- Redesigned 18- by 9.5-inch five-spoke cast aluminum wheels
- Upgraded and retuned steering
- Standard six-disc in-dash CD AM/FM stereo system
- Brushed aluminum finish on interior door handles
- Improved carpet material
- Exterior colors: Dark Shadow Gray and Sonic Blue
- Payload rating increases from 800 pounds to 1,400 pounds
2003 SPECIAL VEHICLE TEAM SVT F-150 LIGHTNING OVERVIEW
New for 2003
As the undisputed champion in the sport truck segment, the third-generation 2003 SVT F-150 Lightning carries on with upgrades that continue to up the ante. Setting the standard in acceleration, handling and attitude, the 2003 SVT F-150 Lightning hammers into its eighth year of production as the world’s fastest factory-produced pickup. The SVT F-150 Lightning is produced in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
The 2003 SVT Lightning has several distinct exterior features that set it apart from the rest of the F-150 lineup. Crystalline headlamps, clear turn signal lenses and SVT-signature round fog lamps in the vehicle’s unique front fascia project the Lightning’s attitude to the unsuspecting. The face is complemented by unique clear taillamp lenses and a light-emitting diode high-mounted stop light. Lower rocker extensions, side-exit exhaust and a unique 18- by 9.5-inch five-spoke wheel/tire package further distance the SVT Lightning from other F-150’s.
Inside, the Lightning has a 60/40-split bench front seat with improved side bolsters for better lateral support for spirited driving. Seating surfaces have Preferred Suede trim with textured Nudo Leather inserts with the SVT logo embroidered on the backrest. New for 2003 is the brushed aluminum finish on the interior door handles, a new steering wheel with perforated leather and unique air bag cover. A new plush high-pile carpet material increases wear resistance and improves sound insulation.
Also new for 2003 is the six-disc in-dash AM/FM/CD stereo with improved equalization for better sound quality and convenient CD changes.
New exterior color choices for 2003 include Dark Shadow Gray and Sonic Blue. Other colors available include Oxford White Clearcoat, Bright Red Clearcoat and Black Clearcoat.
A 5.4-liter SOHC Tritonª V-8 powers the 2003 SVT F-150 Lightning. The Tritonª V-8 is mated with an Eatonª GEN IV supercharger that breathes through an intercooler, providing 380 horsepower at 4,750 rpm and 450 foot-pounds of torque at 3,250 rpm.
Transferring the power to the wheels is a four-speed automatic transmission, strengthened with the same internals used behind Ford’s PowerStrokeª diesel. Routed through an aluminum driveshaft for increased strength, power is then transformed into acceleration by a 9-inch traction-lock differential with a 3.73:1 gear ratio.
The 2003 SVT F-150 benefits from improved chassis tuning for outstanding handling. Bilstein gas-charged shocks are the damper of choice at all four corners for their excellent control and ride characteristics. Unique chassis tuning also lowers the Lightning 2 inches in the rear and 1.5 inches in the front to improve the handling and give a more aggressive appearance.
The steering gear is revalved for 2003 and has better on-center feel and reduced lash.
There have also been some minor tweaks in the chassis tuning for 2003. The changes have increased the Lightning’s cargo capacity from 800 pounds in 2002 to 1,400 pounds in 2003.
The brakes have larger front rotors that measure 12 inches in diameter with 13-inch rear discs. A four-wheel anti-lock brake system is standard. The SVT Lightning also features unique brake pad material to assist in heat dissipation and improve wear characteristics.
Safety and Security
The 2003 SVT F-150 Lightning’s inherently well-balanced chassis, responsive steering and powerful anti-lock brakes provide the first measure of defense in emergencies: controllability. There also are driver and passenger front air bags with an on/off switch for the passenger-side air bag, and BeltMinderª, which chimes to remind the driver to buckle up.
Providing a sense of security from dead batteries and theft, the Lightning also features SecuriLockª, which requires the use of a coded key to start the vehicle and a battery saver feature that turns off lights and accessories if they are left on for more than 10 minutes.