Is a New Ford F-150 SVT Lightning Coming This Fall?
By: Mike Levine Posted: 06-15-08 06:05 PT
© 2008 PickupTrucks.com

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Update #4: 06-15-08 18:08 PT

To clarify the latest bit of speculation: Sam Abuelsamid's original scoop on a new SVT pickup is right on the money. It's the Lightning part we're still trying to figure out.

Based on the wheel shots below, the SVT F-150 (not to be confused with the SVT Raptor) will be wholly distinct from the 2009 Harley-Davidson F-150. The Harley F-150 has benefited in the past from SVT's engineering prowess (for example, the 2002 Harley F-150 had the same supercharger as the SVT Lightning but with smaller pulleys that produced less horsepower) but has never been (and we're not expecting it to be in the future) an SVT product.

Whether SVT Lightning enthusiasts will consider the new SVT truck a worthy heir to the Lightning's name and history remains to be seen.

Stay tuned.

Update #3: 06-15-08 01:21 PT

Here are new pictures to throw on the speculative bonfire surrounding a new SVT engineered F-150 that might arrive this fall.

Yesterday I toured Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan, where freshly built F-150's roll off state-of-the-art assembly lines. Scattered among a hundred or so shiny new 2008 model year F-150s were several 2009 pilot trucks. Pilots are built on the same line as production trucks to test out new tools, parts and assembly methods that will be used when production fully shifts to the new pickup.

In the plant's final review area, where all trucks are inspected before being shipped to Ford dealers, was a set of four 2009 F-150s. None were Harley-Davidson edition trucks but hanging directly above them was a sign that said, "Harley/STX Staging Area". Hint #1 that a new 2009 Harley F-150 *could* be on its way.

Hint #2 was caught in a picture at an assembly line station, where tasks like installing seats or attaching side view mirrors (see below) are performed. Above each station are special instructions meant to help assemble 2009 F-150 pilot trucks. For example, here's one showing the connectors on a new tail light.

Further down the line from the tail light instructions, the artwork shown below caught my eye. Notice the 22 inch 6-spoke wheel identified as "Harley Davidson". Could this be assembly line guidance for a 2009 Harley F-150 pilot build? The wheel is different from those on the 2008 model year Harley F-150.

And if this picture is the new Harley rim, then what truck are we seeing below? Its wheels are very different from the wheels pictured in the assembly line photo. They look similar to the SVT engineered 2008 Mustang GT500. Could there be a distinct new SVT F-150 that will have some kind of connection to the discontinued Lightning or GT500?

Update #2: 06-15-08 01:21 PT

Here's a spy shot of what we believe is a 2009 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson edition mule. Note the unique wheels and silver exhaust pipes. This is likely the high-performance half-ton hinted at by the SVT rep who spoke with Autoblog.

Update #1: 06-15-08 06:29 PT

Sorry folks - looks like Lightning doesn't strike twice. An unimpeachable source tells PUTC that a reborn Lightning is not coming this fall.

Based on spy photos, we're speculating a new SVT-influenced Harley-Davidson F-150 will carry the on-road performance banner for Ford's half-ton pickups.

Looks like Ford's Special Vehicle Team wants the new 2009 F-150 to own high-end truck performance both on and off the road.

We've already heard the desert-running F-150 'Raptor' will be badged as an SVT product. Now, our friend Sam Abuelsamid at Autoblog has the low down from an SVT rep that a second, strictly street version is on its way, "this fall" as a reborn Lightning.

Sam thinks a new F-150 SVT Lightning will share power with the GT500 Mustang. The GT500's supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 is rated at 500-horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.

Read Autoblog for more info.

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