Efficiency pickups was a factor. From the Chevy 454 SS within the early Nineteen Nineties to the sports activities automotive like efficiency the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner was throwing down within the early 2000s quick vans had their very own little slice of the fanatic market pie. As soon as, that sort of efficiency confirmed up in an sudden place.
Again in 2003, engineers with Ford’s Particular Car Staff (SVT) took a daily cab Ranger Flareside powered by a 2.4-liter I4 and started working. On the time, SVT Engineering Director John Coletti and his group had a imaginative and prescient of constructing a efficiency truck utilizing off the shelf components to maintain prices down, simply in case it obtained authorized for manufacturing. They already had an engine in thoughts: the 5.4-liter 380 horsepower supercharged V8 from the SVT Lightning. A modified induction system and exhaust resulted in additional energy than was obtainable within the inventory Lightning: 420 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.
However that a lot energy in a small pickup just like the Ranger would imply further bracing. So that they boxed the body rails and cross braced them for stiffness. To get the engine below the hood, the suspension was lowered two inches and management arms and steering knuckles had been lifted from the SVT Lightning. A 3.73 rear axle from the Lightning in addition to 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and a heavy obligation transmission from the F-Collection pickups was fitted to the Ranger.
The inside was largely saved inventory, save for some customized leather-based seats with yellow lightning bolts on them and physique colour trim on the doorways. The consequence was a monster of somewhat pickup. When Motor Trend examined it, it ran the quarter mile in 13.8 seconds at 108 mph; MotorWeek did 13.5 seconds at 101 mph.
And whereas it was constructed to maintain manufacturing value low utilizing a bunch of components lifted from its Lighting massive brother, SVT had no plans to truly construct the factor. Head of SVT gross sales and advertising and marketing on the time Tom Scarpello confirmed as a lot to Motor Trend; they claimed there was no room for 2 efficiency vans within the lineup. It’s extra possible this was a 911/Cayman scenario: the smaller automobile got here near or outright outperformed its larger sibling and Ford couldn’t have that. It’s good to assume again on what might have been had Ford given us an SVT Ranger with that a lot energy. A automobile like that shapes automakers and their lineups for generations.