August 13, 2003 – Today, the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning was certified as the “World’s Fastest Production Pickup Truck” by Guinness World Records, Ltd. after reaching 147 miles per hour at Ford’s test track. Since the truck’s introduction in 1999, the supercharged SVT Lightning has been unofficially called the world’s fastest pickup by numerous media outlets. Now it’s a matter of official record.
“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!”
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.
This result is more than adequate to set the Guinness World Record™ for the “Fastest Production Pickup.”
The supercharged SVT F-150 Lightning was introduced in 1999, with 360 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. In their January 1999 issue, Car and Driver magazine reported, “Ford SVT builds the world’s fastest pickup.”
Since then, engine modifications have improved performance, bringing output up to 380 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. In their most recent editorial evaluation, the July 2003 issue of Motor Trend reported a terminal speed of 146 mph in a 2003 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning.
For Tom Scarpello, the Guinness World Record™ solidifies the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning as the one, the only, and the best performance pickup truck in the world.
“Capable of acceleration from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, and reaching 147 mph, the SVT Lightning is the dominant sport pickup in the world,” says Scarpello. “No pickup truck on the market today can come close to matching those numbers. And, the SVT Lightning does all this and still can tow a 5,000 pound trailer and carry 1,300 pounds of payload. But best of all, this is no concept vehicle–it’s available right now from your local Ford SVT dealer.”
Ford SVT history
The Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT) was established in 1991 to “polish the Ford oval,” by creating low-volume, factory-produced vehicles designed for those whose idea of driving is a high-powered, passionate experience – not just a means of getting from point A to point B.
In a move to support this spirited enthusiasm, Ford Motor Company carefully integrated the wide array of talent in the company into a small, cross-functional group of engineers, product planners and marketing people, housed together under one roof with a common mission – to create vehicles specifically designed to meet the unique needs and desires of the knowledgeable driving enthusiast.
Each SVT vehicle produced since the 1993 model year has been designed and developed with the four SVT Hallmarks in mind: Performance, Substance, Exclusivity and Value. These hallmarks have driven the SVT Mustang Cobra and Cobra R, the SVT F-150 Lightning, the SVT Contour and the SVT Focus.
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Source: Ford Press Release