Ford F-150 Lightning: Old vs. New

Have we seen the Ford F-150 Lightning name before?  Yes, we have; this name was used in 1990 for the SVT Lightning that opened the door to the high-performance truck market.  Today, the name drops the SVT moniker and isn’t powered by gasoline at all.  In fact, the old version of the Lightning is nothing like the new model.  For the 2022 model year, this name is attached to an electric pickup truck that’s made to offer the power needed to get things done without ever using a single drop of gasoline.

Looking back at the classic drivetrain

Ford F-150 SVT Lightning
Ford F-150 SVT Lightning | Ford Media

Thanks to Motor Trend, we have a view into the past at what powered the second generation of the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning.  Incidentally, the SVT acronym stands for Special Vehicle Team, which did the job of developing this high-powered truck.  Keeping in mind the truck we are talking about came around in 1999, the power was excellent with 360 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque coming out of a strong 5.4-liter V8 engine. The power offered gave this truck incredible acceleration to be a truck that was a lot of fun to drive.

The EV Ford Lightning is no slouch

Gray 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning driving through a forest, highlighting 2022 EVs that make an impact on climate change
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

As admirable as the powertrain for the classic SVT Lightning was, it can’t hold a candle to what you find in the new EV model.  The new Ford F-150 Lightning can offer 563 horsepower and 775 lb.-ft. of torque with the largest battery pack installed.  Not only are these numbers much higher than what we had with the gas model, but the instant torque offered of an EV would also allow the new Lightning to rocket past the old one on a drag strip.

Older models made for fun, not for work

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The second generation of the SVT Lightning was lowered in the front, had large, vented disc brakes, and tires made for speed, not for heading to the job site.  Ford attempted to update this truck every year it was in production to try and make it more popular, but the simple fact was that most people aren’t looking for a truck that is lowered and made for speed.  From 1999 to 2004, only 28,124 models of the SVT Lightning were built, causing this truck to be discontinued.

The story will be different for the Electric Ford F-150 Lightning

The electric truck like the Ford F-150 Lightning pictured here is going to be a work truck
The electric truck like the Ford F-150 Lightning is going to take over | Ford

Not only will the electrified version of the Lightning last much longer in the market, but it could also easily become the version of the F-150 that carries us into the future.  Forbes has highlighted some of the qualities that make this new truck the one that you’ll want to drive whether you’re looking for a good work truck or a daily driver.

Power outage? No problem.

The Lightning has an available Intelligent Backup Power feature which can offer up to 9.6kW of power from the truck to power your home appliances.  This could be an extremely useful feature when you experience a power outage at your home and want to ensure the food in your refrigerator doesn’t spoil.

Plenty of towing power in this new Ford F-150 Lightning

While the original SVT model was never looked at as a truck that could tow a heavy load, the EV model gives you the capability you desire.  If you have the standard battery pack, you can tow up to 7,700 pounds or as much as 10,000 pounds when you opt for the larger battery pack.  The driving range reaches 300 pounds when you’re not towing a load, making this a truck you can drive all day.

A more comfortable truck to drive

Trucks and large SUVs are more comfortable on the road when equipped with an independent rear suspension, and the Ford F-150 Lightning has this feature.  In fact, this will be the first truck of its size to have this feature offered.  You’ll be amazed by the smooth drive and comfortable feeling when you take this electric truck out for a drive.

Not much of a comparison, but fun to look back

In truth, the classic Ford F-150 SVT Lightning couldn’t be any different from the EV version than if they were apples and oranges.  Even though there isn’t truly a comparison between these two trucks, it’s still fun to look back and remember where the name came from.  Will the new electric version of the Ford F-150 Lightning become the truck you love to drive and put to work?