The term “Sport Truck” is a bit of an oxymoron, but it does not make fast and loud muscle trucks any less attractive. Enter the second generation 1999-2004 Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck from Ford’s famed SVT division.
This pickup has the ingredients of a true performance machine. It minimized the weight with a regular cab, short bed, and rear wheel drive only. If you are able to find a Lightning is stock condition, then you will find a supercharged 5.4-liter Triton V8 under the hood. This motor originally produced 360 hp @ 4,750 rpm and 440 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm when it was introduced in 1999. This setup was good for 6.2 second 0-60 mph sprint and 14.6 second 1/4 mile run. These are respectable numbers for a heavy pickup truck with all the power going to the rear wheels. Of course, it was not enough. The motor was reworked for 2001 model year to bump the output to 380 hp and 450 lb-ft. The power bump and a lower geared rear end combined for 5.8 second 0-60 mph and 13.9 second 1/4 mile.
Brisk straight line speed and great sounding side-pipe exhaust note made this Lightning desirable then and now. The Lightning was also tuned for better handling with independent front suspension with coil springs and Bilstein shocks. Solid axle, leaf springs, and Bilsteins in the rear, along with large anti-roll bars front and rear. The truck also had 12.1 inch vented front brake rotors with twin-piston calipers. 18 inch wheels and wide Goodyear Eagle F1-GS tires rounded out the package. The Lightning was a better handler, but it’s weight and relatively high center of gravity still made it a hand-full to drive.
This article focuses on the final production year of the Lightning (2004). This model has the more desirable 380 hp engine, and this year saw the smallest amount of trucks produced. 3,781 units of the Lightning were produced in 2004, making it rare. In all, the second generation Lightning was made for six years for a grand total of 28,124 units. Just six color options were available – with the Grey being the most rare at 1,818 units over two years.
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Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.