Pickup trucks have come a long way from their humble, provincial origins as stripped-down workhorses for blue-collar laborers. At the turn of the century, they gained luxury trims, more creature comforts, and status as an all-American family vehicle. General work and family duties aside, pickup trucks now boast a new characteristic: speed.
Plenty of tuning houses like Hennessy and Shelby will add forced induction to any truck to make it worthy. However, mainstream manufacturers are now in the game. Whether propelled by petroleum or electricity, more than a handful of trucks can assert sub-5-second 0 to 60 mph times. Here are the five fastest, according to U.S. News.
2022 Ram 1500 TRX: MSRP $80,590
Anything related to Dodge will likely gain a fire-breathing V8 at some point in its production run. The Ram 1500 is no different. The 6.2-liter Hemi V8 from the Challenger is now in the half-ton pickup, providing 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.
The TRX variant is the company’s battle cruiser to take on Ford’s F-150 Raptor. Like its drag strip-pounding cousin, the Ram 1500 TRX has launch control for the casual blitz between stop lights. When engaged, it can hit 60 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds to a 12.9-second quarter mile. Not bad for a behemoth that weighs over three tons and can tow over four.
2022 Ford F-150 Raptor: MSRP $70,555
As a testament to Baja-ready production pickup trucks, the Ford F-150 Raptor, by default, is quick. Although fans were miffed by Detroit’s decision to replace its raucous 6.2-liter V8 with a V6, it still delivers speed. The Raptor can achieve a 5.2-second 0-60 mph time with its twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, producing 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.
Yet, the Raptor isn’t just fast on the road. With driving modes for grass, gravel, mud, sand, and snow, it will tear through any environment with enthusiasm. With a 10-speed automatic transmission and 4.10 gears, the Ford F-150 Raptor has a maximum towing capacity of 8,200 lbs.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning: MSRP $83,910 (but it’s sold out)
Ford’s brand-new, all-electric version of the 14th generation F-150 has seemingly unbelievable acceleration rates. With dual electric motors powering all four wheels, the standard-range model has 452 hp and a 230-mile range with a 98-kWh battery. The Extended Range version packing a 131-kWh battery, allots 583 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque, providing a 320-mile range.
Ford says the F-150 Lightning’s maximum towing capacity is 10,000 lbs, but only in its costly, top-of-the-line variant. However, the company also made a statement clarifying how it determined that. Ford reportedly uses “computer engineering simulations” at peak engine and battery power, and buyer results “may vary.” Regardless, the Extended Range version can still keep up with the Ram TRX on the track with 4.5-second 0-60 time. Due to the high demand for the capable pickup, the 2022 model is currently sold out.
2022 Rivian R1T: MSRP $73,000
The startup American EV company’s R1T has many quirky features. Its design also allows for an immense amount of cargo space. The Rivian has a front truck or “frunk” and pass-through lockers below the rear seats and between the cab and bed.
While the Rivian R1T is branded as an off-road-ready camping vehicle, it harbors superior on-road performance. According to U.S. News, a 135-kWh battery power four electric motors making a combined 835 hp and 908 lb-ft of torque. Even though it weighs 7,000 pounds, it will hit 60 mph from a dead stop in 3 seconds. Although towing drains a lot of range from EV pickups, the Rivian can still manage 11,000 lbs.
2022 GMC Hummer EV: MSRP $92,895 (also sold out)
The revival of the military-style brand from General Motors is built on the burgeoning EV movement. Whereas other EVs may seek to fight climate change, the GMC Hummer EV wants to show how insane electric power can be.
The 212-kWh battery pack alone weighs more than GM’s cheapest EV. This gargantuan machine itself tips the scales at more than four and a half tons. However, drivers will have 1,000 hp and much more in torque thanks to three electric motors. With its “Watts to Freedom” (WTF) driving mode, the Hummer EV lowers its air suspension before a 0 to 60-mph sprint in 3 seconds. Although it has a relatively poor maximum towing capacity of 7,500 lbs, according to Autotrader, it has a range of 329 miles. Unfortunately, current models are sold out, and the line to get one extends well into 2024.
Which pickup truck should you buy?
Given that two are already sold out, it’s a tough pick between the Ford, the Ram, and the Rivian models. The fact that each can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds or under is mesmerizing.
Ford and Ram fans have always maintained brand loyalty. Therefore, there may not be much swaying to be done. However, for those who haven’t stuck to either, given the American-made Rivian’s speed and capability, it’s an excellent choice for a fast pickup.