5 Most Tricked Out Ford F-150s

by GuestPoster on September 15, 2011

Modifying a full-size pickup truck like the Ford F-150 to handle and accelerate like a sports car might seem a bit like trying to teach ballet to an elephant. After all, the F-150 has the aerodynamics of a brick, a sky-high center of gravity and a powertrain optimized for hauling and towing, making it a less than prime candidate for a performance upgrade. Nevertheless, the improbability of the task hasn’t stopped Ford and various tuners from turning out some truly outrageous F-150’s over the years. Here is a look at five of the most memorable F-150s to go under the wrench for speed’s sake.

2007 Saleen S331

Despite its massive 23-inch wheels and low-hanging front fascia, the S331 was a truck that blended looks and performance with pickup truck functionality. At the heart of the S331 was a 5.4-liter V8 with a Saleen-designed supercharging mounted on top and running 5.5 psi of boost. With 450 ponies and 500 lb-ft of torque on tap, the S331 could knock off the zero-to-60 spring in about 6 seconds-– not bad for a 5500 pound truck! Moreover, the S331 was still fully work-capable with a 9500-pound towing capacity.

2003-2008 Shelby Super Snake F-150

Looking like the child of a Shelby GT500 Mustang and a F-150, the Super Snake was able to attack twisty roads with aplomb thanks to a lowered DJM suspension and six-piston Baer brakes with cross-drilled and vented rotors. Handling motivational duties was a 475-horespower V8 with a Whipple supercharger and Borla exhaust that made the truck sound like an angry muscle car on steroids. Outside, the truck recalled the look of the Shelby’s classic 1960s Mustangs with an offset cobra badge in the grille and a long, narrow hood scoop.

1999-2004 SVT Lightning

Created by the Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT), the Lightning was a no-holds barred performance truck that minimized mass with a two-wheel drive, regular cab design and maximized speed with a potent 5.4-liter V8. Fed by a Eaton-type supercharger, the motor made 380 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque in its most potent form, enabling zero-to-60 runs of just over five seconds. An aggressive body kit helped improve on the normal F-150’s aerodynamics -or lack thereof – and also helped the truck look the part, as did a stylish side exhaust system that recalled hot rods of yesteryear.

2010-2012 SVT Raptor

The Raptor could be thought of as the sports-car of off road trucks. Traversing a pockmarked desert landscape full of large rocks, undulations and other dangerous obstacles at (and beyond) highway speeds, a feat that would destroy lesser trucks, is what the Raptor exists for. Along with 11.2 and 12.1 inches of front and rear suspension travel, respectively, and gargantuan 32-inch tires, the secret to the Raptor’s capability are three-stage internal-bypass shocks from Fox Racing. Often used in purpose-built racing trucks, these units offer a firm initial stage for optimum body control and softer second and third stages that allow maximum wheel travel at high speeds off-road. Signaling the Raptor’s impressive capabilities are fully functional heat extractors on the hood and fenders, sturdy hydroformed bumpers, grille-mounted LED marker lights and numerous skid plates. If you want a vehicle to ride out the apocalypse, there’s really only one vehicle you could choose before the Raptor…

Hennessey VelociRaptor 800 Twin Turbo

That truck is the VelociRaptor 800 from performance tuning specialist Hennessey. Starting with the Raptor, Hennessey ratchets up the performance to eleven by adding twin turbochargers, fortified internals and a reprogrammed engine control unit to the truck’s 6.2-liter “Hurricane” V8. The modifications almost double power from 411 to an astounding 810 horsepower. That’s more power than any production Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche…in a pickup truck. With government-mandated fuel-economy increases and ever-escalating gas prices, a truck that blends such over-the-top levels of off-road performance and sheer power may never be seen again.

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