Skip to main content

Ford fans have a lot of cars that they can love and be proud of. There’s, of course, the iconic Mustang as well as the beloved F-series line of pickup trucks. But Ford fans also love a unique truck called the SVT Lightning, here’s why fans are obsessed with it.

The history of the Ford SVT Lightning

As Hagerty said, the idea behind the SVT Lightning was simple. That idea was to take a Ford truck and turn it into a performance truck capable of high speeds and great on-road handling. This type of thinking wasn’t unique to Ford, as many automakers have tried to mix and match different types of cars in the past to varying degrees of success. 

That’s exactly what Ford did in the roughly 10 years of time when Ford was still making the SVT Lightning. Hagerty says that there were two production generations of the SVT Lightning and a third-generation that almost went into production. The first generation was in the 1993 to 1995 model years and the second generation was in the 1999 to 2004 model years.

The third generation of the SVT Lightning premiered at the Detroit Auto Show, but Ford decided not to produce it for customers. Since then, Ford has stopped producing the SVT Lightning all together.

The first generation of the SVT Lightning had a 5.8-liter V8 that generated 240-hp, according to Hagerty. The second generation had a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 that generated 380-hp. Guinness World Records said that the SVT Lightning, when it’s equipped with that 5.4-liter, could hit 147 MPH, making it the fastest pickup truck in the world at that time. 

The third generation of the SVT Lightning also had a supercharged 5.4-liter V8. However, due to new technologies that Ford developed, it had 500-hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, according to Hagerty. But despite that, there were other technical challenges that Ford couldn’t solve, so Ford decided to not produce the third generation for customers.

Why Ford fans love the SVT Lightning so much

Most trucks nowadays are built for work, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who just want speed and power from their truck. That’s the case for many Ford fans who love the SVT Lightning, and its world record definitely helps it in that regard. But there’s more to it than just a pure desire for going fast. 

As Hagerty mentioned, Ford made sure that every single SVT Lightning was just as capable as the F-150 was. This means that on top of being faster and having better handling than the F-150, the SVT Lightning could do all the hauling and towing that the F-150 could do. 

Furthermore, because it’s built for speed, like many NASCAR cars or Formula 1 race cars, the SVT Lightning needed a lot of new technologies to make it work. This made the SVT Lightning the cutting edge truck for Ford fans as well as being a capable and fast truck. But nowadays, there’s also another aspect, and that has to due with the SVT Lightning’s rarity.

A truly rare truck

According to Hagerty, despite being powerful and capable, the SVT Lightning didn’t sell well when it was in production. The first generation had fewer than 12,000 sales. The second generation had a total of about 28,000 sales. This means that together, only about 40,000 SVT Lightnings were sold while it was in production.

The low amount of sales makes it a relatively collectible truck. Its current prices will vary, but given its nature as being a faster and more maneuverable F-150, the SVT Lightning will only continue to increase in value as time goes on.