Looking for a rush that only a really fast truck can provide? We’re about to take a look at the best pickup trucks ever built. These aren’t your everyday haulers; they’re the speed demons of the truck world, combining utility with the kind of heart-thumping power that turns heads and sets pulses racing. From classic muscle to modern powerhouses, let’s check out what makes these trucks so incredibly fast and undeniably cool.
Dodge Custom Sports Special
In the early 60s, Dodge broke the mold with the Custom Sports Special, a pickup that blended utility with unprecedented speed. This package transformed the D-Series with a robust 7.0-liter, 365 HP V8 engine and luxury features like bucket seats from the Dart GT. Priced at around $235 back then, this rare gem is a collector’s delight today. Its ability to sprint from 0-60mph in just 7.6 seconds was extraordinary for its time, making it a trailblazer in the performance truck segment.
Dodge D150 Little Red Truck
1978 saw Dodge reinventing the D150 into America’s first high-performance truck. The Little Red Truck, with its 5.9-liter, 225 HP V8 engine, was more than just a powerful machine; it was a statement. Its unique chrome stacks and clever emission standards workaround made it an icon. This truck, with its improved 0-60mph time of 6.7 seconds, stood out not just for its performance but also for its distinctive style, including the shift from round to square headlights in the 1979 models.
The Shelby Dakota of 1989, a brainchild of Carroll Shelby, was a powerhouse in the pickup world. Upgrading the Dodge Dakota’s V6 to a 5.9-liter V8, Shelby created a truck that was a standout in the late 80s with its 175 HP. Limited to 1475 units, this truck was a rare specimen that clocked a 0-60mph in 8.7 seconds, showcasing the impressive power in a relatively compact frame.
Chevrolet C1500 454 SS
Chevrolet’s C1500 454 SS took the performance truck concept to a new level. With a 7.4-liter V8 engine delivering 230 HP and a revamped suspension, this truck was not just about looks; it was about raw power and agility. Between 1990 and 1993, this model became a beloved choice for enthusiasts, capable of hitting 0-60mph in just 7.1 seconds.
The GMC Syclone was a game-changer with its turbocharged 4.3-liter V6, pushing out an impressive 280 HP. This compact powerhouse could outrun a Corvette with its astonishing 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds, a feat that was remarkable for its time. Priced at a premium, the Syclone proved that there was a market for high-performance compact trucks, leading the way for future innovations in this niche.
Ford F-150 SVT Lightning (First Generation)
Ford’s entry into the performance truck market came with the F-150 SVT Lightning in 1993. This model featured a 5.8-liter, 240 HP V8, and significant chassis modifications for improved handling. Ford managed to sell over 11,000 of these trucks, thanks to their blend of power and performance, evidenced by a 0-60mph time of 7.6 seconds.
Ford F-150 SVT Lightning (Second Generation)
The second generation of the F-150 SVT Lightning in 1999 took things up a notch with a supercharged 5.4-liter V8, initially producing 360 HP and later 380 HP. This beast of a truck could do 0-60mph in a mere 5.7 seconds. Ford’s focus on suspension upgrades paid off, making this generation even more successful than the first.
Chevrolet Silverado SS
Chevrolet brought back the SS badge for the Silverado in 2003, outfitting it with a 6.0-liter, 345 HP V8 engine. Although not as fast as the Lightning, with a 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds, it was still a formidable player in the performance truck market. The Silverado SS was a blend of power and luxury, carrying a hefty price tag that reflected its premium status.
Dodge Ram SRT-10
The Dodge Ram SRT-10 was a bold statement, packing a massive 8.3-liter, 500 HP V10 engine from the Viper. This truck was a marvel, boasting a 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds, rivaling some of the best sports cars of its time. Dodge’s daring move paid off, with nearly 10,000 units sold, making the Ram SRT-10 a legend in the world of performance trucks.
Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Supercharged
Toyota’s Tacoma X-Runner, unveiled in 2004, combined aesthetics with performance. The standard 4.0-liter V6, with an optional factory-developed supercharger, could churn out about 300 HP, reducing the 0-60mph time to 6.0 seconds. This truck wasn’t just about straight-line speed; it boasted improved handling, making it a well-rounded performance vehicle.
