Throwback Thursday: Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

In 1995 Ford began the planning for the tenth generation of the F-150 and had it ready for the 1996 model year. There was a complete new body design and several mechanical changes, which at the time did well for Ford. But the best part of the tenth generation of the F-150 had to be the SVT Lightning edition, launched in 1999.

The Ford SVT Lightning is a performance version of the F-150, developed by the SVT (Special Vehicle Team) of Ford. To pull this off, all SVT Lightning F-150s were produced with a regular cab, rear wheel drive and a 6.5 foot bed. The first generation of the SVT Lightning, produced prior to the tenth generation of the F-150, was a hybrid of the F-150 and F-250 utilizing various parts from both. However the second generation of the SVT Lightning solely focused on using the F-150 stock frame.

In 1999 and 2000, Ford powered the SVT Lightning with a 5.4L Supercharged V8 producing 360 horsepower and 440ft-lb of torque. From 2001 to 2004, these numbers were increased to 380 horsepower and 450ft-lb of torque. The F-150 utilized lowering springs and had better shocks than other models of the F-150 to improve handling and the stance of the truck.

The SVT Lightning was able to garner decent attention and even won some reviews by soring high in performance. Car and Driver tested it, accelerating from 8-60mph in just 5.2 seconds. This is not a bad time at all for a vehicle in the early 2000s, especially a pickup truck! In total from 1999-2004, Ford would sell just 28,124 of the SVT Lightning making it a bit of a collector item these days.