2024 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning Is the Single Cab Performance Truck We Need

It’s no secret that more than a few pickup drivers don’t actually use their vehicles for truck activities like serious-weight hauling and towing. These drivers rely more on the psychological comfort brought by the presence of the bed, while some of them simply enjoy this body style’s appearance. Carmakers are all too aware of this, which is why Detroit’s Big Three continue to release performance monsters like the Ford Raptor and the Ram TRX. However, there’s one thing no truck maker wants to give us any more, namely a road-biased performance truck like the F-150 SVT Lighting.

As of the 2022 model year, the F-150 Lighting is the EV version of the regular pickup, as it shares the latter’s platform. Of course, this has its limitations, with towing sucking the juice out of the battery much quicker than you’d imagine. However, the Blue Oval is preparing a second-gen F-150 Lighting for 2025, which will switch to a dedicated battery platform to address such matters and more.

Nevertheless, as we move further into the electrified era, enthusiasts seem to crave old-school offerings like the SVT Lighting more and more. And this is why digital artist Marouane Bembli (aka The Sketch Monkey) has stepped in to digitally revive the machine.

The 2024 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning is a pixel sight for sore eyes

The pixel master’s 2024 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning brings back the single cab configuration while borrowing its lower front fascia from a name that’s crucial to the segment, the Shelby F-150 Super Snake (we’ll get back to this). He also pixel-installs performance wheels and tires—in case you’ve ever wondered why high-powered off-roading monsters like the F-150 Raptor and TRX won’t even break 120 mph, this is due to the go-anywhere rubber.

And the artist rounds it all up with an eye-catching shade of red, which should warn other drivers about the massive performance of such an offering.

As for a real-world equivalent of this 2024 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning, we’ll get to that shortly, but not before reminding you how things used to be in the realm of factory trucks bred to give muscle cars a hard time.

The heritage of the F-150 SVT Lightning

Ford’s SVT skunkworks, a U.S. team that has been absorbed into the global Ford Performance effort meanwhile, came up with the original F-150 Lightning (1990-1994) as a reply to the Chevy 454 SS. Not unlike its rival, the Blue Oval model wasn’t that much of a hot performer, but if stuck to a simple recipe. This mixed the lightest possible body configuration—a single cab and a short bed—with a respectably meaty V8, namely a naturally aspirated 5.4L unit making 240 hp.

The second generation of the SVT Lightning (1999-2004), the one you may remember from the original Fast and Furious movie, was a more serious go-fast machine. Maintaining the said layout, this was animated by a supercharged version of the 5.4L V8 used by the era’s standard F-150, which made 360 hp and was later boosted to 380 hp.

Alas, the story of the aficionado-destined Lighting stops there. That’s because Ford’s next performance truck was the original SVT Raptor (2010-2014), whose Baja racer attitude was passed on to the Gen II and the current Gen III model.

And it didn’t help that the last two dropped the V8 in favor of a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, albeit with the presence of the Ram TRX eventually determining Ford to borrow the Mustang Shelby GT500’s supercharged 5.2L Predator V8 for the 2023 Raptor R.

Carmakers could release performance packages for electric trucks via their dealers

And while the 2022 F-150 Lighting delivers mighty impressive straight-line performance, this alone isn’t enough to cater to an enthusiast’s needs.

Nowadays, those seeking asphalt warriors with a bed are served exclusively by the aftermarket, even though the Carroll Shelby-founded Shelby American, which builds the F-150 Super Snake, is considered a manufacturer.

And since the lack of an internal combustion engine’s rumble would make a road-biased electric performance truck too much of a niche product, we’re not expecting things to return to the old ways.

Instead, big names like Ford could offer various performance packages through their dealers (here’s a strictly visual example from SEMA 2022), with Dodge’s recently-released details for the 2024 Charger electric muscle car range offering a proper example of this.



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