Ford SVT Raptor
2010’s Ford SVT Raptor was a departure from street-oriented trucks, focusing instead on off-road performance. Available with two V8 engine options, the more powerful 6.2-liter version offered 411 HP. This truck wasn’t just about speed, with a 0-60mph of 7.2 seconds, but also about conquering tough terrains, setting a new standard in the high-performance pickup segment.
Ford F-150 Tremor
The Ford F-150 Tremor of 2014 was a modern interpretation of performance trucks. Unlike its predecessors, it was powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, producing 365 HP. Though taller and available with four-wheel drive, it still managed a 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds. With its model-specific decals, the Tremor was a unique blend of power and style, limited to just 2230 units.
Ford F-150 Raptor
The second-generation Raptor, launched in 2017, showcased Ford’s commitment to performance and innovation. Dropping the V8 for a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 with 450 HP, it combined power with a significant weight reduction. This agile giant could sprint from 0-60mph in just 5.2 seconds, proving that downsizing the engine didn’t mean downsizing the thrill.
Shelby F-150 Super Snake
In 2017, Shelby took the performance truck concept to the extreme with the F-150 Super Snake. Armed with a supercharged V8 delivering a whopping 750 HP, this truck was a testament to American muscle. Priced high and produced in limited numbers, the Super Snake was a collector’s dream, combining raw power with a lowered, street-focused suspension.
Hennessey Goliath 800
Hennessey’s contribution to the performance truck segment came in the form of the Goliath 800 in 2019, a souped-up version of the Chevrolet Silverado. This beast featured a 6.2-liter V8 engine boosted to a staggering 805 HP through extensive modifications. Achieving 0-60mph in just 4.3 seconds, the Goliath 800 stood as a testament to Hennessey’s ability to transform a standard pickup into a powerhouse. For those seeking a slightly toned-down version, the Goliath 500 offered a still-impressive 500 HP option.
The Saleen Sportruck of 2019 demonstrated the ongoing allure of high-powered pickups. By supercharging Ford’s 5.0-liter V8, Saleen managed to squeeze out an impressive 700 HP. This truck wasn’t just about raw power; it also featured a comprehensive body kit, alloy wheels, and extensive suspension tweaks, making it a true modern-day successor to the performance trucks of yesteryears.
Entering the scene with a bang, the Rivian R1T marked a pivotal moment in truck history – the arrival of high-performance electric pickups. Set to offer a version with a whopping 800 HP, Rivian promised a 0-60mph time of just 3.0 seconds, rivaling some of the fastest sports cars. Featuring a quad-motor setup and an impressive range, the R1T was a glimpse into the future of electrified performance trucks.
The Bollinger B2 was an intriguing blend of retro styling and modern electric power. Its boxy design housed a 614 HP electric powertrain, capable of a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds. Despite its impressive performance and unique design, Bollinger later shifted its focus away from launching this particular model, instead concentrating on its EV platform.
The Ram TRX brought extreme performance back to gasoline-powered trucks in 2021. With its supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8, it boasted 702 HP and managed to propel its hefty frame to 60mph in just 4.5 seconds. This beast of a truck was not just about speed; it also featured off-road capabilities, making it a versatile option in the high-performance truck market.
Shelby F-150 Super Snake Sport (2021)
In response to demand for even faster trucks, Shelby introduced the F-150 Super Snake Sport in 2021. This powerhouse, with its 770 HP V8 engine, set a new standard for ICE-powered trucks with a 0-60mph time of just 3.45 seconds. Limited to 250 units for North America, this truck combined performance upgrades with custom aesthetics, making it a highly sought-after model among enthusiasts.
Ford F-150 Lightning (2022)
Ford’s F-150 Lightning in 2022 marked another milestone in the evolution of electric performance trucks. With a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds and up to 580 HP, it balanced speed with practical features like a large ‘frunk’ and hands-free driving capabilities. Though its range varied with load, Ford’s commitment to fast charging technologies indicated a strong move towards making electric trucks more practical for everyday use.