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A Ford Dealer is Selling the 650-hp F-150 Lightning that Ford Won’t

Greg Kachadurian September 14, 2017 All Things Hoon, Cars You Should Know 67 Comments

Ford hasn’t built a production Lightning in well over a decade despite how much it deserves to live on. If there was ever a time for them to pick it back up, now would be a great time. Ford has a V8 that’s more powerful than ever as well as a lighter and more advanced F-150. If they brought it back now, it would be one of the best tire-shredding dream machines you could buy with a warranty.

Fortunately, is stepping up with their own version of a classic. They’ll sell you a brand-new “Lightning” tribute with some of the signature styling cues of the originals but more power than they could have ever hoped for back then. Way more. Nearly 300 horsepower more.

This Pioneer Ford Lightning Tribute isn’t just a one-off, it’s a package they’re willing to sell to anyone and it comes with all of Ford Motor Company’s rebates and incentives. It’s built off a 2017 Ford F-150 with a regular cab, the shortest bed possible, and (for now) few luxury options, just like the last Lightning.

It came from Ford with the optional 5.0-liter V8, but Pioneer Ford gives it a Roush supercharger which makes it good for 650 horsepower. Compare that to the standard 395 hp/400 lb.-ft output, this thing will feel like a rocket. And because Pioneer Ford is an authorized Roush installer, the truck’s factory warranty is not voided and there’s an additional 3 year/36,000 mile warranty on the Roush supercharger. UPDATE: The Phase 2 supercharger does in fact void the Ford powertrain warranty, but it’s replaced by a 3 yr/36,000 mile powertrain warranty that you buy from Roush.

Some classic Lightning features include side exit exhaust, custom 22″ wheels inspired by the original SVT five spokes, and genuine Lightning badges. The truck also sits a bit lower thanks to a specially tuned suspension. Some things like the original lower front valence and the flaresides can’t really be reproduced on the newer trucks (and it’d be hard to make them fit with the truck’s modern styling), but it’s the closest thing to a Lightning we may ever see again.

Pioneer Ford has already built two of these trucks and have no intention of stopping. This particular black Pioneer Ford Lightning is priced at $49,661. That’s about the same price as a base F-150 Raptor, but this has 200 horsepower on it. Worth it? I think so.

and start coming up with a budget for all the tires you’ll burn.

[Source: – Images via ]

  • Greg Kachadurian

    Btw, I happen to know one of the managers at this dealer. I’m going in next week to drive it. What do you want to know?

    • Alff

      Will a cinder block really punch a hole in the aluminum bed?

      • Greg Kachadurian

        Got a skid loader I can borrow?

        • PotbellyJoe★★★★★

          Is there a package for the Expedition. Asking for a friend.

          • JayP

            Expedition is ecoboost v6 only these days.

            • PotbellyJoe★★★★★

              Aware, still doesn’t mean they can’t tune it up.

              • JayP

                Shelby Expedition Raptor.
                That’d be something,

      • Dave Robertson

        Bottom line is most trucks either have a bed liner or rhino liner. The chance someone’s gonna drop a dump truck full of cinder blocks in the bed of your truck is just for the commercial.

        • I thought same thing. You do that same test with a bed liner and that damage never happens.

        • Alff

          Yeah, I don’t treat my trucks like that until they’re about 10 years old.

    • Andrew_theS2kBore

      Why $50k doesn’t buy you body color mirror caps.

      • Greg Kachadurian

        From talking with my friend there, it was done with a purpose. The ’99-04 Lightnings didn’t have a whole lot of equipment either. They knew buyers were only interested in the power, so that’s what they tried to recreate here. Since it’s a custom build though I’m sure you can spec it another way if you ask nicely.

        • outback_ute

          Maybe the $339 left under $50k would cover mirror caps!

          Seriously though, the black plastic works ok on a black truck but on any other colour it looks poor. A special grille and front bumper/air dam would be more fitting as a Lightning. It just needs to smooth out what is there, nothing elaborate, although to take it further and use Raptor front fenders and pickup box would be better!

