Oh Yes, That Awesome Dealer-Built, 650 HP Ford F-150 Lightning Is Great at Burnouts
For all those who thought the truck was pointless.
Late last week, the car internet lost its collective hive-mind over a Ford dealer's plans to resurrect the Ford F-150 Lightning. Pioneer Ford in Bremen, Georgia lived up to their name by transforming a base model F-150 into the closest thing we've seen to a factory SVT pickup since the last version bowed out in 2004. So to recap, that's a 650-horsepower, rear-wheel drive, side exhaust short bed. What's the point, really? Burnouts.
Even if you don't totally buy into the idea of an on-road performance pickup, you can't deny this video of Hooniverse news editor Greg Kachadurian throwing the 1-of-2 Ford F-150 Lightning homage around an empty airstrip is hilarious fun. With very little weight over the rear wheels and a 5.0-liter V8 engine up front, the supercharged truck breaks its back tires loose with ease.
All that power might be too much for a stock F-150—especially in the corners—so a lowering kit keeps everything planted. In his review, Kachadurian writes that the Lightning was about three seconds quicker than the regular truck through a short slalom course they set up. The two trucks they've built so far were from the tail end of the 2017 model year production, so future examples (and there will be more) will be built on the 2018 trucks and add a set of Bilstein dampers for even better performance. The only reported issue was a bit of brake fade.
Whatever you think about the concept, this is the only 650-horsepower pickup you can buy off a showroom floor for under $50,000, and that alone makes it worth celebrating. While the Roush stage 2 supercharger voids Ford's powertrain warranty, it carries its own full coverage that replaces the automaker's for the same length of time. The only catch is that means the truck can only be serviced at an authorized Roush dealer like Pioneer Ford.
Still, watch this truck smoke its rear tires, and try to remember those little inconveniences. You can't. It's too fun.