improved
breathability by enlarging the air inlet system 50%, opening the blower's
butterfly valves simultaneously, not in stages, and installing a new casting
for the lower intake manifold with reshaped ports to improve cylinder
head air flow. The results: an increase in horsepower to 380hp, up from
360, an increase in torque to 450ft-lbs., up from 440, and a drop in 0-60
times from 6.2 to 5.8 seconds.
should be appeased. After all the engine enhancements, the 2001 Lightning
now meets Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards three years ahead of the
federally mandated schedule.
has also created a new aluminum driveshaft for the Lightning. The driveshaft
handles the higher rotational speeds from a taller 3.73:1 rear axle gear
enabling Lightning owners to quickly take advantage of the truck's higher
ride and handling characteristics have been improved through a partnership
with Bilstein, maker of high performance shock absorbers. The monotube,
gas-charged shocks offer a more comfortable ride over the previous shocks,
especially on rough highways. Also helping improve handling, the right
rear Bilstein shock has been positioned towards the front of the truck
to limit axle tramp under full-throttle acceleration.
partnership, with Goodyear, has yielded high performance, custom created,
Eagle F1-GS tires that adhere to the road using a newly formulated rubber
and angular rims provide the perfect setup for the tires.
Lightning's regular cab exterior offers subtle improvements over the 2000
model to indicate its special nature.
one of the latest aftermarket trends, the Lightning's headlights, taillights,
turn signals and fog lamps are crystal clear and provide a clean, jewel-like
appearance. The CHMSL is now LED based and provides a slightly quicker
response time during braking over conventional lights. The Lightning is
the only Ford truck to arrive with the new light treatment for 2001.
and lower grilles have been replaced with 'billet-inspired' horizontal
been listening to consumer demand for the Lightning after last year's
truck sold out so quickly. Production will be stepped up from the 5,000
units manufactured in 2000 to 7,500 units for 2001. The first Lightnings
should begin rolling off the factory lines in December with new units
expected to show up in dealerships by January.
to follow later...