August 18, 2003

Ford SVT F-150 Lightning “World’s Fastest Production Pickup Truck” says Guiness

Dearborn, Michigan – The Ford SVT F-150 Lightning was certified as the “World’s Fastest Production Pickup Truck” by Guinness World Records, Ltd. after reaching 237 km/h (147 mph) at Ford’s test track.

“We’re proud to have certification from Guinness World Records,” says Tom Scarpello, Ford SVT marketing and sales manager. “It is a well-deserved record for the engineering team, and overdue confirmation to all the SVT F-150 Lightning owners out there who have known for years that they drive the fastest truck on the planet!”

Ford F-150 Lightning speed record
A 2003 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning hits 147 mph at the Ford Michigan Proving Grounds test facility. Click image to enlarge

The record run was conducted on the Michigan Proving Grounds of Ford Motor Company. The five-mile-long, high-speed oval provided a safe, controlled environment to test the limits of truck’s performance.

“This may seem like fun and games, but high-speed stability is critical for a performance vehicle, even a pickup truck,” says Tom Chapman, Ford SVT chassis systems supervisor and driver for the record-setting run. “The SVT F-150 Lightning is just as stable and planted at 147 miles per hour as it is at 55 mph; only the scenery’s going by faster. That stability is a testament to the solid foundation of the Ford F-150, and the performance engineering found in Ford SVT products.”

For the record, Guinness requires the truck to be production level, meaning it is identical to what a customer can find at his local Ford SVT dealer. Speeds must be measured over a kilometer, and the record speed is derived from an average of speeds in both directions.

To meet the vehicle requirements, Ford SVT used a stock 2003 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning. Exterior modifications were limited to folding in the side mirrors, and removing the radio antenna. To meet timing requirements, Ford SVT conducted the test on Ford’s Michigan Proving Ground high-speed oval. Timing lights were set up seven-tenths of a mile apart (as certified by an independent surveyor). A Hot Lap In-Car Timer, from Longacre Racing Products, was used to measure elapsed time through the measured 0.7 mile. Elapsed time was then converted to miles per hour.

Clockwise, the fastest elapsed time was 17.03 seconds, or 147.974 mph. Counter-clockwise, the fastest elapsed time was 17.09 seconds, or 147.454 mph. The average of those two runs is 147.714 mph.

The supercharged SVT F-150 Lightning was introduced in 1999, with 360 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. Since then, engine modifications have improved performance, bringing output up to 380 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.

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