Ford Won’t Revive the F-150 Lightning But This Dealership Did
A modern take on the classic sports truckby Mark McNabb, on
Truck fans will instantly recognize the Lightning name – it belongs to Ford and its two generations of performance-minded F-150s from back in the 1990s and early 2000s. These were short-bed, single-cab trucks with lowered suspensions and big V-8s under their hoods. Sadly, Ford dropped the F-150 Lightning in 2004 and has since kept its SVT team busy with the F-150 Raptor. That’s left the street performance pickup niche rather cold, with only the 2014 F-150 Tremor showing any signs of hope.
But like in the late 1960s, a dealership has launched its own performance upgrade for the current Ford F-150.
Pioneer Ford in Bremen, Georgia put together an “F-150 Lightning Tribute” that turns a single-cab, short-bed F-150 into a 650-horsepower monster with a side exhaust, 22-inch wheels with street rubber, and a Roush supercharger bolted to that 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. Yep, it’s got the right number of cylinders and none of that EcoBoost stuff under the hood. It doesn’t get any more American than this!
Keep reading for more on the Pioneer Ford F-150 Lightning Tribute.
What Makes this F-150 Special?
It’s hard to argue with 650 horsepower, especially when it comes from a supercharged V-8. Remember, that’s nearly double the horsepower of the last F-150 Lightning, which could only muster 380 horses form its supercharged 5.4-liter V-8. Add to that the 2017 F-150’s lighter curb weight thanks to its aluminum body, and you’ve got a recipe for a good time. The only issue will be getting power to the ground through those rear tires. The F-150 hardly has a 50/50 weight balance, after all.
They added on a lowering kit with performance-tuned springs and shocks for a more focused ride.
Pioneer Ford didn’t just slap a supercharger on a base F-150, though. They added on a lowering kit with performance-tuned springs and shocks for a more focused ride. Pioneer also added a dual exhaust system to the V-8 with chrome tips mounted just ahead of the right rear wheel. Pioneer didn’t do anything to the F-150’s interior, though. That means it has the factory two-tone cloth bench seat, low-buck radio, and single-zone air conditioning. Nevertheless, those sorts of upgrades are easily made by the customer after signing along the dotted line.
Best of all, since Pioneer is a certified Ford dealership, its work falls under the F-150’s factory warranty. That means this 650-horsepower beast has three years and 36,000 miles of coverage before you start paying out-of-pocket for certain items. Better yet, the F-150 still qualified for Ford’s incentives and rebates, which can potentially knock thousands off the price. That’s certainly a good thing as Pioneer has set the price at $49,661. Still, that’s not a terrible price for that much power, even if it’s stuffed into an XL trim package with almost no modern gadgetry or luxury features.
Pioneer Ford has only built two F-150 Lightning Tribute trucks so far, and both sold quickly
Pioneer Ford has only built two F-150 Lightning Tribute trucks so far, and both sold quickly. More are coming, with the first two already spoken for. Pioneer told The Drive that it will begin building Lightning Tributes off the updated 2018 F-150. That means it’ll get the updated 5.0-liter V-8 with 10 more horsepower and 13 more pound-feet of torque over the 2017 model. Hopefully, that will directly translate to more power once the Roush supercharger is bolted on.
Hopefully, this move by Pioneer and the explosive interest shown by customers will get Ford’s attention. We love the F-150 Raptor, but not every state has awesome desert trails where the Raptor is best suited. On the other hand, paved roads are in abundant supply. We’d love to see Ford offer both the Raptor and a new factory-built Lightning in the future – and we’d bet we’re not the only ones.
And, should Ford revive the F-150 Lightning, that could potentially reignite a sport truck showdown between the Big Three
And, should Ford revive the F-150 Lightning, that could potentially reignite a sport truck showdown between the Big Three. Imagine a Chevy Silverado SS with the 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V-8 and a Ram 1500 with the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 or even the 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 from the Hellcat. Now, that’ll be the day!
What do you think? Should Ford revive the F-150 Lightning? What engine should it use? What about Chevy and Ram – what could they do to compete? Let us know in the comments below.
Hat tip to The Drive
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.