Generation Gap: Old Ford F-150 Lightning Drag Races New Ford F-150 Raptor


When Ford released the SVT Lightning in the early 1990s, the Blue Oval didn’t know much about sporty street trucks. Chrysler and General Motors had a lot more experience, but over the years automaker Dearborn caught up with them.

The second-generation Lightning is the crème de la crème, based on the single-cab version of the F-150 pickup. A supercharged 5.4-liter V8 with up to 380 horsepower from the factory, the F-350’s rugged drivetrain, FlareSide bed and a lowered suspension are a few highlights that made it formidable. Not surprisingly to anyone, is that the Lightning was not redesigned for the 2004 model year when the eleventh generation of the F-series was rolled out. But for 2009, the Blue Oval stepped up its game with the SVT Raptor. Developed specifically to tackle rough terrain and the sandiest dunes, this type was initially offered with two V8 options known as Modular and Boss.To quote someone, the two off-road trucks are huge gasoline pigs. That’s not why the outgoing Raptor comes equipped with the EcoBoost V6. Switching to a twin-turbo, six-cylinder setup is a marketing stunt to the soul, a way to convince pickup customers that the EcoBoost is a viable alternative to the Coyote.

While everyone misses the eight-cylinder bellows of the previous Raptor and Lightning, it’s hard to ignore the torque rating of the force-fed V6. Youtube channel «Fashion days» pitted a Raptor against the Lightning to prove a point, and out of the line, the dune brawler has the upper hand on the street model only.

From one roll, however, the Raptor’s bigger tires and different gears translate to a well-deserved victory for the Lightning. It should also be noted that the older F-150 is significantly lighter and significantly smaller than the twin-turbocharged pickup.

Although Ford stopped offering the Lightning too many years ago, dealer-installed options like that from a Georgia-based dealership are a reminder of the original’s credibility. Including the regular cabin, short bed donor vehicle, Pioneer Ford is offering the 650 horsepower package for $ 49,661, including rebates and incentives.

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