Rumors of its return have been greatly exaggerated.
There is no shortage of performance trucks making their way to the market. While the US awaits confirmation of a Ranger Raptor, the forthcoming F-150 Raptor will be a hulking muscle-truck in order to compete with the insane 702-horsepower Ram 1500 TRX. Rumors suggest Ford will drop the 750-hp supercharged Predator V8 into the F-150's engine bay, while an upgraded off-road suspension will make the off-road dominator nothing short of spectacular. But what of an on-road performance truck akin to the original 1993 F-150 Lightning? Well, it turns out that if you're holding your breath for a revival, you'll be in for a long wait as Ford has no plans to revive the nameplate - that's according to a recent interview Muscle Cars & Trucks conducted with Craig Schmatz, Chief Engineer for the 2021 Ford F-150.
Schmatz, who worked on the Lightning program back in the Nineties has borne witness to the secondhand values of these trucks rising, but he ruled out the possibility of a revival due to one simple reason: utility - the ability to go anywhere. In the interview, he says that "we see more people do off-road rather than on-road street performance." He goes on to say that the brand's "customers love the ability to go anywhere and do anything… very few people would want to buy a street truck that wasn't capable of towing vehicles and going off-road."
Of course, modern performance trucks cater to both sides of the coin, capable of delivering insane 0-60 mph times of under four seconds in the case of the Ram TRX while tacking on off-road trails and desert runs without much fuss. It seems to be sound logic then, as a dedicated street performance truck would only appeal to a very small group of buyers.
If you still want a street performance truck, there is no shortage of aftermarket companies willing to build the 650-horsepower SVT Lightning of your dreams. You'll just have to fork out $50k for the privilege.