Big muscle for doing big truck things.
The biggest selling vehicle in America is a Ford pickup truck. The second biggest selling vehicle in America is a Chevy pickup truck. The third best selling vehicle in America is a RAam pickup truck. There's no getting away from it because, whether you love or hate them, there’s no denying the importance of trucks.
The big advantages of trucks are in how strong they are built, how big the engine bays usually are and, as a result, the size of engines that can go in them. That makes them incredibly adaptable whether you want something to tow big stuff, go off-road, go in a straight line really fast, or go off-road really fast. You can also do any of these things while carrying a load in the bed. These are prime examples of how practical, fun, or both, that trucks can be.
From 2004–2006 Dodge produced a vehicle that came with a 500-HP V10 engine that could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, then haul the results of a home changing trip to Home Depot. At its heart, the Ram SRT-10 is an absolute monster. Under the hood with the big air scoop is an 8.3 liter bored and stroked version of the SRT Viper’s engine. In its three years of production 9,527 were made, so if you’re lucky enough to see one then you should definitely respect the level of power it's barely disguising.
Commonly known as the "Rambo Lambo,” Lamborghini’s truck was both a departure from its usual supercars and from the road. Originally, Lamborghini was developing a truck for military use but subsequently figured out there was good money in selling vehicles to the oil exploration and production industry. It's a brute of a four-door pickup produced with a 5.2-liter V12. However, if someone needed even more power, and owned their own petrol company, they could option a 7.2-liter marine V12 more commonly found in powerboats.
If you absolutely positively have to move a house a few feet to the left, then the latest generation Ram in Heavy Duty spec with the Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six-cylinder turbodiesel engine is the tool you need. It boasts an earth-shifting 1,000 lb-ft of torque and will tow 35,100 pounds of weight without complaining. For some perspective, that’s a six-cylinder diesel whereas the go-to 6.4-liter Hemi V8 produces just 429 lb-ft of torque.
We already know just how awesome the Ford F-150 Raptor is, and it would normally be on this list of its own accord. But, if you want to crank the off-road lunacy up a notch then Shelby American has the answer. You get an upgrade on the already excellent FOX shocks, an extra 75 horsepower, a bunch of extra off-roading equipment and the ability to go almost anywhere you want at any speed you want.
Of course, if you want to go from absurd truck performance to full-blown lunacy, then Hennessey's take on the Raptor is also out there.
It’s not just Americans that know how to overcook a truck. AMG took the already uncompromising G-Wagen and made sure it had five locking differentials, three transfer cases, six beadlock wheels, and ribbed America by declaring it to be the "automotive declaration of independence.” For an extra injection of absurdity, the German tuning house Brabus was happy to stick a turbo on the engine, add a custom exhaust, and then tune an AMG 6X6 to make an obscene 700 hp and 708 lb-ft of torque.
The El Camino is dead, long live the Maloo. Yes, you can argue it’s not a pickup truck, but it does have a truck bed and it’s got the faint whiff of Australian lunacy about it. The Holden Special Vehicles version of the Maloo has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 and very little weight over the rear wheels. That’s a recipe for fun right there.
Before the Raptor, and before the RAM SRT 10, Ford was already having fun making fast trucks. The first generation was interesting, but the end of the second generation SVT Lightning got a supercharged version of the F-150’s 5.4-liter V8 that kicked out 380 horsepower through a heavy-duty transmission. The SVT Lightning was retired after the 2004 model year.
As of the time of writing, America doesn’t have the Raptor version of the new Ford Ranger, but it’s been popping up in Europe for a while now. It has the reputation for being everything the F-150 Raptor is, but in a smaller package, and we would put a few bucks on it getting here soon.
We go all the way back to 1991 to pay our respects to the little commuter truck that savaged just about everything on the road at the time in a straight line. That’s not hyperbole either, Car and Driver magazine saw fit to put it on the tarmac next to a Ferrari 348ts and the Syclone beat it down the quarter mile. Essentially, the Syclone is a Sonoma truck that’s been lowered and had a 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 installed. The result is an absurdly fast sleeper truck that gained a cult-like following despite being quite rare.
In 2008, Motor Trend reported that the Tundra TRD had made a 0-60 mph run in 4.4 seconds making it the fastest production truck in the world. That number has been called into question, but nobody has actually proved otherwise. Any way you spin it though, the Eaton Twin Vortices supercharger matched with Toyota’s 5.7-liter V8 to make a whopping 504 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque is impressive now. But that was over ten years ago.
Perhaps the most brutal truck on the planet right now is an all-wheel drive Chevy based drag racer called Miss Misery. It’s an 8.8-liter supercharged animal that’s laid down a time of 4.30 seconds at just over 170 mph on the eighth-mile drag strip. According to some, that makes it the quickest all-wheel-drive vehicle in the world.
Larry Larson’s drag truck runs on a specially built engine with a single enormous turbo and is claimed to be the fastest street legal truck in the world. It has a ridiculous 3,000-horsepower engine and managed an eyeball meltingly fast 1/4 mile in just 5.95 sec. It also had a license plate attached at the time.
How much of the truck can actually claim to have been made by Chevy? Look at the pictures and decide for yourself…