          Another comment having clicked on the link for the truck – no mention of the extras on the listing at all from what I can see!

    • Smaglik

      Manual transmission, 4×4, tow package?

      • Mike

        I don’t think there is a manual transmission option in any F150.
        4×4 & tow package; why not just get a regular F150 and just put a super charger on it. That really wasn’t the point of a lightning.

        • Smaglik

          These are my wants. They do not need to be logical or realistic.

          • Mike

            I can respect that. Just throwing out an idea for you.

            • Smaglik

              Understood. If I ever get into a truck, if my X3 ever dies, it will likely be a Tacoma. I can get into all three of those wants, though with decidedly less power.

    • Joey DaVive

      You must record audio. I must hear what that Roush mill sounds like

  • CraigSu

    Not saying I don’t like it, but this Lightning (much like the Dodge Ram SRT-10) seems like the answer to a question no one is asking.

    • Alff

      There’s a narrow market, for sure. But if you want a horsepower monster in a package that’s not easily ground down through regular use, a pickup is a more durable platform than a car.

    • Rudy™

      My thought as well. No practical car or truck needs anywhere that much power. In my neck of the woods, only the dumb six-pack-drinking hillbillies would buy this “redneck hotrod.”

  • Victor

    Black looks good on the new Ford truck ,the ones with a wall of chrome on the front seem a bit garish.

    • I think the 2018 facelift is a big improvement.

    • cap’n fast

      beauty is a spray can away

  • PotbellyJoe★★★★★

    I owned a Gen1, and appreciated the Gen2 for what it was, but never liked the melted soap look of that gen of F-150.

    This is a good looking truck and likely hauls ass.

  • Kiefmo

    Make mine 4WD so it can make use of that 650hp at speeds under 75mph.

  • Speaking of unusual pickup trucks, this is the first of these I’ve ever seen. It was in the parking lot next to last weekend’s car show in Ocean Park, WA, is not a kit car, and is, as far as I can tell, essentially stock. I didn’t get a chance to speak with the owner or see under the hood, but I rather doubt it has 650 horsepower. Unsanctioned Mystery Car!

    • Alff

      I have no idea what this is and it’s really bothering me.

      • I didn’t recognize it, either, although upon reading the sign I realized I had heard of it. As a hint, it was made in the US. The production run was modest.

        • mdr1220

          Is it a Crosley? Because that front end looks familiar.

          • Nope. Considerably rarer.

            • fede

              the tires look too big and too new. if they are stock, I have no clue (if they aren’t, I also have no clue)

    • It’s a 1975 Leata Truck from Stinebaugh Manufacturing of Post Falls, ID, better known for their later Leata Cabalero.

      • Alff

        Thanks. I would never have figured that one out. Given your involvement I was guessing a latter-day Austin or Morris, perhaps assembled in some remote outpost of the empire.

        I’m especially impressed that these came with “real instrumentation”. Those fake instruments border on useless.

        • I’ve been thinking of removing all the gauges and dash lights from the racing SAAB and just going with this, perhaps even hooking it up to something:

  • JayP

    The last Lightning made 380hp… less than the 400hp the Coyote makes stock. Crazy times that 400hp is considered pedestrian.

    Still, I approve of this truck.

    • John

      Yes, but the last Lightning was much lighter and hence faster. If I remember correctly, Car and Driver clocked one to 60 at 5.2 sec.

      • Car and Driver clocked a 2016 Lariat Crew Cab 4×4 with the 5.0 at 6.3 seconds. I suspect a Regular Cab 4×2 would do a little better. Maybe not 5.2 but still pretty good.

    • dukeisduke

      That Lightning also used a beefed-up 4R100 (E4OD) automatic (like used in the Super Duty trucks) in place of the 4R70W used in the standard F-150s.

  • cap’n fast

    some time ago the question was asked what your idea of an “ideal vehicle” should be. pretty much everyone did not say a four cylinder mini van. two doors and two seats and lots of horsepower. this sorta fits the bill does it not?

