Ford Once Made An SVT Ranger With A Lightning Engine
Performance pickups used to be a thing. From the Chevy 454 SS in the early 1990s to the sports car like performance the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner was throwing down in the early 2000s fast trucks had their own little slice of the enthusiast market pie. Once, that kind of performance showed up in an unexpected place.
The interior was largely kept stock, save for some custom leather seats with yellow lightning bolts on them and body color trim on the doors. The result was a monster of a little pickup. When Motor Trend tested it, it ran the quarter mile in 13.8 seconds at 108 mph; MotorWeek did 13.5 seconds at 101 mph.
Back in 2003, engineers with Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) took a regular cab Ranger Flareside powered by a 2.4-liter I4 and got to work. At the time, SVT Engineering Director John Coletti and his team had a vision of making a performance truck using off the shelf parts to keep costs down, just in case it got approved for production. They already had an engine in mind: the 5.4-liter 380 horsepower supercharged V8 from the SVT Lightning. A modified induction system and exhaust resulted in more power than was available in the stock Lightning: 420 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.