Ford fans have a brutal new F150 in the latest Raptor, but sport truck enthusiasts were sad to learn that Lightning only struck twice. The Ford Lightning was a regular cab short bed F150 with a monster V8. The first generation was built in 1993 to 95 as a response to Chevrolet’s 454 Super Sport Silverado, and it was powered by a police-spec 351 Windsor small block. But because of Ford’s over engineering, many were daily driven, so finding a preserved example is becoming increasingly hard. Lightning’s 2nd and final generation debuted in 1999 with a supercharged 5.4 liter V8 that would later be used in the Ford GT.
Reminiscing back to my college days, the Lightning was one of the fastest production vehicles on the market. The best part is, Lighting owners always want to race. But I learned my lesson the hard way. Once your friends hear that you were shamed by an F150, your social life evaporates. I still flinch at the sound of supercharger whine, but therapy has helped. Let’s break it down by the numbers. The final production year was 2004 and the Lightning made 380 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. Everyone who has seen them in action knows the true output is considerably higher, but insurance companies and bean counters would have “outlawed” such a fast truck. Any Ford dealer will be happy to sell you a new truck with 3.5-liter twin turbo, and it does make 470 lb-ft of torque along with 375 hp. Yes, it shares many parts with the Raptor and Ford GT engines, but many people simply do not like six cylinder engines.
The formula for building a fast Ford has been perfected only a few minutes from Nashville. Take a V8 powered short bed regular cab and install the largest supecharger available. Then drop it 3″ front and 6″ on the rear. Add Borla exhaust and a K&N intake and you have a 700 hp monster. I was able to get behind the wheel at the Nashville auto show, and it feels like a 10-second truck. The master technicians in their service department have engineered a proprietary fuel tune in order to build boost safely, so the Outlaw is backed by a full warranty. Each Outlaw is built to order, so please Special Vehicles Manager Ryan Greatrex for more information (877)-736-1408.