|2-door truck, concept car
|Miles Per Gallon:
|500 bhp @ ---- rpm
|500 lb-ft @ ---- rpm
|f: --.- / r: --.- in
|--.- sec @ --- mph
|Braking, 60-0 mph:
|Nürburgring Lap Time:
Ford's bold vision for a third-generation SVT F-150 Lightning sport truck emerged from a powerful new-product cloudburst at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. The SVT Lightning concept was a surprise during Ford's unveiling of the all-new 2004 F-150.
"We are excited about the new F-150, because it will provide an outstanding platform for the next-generation Lightning," says Tom Scarpello, marketing and sales manager for Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT). "The SVT F-150 Lightning concept hints at what we could do with Lightning and sends a signal that we don"t intend to give up our dominance of the sport truck market."
The SVT F-150 Lightning concept features a six-speed manual transmission, independent rear suspension and a 500-horsepower supercharged V-8. It is a powerful combination aimed at extending SVT Lightning's supremacy into the future.
Since it was introduced in 1993, the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning has been the undisputed sport truck king, making a name for itself as the "World's Fastest Production Pickup." Ten years later, competitors are finally bringing Lightning imitators to market. John Coletti, director, SVT Programs, welcomes the challenge.
"It will be nice to finally have a little cross-town rivalry," Coletti said. "But we have no intention of being overshadowed on our home turf. The SVT Lightning Concept showcases technology we"re developing to meet the competition head-on."
Cool Technology Takes Power to New Levels
Coletti's team fit the SVT Lightning concept with an all-aluminum, 5.4-liter DOHC supercharged and intercooled V-8 engine conservatively rated at 500 horsepower and 500 foot pounds of torque (SAE net). And while they were at it, they invented and patented a speed secret for those times when even that much power just isn"t enough.
Ford's patented SuperCooler technology cleverly provides a special burst of power for the SVT Lightning concept. Traditional intercoolers dissipate heat from the supercharged air by circulating coolant through a front-mounted, air-cooled radiator. With the SuperCooler system, the vehicle's air conditioning system is used to chill a small storage tank of coolant to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
On demand, the SuperCooler system switches the intercooler flow from its normal circulation and dumps the chilled coolant into the engine's intercooler. In turn, the intercooler dissipates up to 20 percent more heat from the charge air - resulting in a denser air charge.
A green light on the instrument panel indicates the system's readiness. SuperCooler is activated automatically when the driver depresses the accelerator to a wide-open-throttle position.
"This technology plays directly into the hands of the enthusiast," Coletti says. "The SuperCooler provides the edge for the driver, and it is done simply by taking advantage of the hardware that already exists in the vehicle."
As a result of this cool technology, the SVT Lighting concept can give its driver as much as 50 transient horsepower for short bursts of 30-45 seconds and regenerate within 2 minutes under normal driving conditions. While its effect is similar to that of an aftermarket nitrous oxide system, the SuperCooler is completely self-contained, environmentally friendly and regenerative.
The SVT Lightning concept engine features a Lysholm, screw-type supercharger, paired with both an intercooler and the new SuperCooler system. The 32-valve, double-overhead-cam powerplant boasts Manley connecting rods, two fuel injectors per cylinder and high-performance heads similar to those on the limited-edition 2000 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra R.
Exhaust gases escape through free-flowing headers and dual side pipes, producing a classic American V-8 rumble. Power is delivered to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. The same Tremec T-56 transmission is used in the 2003 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra. In keeping with the performance nature of the SVT Lightning, the short-throw, console-mounted shifter is more like that of a sports car than a traditional pickup's long-shaft, floor mounted shift lever.
SVT Lightning Concept's Driving Dynamics
The SVT F-150 Lightning concept features an independent rear suspension and SVT's famous attention to every detail of the suspension, steering and braking systems for driving dynamic capabilities that match the sport truck's awesome power.
The concept truck's handling potential is immediately apparent, evidenced by massive 22-inch cast aluminum wheels that convey power even standing still. The wheels are wrapped in hand-cut Goodyear P295/40R22 tires in front and P325/45R22 tires at the rear.
Visible through the six-spoke wheels are equally impressive Brembo brakes - six-piston calipers in front, four-piston at the rear - mated to platter-size, 380-millimeter, cross-drilled ventilated discs.
SVT engineers chose to fit an independent rear suspension (IRS) system to the Lightning concept in lieu of F-150's standard Hotchkiss type solid rear axle with leaf springs and outboard shock absorbers. The IRS unit was adapted from the Ford Expedition.
"The new architecture of the F-150 made it easier for us to adapt the independent rear suspension system," says Jeff Feit, SVT Lightning chassis and powertrain engineer. "This allowed us to reduce unsprung weight even further and fine-tune the handling in true SVT style."
The front suspension is derived from the new F-150, with the upper control arms modified to accommodate the oversized wheel and tires. The new rack-and-pinion steering system of the F-150 contributes to the SVT Lightning concept truck's steering precision.