2004 SVT Lightning Concept
It's been several years since Ford last offered a Lightning version of its F-150 pickup truck but it looks like it will soon strike again. In spite of plummeting sales of big trucks, a high-performance variant of the new 2009 F-150 will launch later this fall, likely at either SEMA or the Los Angeles Auto Show. Ford showed a concept version of an SVT F-150 in 2004 that never made it to production. In March 2007, SVT's Jamal Hameedi told us that a high-performance truck was under development.
While participating in the Ford Racing Invitational media drag racing event this weekend, other SVT officials declined to get any more specific than "a new SVT truck is coming" and "later this fall." (clarification: Jamal Hameedi was not at the racing event and did not provide any of the new information) When pressed, he did acknowledge that it's based on the big truck platform and that is was unrelated to the so-called Raptor truck. An obvious guess would be an F-150 powered by the GT500 engine. Since the GT500 already uses the cast-iron truck block, it would be an easy installation. Whether it will use two or four wheels to deliver all that torque is unknown, but after my experience trying to put GT500 power down this weekend, hopefully it'll use all four.
Update: After hearing from someone at Ford and talking to Mike Levine from PickupTrucks.com this new truck will almost certainly not be called a Lightning. In fact according to Mike, this new truck is likely to be the new Harley-Davidson F-150.