MORE OF EVERYTHING OWNERS HAVE LEARNED TO LOVE
The Ford Special Vehicle Team’s 2001 edition of the SVT F-150
Lightning elevates this niche vehicle to a higher level of performance and
appearance. More horsepower, new rear-axle gearing, suspension fine-tuning and
several distinctive exterior appearance changes make this SVT Lightning the
most appealing ever, according to John Coletti, chief engineer at Ford Special
“The 2001 SVT Lightning gives owners everything they have
learned to love, but more of it,” Coletti says. “It’s the most powerful,
best-handling one we’ve yet produced, and some dramatic design changes make
this 2001 model instantly recognizable.”
“This is a performance truck that hit its market niche target
right in the bull’s-eye,” says Tom Scarpello, Ford specialty vehicle marketing
manager. “We design and engineer these vehicles for discriminating enthusiasts
who know what they want and expect. Our plan is to keep meeting or exceeding
their expectations, and this vehicle will just keep getting better and better.
That’s the way it has to be, particularly for this customer.”
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
For 2001, the SVT Lightning’s
SOHC 5.4-liter Triton V8 engine develops 380 horsepower at 4,750
rpm, up 20 horsepower from the 2000 model. Torque output is increased by 10
foot-pounds, to 450 at 3,250 rpm.
The engineering team achieved these increases by enlarging the
air inlet system for better engine breathing, by improving intercooler
efficiency, and redesigning the lower intake manifold to improve air flow (see
separate powertrain release for details).
The engineers achieved additional performance increases with a
new rear axle ratio, with “shorter” 3.73:1 crown and pinion gear set instead of
the previous 3.55:1 ratio. This improves off-the-line performance, and is a key
factor in reducing zero to 60 mph time from 6.2 to 5.8 seconds. Because of the
higher driveline loads and rotational speeds, a new 4.5-inch aluminum drive
shaft has replaced the previous 3.5-inch steel unit.
SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
The SVT Lightning’s
suspension system, which lowers the truck half an inch in front and two inches
in the rear, is largely unchanged for 2001. At the front is a short- and
long-arm system with coil springs and a 31mm solid stabilizer bar; the rear is
a solid axle with five-leaf springs and a 23mm solid stabilizer bar.
New shock absorbers for 2001 are monotube Bilstein gas-charged
units at all four corners. The damping characteristics of these shocks improve
wheel control, while significantly improving the feel of the SVT Lightning’s
Also for 2001, the specially developed 295/45ZR-18
Goodyear Eagle F1-GS unidirectional tires are built
with the next generation F1 GS rubber compound. This new compound improves the
tires’ grip capability.
EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR
The SVT F-150 Lightning is
built on the F-Series regular cab, short-wheelbase chassis, giving the lightest
possible weight, optimum handling and acceleration. This configuration also
provides a dynamic visual presence, which is enhanced with design changes for
Exterior elements that distinguish the 2001 SVT Lightning
include new upper and lower front grilles with a horizontal billet-bar design
that is unique to Lightning in the F-Series line. All the lights also are new
for 2001. The headlights, taillights, side-marker lights, and the signature
round fog lights all have clear, crystalline lenses found only on Lightning,
which give the exterior a clean, jewel-like appearance.
The cab’s center high-mounted stop lamp also is unique to
Lightning, with 10 light-emitting diodes flanked by two clear-lens cargo
The cast aluminum-alloy, five-spoke wheels measure 18 x 9.5
inches and are restyled for 2001 with a sharper-edged design, which further
distinguishes this vehicle from previous models.
The 2001 SVT Lightning’s interior continues the combination of
Ebony textured leather and Medium Graphite cloth trim, 40/60 split bench seat
with center jump seat, and the SVT-signature white-faced gauges.
New for 2001, and in response to customer demand, are sun
visors with lighted vanity mirrors. These new visors also have auxiliary blades
that can be flipped to the side to add shade to the top of the side windows.
EQUIPMENT AND PRICE
The SVT Lightning’s complement
of standard equipment remains the same for 2001, and includes front air bags
with a passenger airbag deactivation switch; anti-lock braking system; six-way
power driver’s seat with special lateral bolstering; a six-disc CD changer;
power side windows, door locks and outside mirrors; engine oil cooler;
SecuriLock passive anti-theft system and remote keyless entry, and
a Class III towing package.
The only option available for the SVT Lightning is a
factory-installed soft tonneau cover. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price
for this option is unchanged for 2001 at $150.
The 2001 SVT Lightning’s MSRP is $32,300 (including destination