  • Sir Digby Chicken Caeser


    • Angel Summoner

      “Sir Digby Chicken Caesar

      Stones…glass houses…

      • Close, but no cigar…

        • Angel Summoner

          And yet…

  • dead_elvis, inc.

    “signature styling queues”

    I wouldn’t stand in lines for it.

    • Greg Kachadurian

      I’m sure some people would… like me.
      *fixed, ty!*

    • Alot of people will! Big griping at Ford by customers waiting for a new Lightning!! Comments online are in the thousands!! Ford’s not been paying enough attn! This will make them do so now that its gone viral!

      • dead_elvis, inc.

        Edit: image embed appears to be borked, but you’ve completely missed the joke.

        • Yeah ok. No one got ot except you!

        • Sure ok. No one got it except you so have fun!

          • dead_elvis, inc.

            I see you don’t know what a queue is.

  • Freddy Gaudette Jr.

    Hmm. The badging is horrible. It’s not part of SVT. Should have just stuck with the lightning badges. Also there was also a big difference in the front end of the lightning and the regular f150s. They put a super charger and rims on a basic truck and called it a lightning. Why don’t they put superchargers in mustang gt’s and call them a svt cobra’s. Also mark them up 20 grand for a 5000 modification.

    • cap’n fast

      labor is a bitch, ain’t it?

    • Zentropy

      No, it’s not an SVT Lightning. But by dubbing it “Lightning”, the dealership attracts the attention of a small niche of customers that otherwise wouldn’t otherwise know about it. I give this dealership credit, as most who provide “special edition” versions of stock vehicles do little more than add vinyl graphics and special floor mats. This truck gets a tuned suspension, huge horsepower boost, and custom rims. It’s no lightning, but it’s pretty special, and as close to a Roush F-150 as you’re going to find.

  • charlesdjones1

    Those rims doe.. and $50k is a lot of dough for a base model looking single cab F-150.

    • Sjalabais

      Isn’t true connoisseurship to drive a vehicle that looks like nothing, yet is everything? I know, it’s contrary to the whalemouth and 21 inch wheels times we live in, but there’s always someone who likes the approach. Count me in on that, even though I’d always prefer a van to a truck – everyone’s got their narrow preferences.

  • Jay

    Stock sintered rods supercharger…… Um no

  • Jeff Novak

    This looks too much like a base Ford F150 with the supercharger added. Can you order one with all the bells and whistles ? Then I’m interested.

    • charlesdjones1

      I guess if someone wanted to get laughed at they would get one of these? My buddy’s old Daytona Ram was more impressive than this and we always thought that was for teenagers.

    • Greg Kachadurian

      Because each one is special ordered from the dealer, I’m sure you can spec it however you want. The first few tributes were purposely left pretty standard to mimic how the 99-04 Lightning came from the factory, which was also with few options. I’ll be sure to ask this when I go see it next week.

  • peralez2383

    rims way too big, look stupid

  • Jeffrey Camp

    Just get a sports car, why do people want to treat trucks like performance vehicles? You could get a Corvette for the same price that would smoke this thing. Trucks are for work, cars and bikes are for fun.

  • Maymar

    It might be heresy, but I’d like to see a modern Lightning with a 3.5 EcoBoost (naturally, one that’s been breathed on a bit). It’s what they’re running in the Ford GT, it’s what they’re running in the Raptor, hell, I think the 3.5 EB is the mass market engine in the F150 altogether – I’d like to see a sport truck running it.

    Of course, I also want to see a 3.5 EB Mustang, so my wants may be suspect.

  • ThisIsMadness

    Looks like the old ’94-95 Lightnings. I like it!

  • dukeisduke

    Did it already sell? I clicked on the inventory link and couldn’t find it. I even limited it to black trucks (7 in stock), and still didn’t see it. This one looks pretty faithful to the original.

    If Ford wanted to avoid the grief from the Chevy ads ripping on the aluminum bed, they could have gone with sheet molded composite (SMC), like in my Tacoma.

  • Tony Fernandez

    buy a base model in black with a 5.0 for $28.500 add rims and super charger later and save a lot of cash