PickupTruck.Com Ride & Drive Review of the Ford Lightning


Look at what the boys at Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) cooked up - a pickup truck that does 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds! The F-150 Lightning is the sports car of pickup trucks.

Priced at around $30K, the Lightning is a short-bed, regular-cab truck with a supercharged 5.4-liter V8. It rides on 18-inch wheels, sports an integrated air dam with fog lights, and dual side pipes that exit in front of the rear wheel. The Lighting has street tough looks. The price also includes leather seats, stereo, air conditioning, power windows and power locks. The only options are a CD changer, tonneau cover and a Class III towing package.

Engine

The 5.4 liter engine has a stronger crankshaft than found in the regular F-150 to help power the Eaton provided supercharger. This Eaton Gen IV Roots-type supercharger provides 8.0 psi pressure. Longitudinally mounted the Triton V8 is a SOHC (single overhead cam) cast iron engine pumping out 360 horsepower at 4750 rpm, or 66.7 hp per liter. Torque is rated 440 ft/lbs. at 3000 rpm. Engine redline can be found at 5250 rpm and for that extra protection fuel shutoff is at 5400 rpm.

Suspension

Like the engine, handling is accomplished through a modified suspension. Twin short and long arms, coiled springs, tubular gas-charged shock absorbers, and a 31mm solid stabilizer bar are up front. In the rear is a solid axle, staggered gas charged shocks, and 23mm solid stabilizer bar. Lowered ride height keeps the truck more stable at high speeds and in corners but it's still much higher than any sports car. The 18-inch Eagle F1-GS Goodyear Tires keep the tread in contact with the road at all times. Anti-lock brakes are standard.

Interior

Only cloth bucket seats with leather accents are available along with leather door trimming. AM-FM-cassette audio, power windows, power mirrors, keyless remote entry, tilt steering, sliding rear window, cruise control are also included. Seating is a 40/60 bench with 6 way power for

the driver. The passenger side airbag can be disabled when riding with small passengers.

Exterior

Three color choices are available: bright red clearcoat, black clearcoat, and Oxford white clearcoat. That's it, understated looks with high performance are what this package is all about.

Pricing and Availability

Good luck finding this truck, and once you do try not to fall over at the price. Ford only produced around 2500 models in 1999 and most of those were advance purchases. For 2000 Ford is expected to produce around 5000 Lightnings. Making finding this truck even more difficult is the fact that Ford only sells Lightnings at SVT certified dealerships - only around 10% of all Ford dealers are SVT certified.

The price is an eye opening $29,995 plus a destination charge of $640. A tonneau cover ($150), six-disc CD changer ($210) and towing package ($245) can bring the total to $31,240, but you are not going to find a rarer, more balanced sport truck on the road than the Lightning.

Own a Ford F150 Lighting? Let us know and we will post your reviews.