36. Ford F-150 Lightning
The ’60s were a high watermark for American performance in terms of horsepower and torque ratings. It was also the era for looks, style, and many interesting, fast models. After the early 70’s tightening emission and safety laws, the power went embarrassingly down. It looked like the glory days of octane madness were gone. Fortunately, in the ’90s, American manufacturers started investing in performance and delivering faster, more powerful cars. One of those pure performance machines was the crazy, cool F-150 Lightning. Ford conceived it in the early ’90s with only 280 HP. The Lightning was a performance truck with great driving dynamics. But, in 1999 with the new and totally redesigned generation of F-150 trucks, came the new Lightning. This time it was meaner looking, more aggressive, and packed more firepower.
Ford installed its 5.4-liter V8 with a supercharger that was good for 360 HP at first and 380 HP later. This was more than the previous model and more than any truck on the market at that moment. The performance numbers were sublime. The Lightning could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds, topping 140 mph. Those figures were more suited to the Porsche 911 than a regular pickup truck that could tow or carry cargo just like other F-150s. The second-generation Lightning proved to be quite popular and stayed in production for five years, up to 2004. During that period, Ford’s SVT department produced over 30,000 Lightning trucks, which are fantastic numbers.