When car manufacturers want to produce a muscle truck, they often try to pack the most powerful engine in the lightest truck. If a driver didn’t know any better when reading about the performance of these muscle trucks, they might think they were reading about a muscle car.
Although these aren’t likely the best trucks for traditional truck roles, if you need a pickup that you can race in, these are some of the best that are available to drivers looking for fun and practicality. Many of these early trucks started the trend of high-performance trucks that are taken for granted at the present.
10 GMC Syclone
The 1991 GMC Syclone was based off the Sonoma pickup truck. However, the Syclone comes standard with a turbocharged 4.3-liter Vortec V6 engine. This engine produces 280 horsepower and 350-lb-ft of torque. The Syclone puts a lot of high performance muscle cars and sports cars on edge with its performance. In tests, the Syclone could go from 0 to 60 in five seconds.
Drivers are likely to have trouble finding the Syclone though since not many were made. The Syclone was only produced in 1991 and GMC never made more than 3,000 of these trucks.
9 1990-1993 Chevrolet 454 SS
The 1990-93 Chevrolet 454 SS is an example of another powerful muscle truck. The truck came standard with a 454-ci V8 engine that produced 230 horsepower. With this kind of engine, the 454 SS could go 0 to 60 mph in as little as 7.2 seconds. This 4,420 pound truck was originally only sold with a black exterior and a red interior.
The 454 SS was designed to be as light as possible but still be able to handle the power and weight of a big-block engine. For drivers that are interested in purchasing a 454 SS, they better start looking soon since the truck has actually been increasing in price.
8 Dodge Lil’ Red Express
Less than 10,000 Dodge Lil’ Red Express trucks were ever made but it is likely one of the most famous trucks ever produced. It was marketed as a truck that could compete with the fastest sports cars of the time. In tests, the truck could go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds.
The truck was able to achieve these speeds in part due to its 360-ci 4-barrel small block V8 engine that produced 225-horse power. For $7,000 dollars, drivers in 1978 could have purchased this muscle truck.
7 Dodge Ram SRT-10
When Dodge was designing the Ram SRT-10, they wanted to put one of their most powerful engines into one of their lightest full-size trucks. The Viper V10 engine used by the SRT-10 produces 500 horsepower. The top speed of the SRT-10 is 147 mph. In tests to see how fast the truck could go from 0 to 60 mph, it took the SRT-10 a mere 5.3 seconds.
At 4,200 rpm, the V10 engine produces 525 lb-ft of torque. The SRT-10 might not be the newest truck but it is definitely one of the highest performing pickup trucks.
6 1993-1995 Ford Lightning
The first-gen Ford SVT Lightning was built from the start as a muscle truck. Ford selected a short bed pickup truck, made some modifications to the suspension, and added a more powerful engine.
Ford equipped the truck with a 5.8-liter 351 Windsor engine. The truck got its name “Lightning” because it can go from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 5.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 147 mph.
5 1999-2004 Ford Lightning
Like the previous model, Ford wanted to make a high performance muscle truck when they created the 1999-2004 model of the Ford Lightning. The 1999-2004 models packs a more powerful engine, a supercharged 5.4-liter Triton V8 engine. However, there were actually two different Lightnings made during this period. The 1999-2000 model engine produces 360 horsepower and the 2001-2004 model produces an even more impressive 380 horsepower.
The earlier model of the truck has a 0 – 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and top speed of 140 mph. In comparison, the newer model can reach 60 mph in 5.2 seconds but has the same top speed.
4 Ford F-150 Raptor
When Ford was designing the F-150 Raptor, they were designing a truck which that is bulkier and faster than the regular F-150. The Raptor comes standard with a 450-hp twin-turbo V6 engine. This enables the Raptor to reach 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds. In terms of top speed, the Raptor has a factory-limited top speed of 107 mph.
Not surprisingly, with its focus on performance, the Raptor’s gas mileage is less than stellar. It gets an average of 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, as compared to the 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway of the standard F-150. The off-road vehicle doesn’t come cheap though, costing as much as $52,855 dollars.
3 Saleen S331 Supercharged
When the Saleen engineers wanted to make a high performance truck, they selected a Ford F-150 as their base. In particular, the Saleen S331 Supercharged is based off a Ford F-150 FX SuperCab. The truck was modified with 23-inch wheels, different shocks, and a new aluminum hood. The S331 Supercharged is powered by a 5.4-liter V8 engine outfitted with a 2300 cc blower that produces 450 horsepower.
The truck may weigh more than 5,400 pounds but it can easily go from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 6.5 seconds. It is expensive though, costing as much as $86,000 dollars.
2 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota
The 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota was the creation of Dodge and Carroll Shelby. At the time if drivers wanted a high performance muscle truck, there were few options available. However, the Dakota started the trend of muscle trucks that would follow. Shelby had a fuel-injected 5.2-liter V8 engine installed in the truck. The conventional belt-driven fan system was replaced with an electric fan as well. The new engine produced 175 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque.
In tests, the Dakota could go from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. At the time, the truck was sold for around $15,800 dollars.
1 1966 Dodge 100/200 High-Performance Package
The Dodge 100/200 High-Performance Package was a version of the standard Dodge truck but with several modifications. The High-Performance Package included a LoadFlite automatic transmission, power steering, and dual exhausts.
The truck had a 426 engine which produced 365 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Despite its impressive performance the truck was only offered from 1964 to 1966.
NEXT: Nikola-Branded GM-Built Badger: Will Startup Fully Drop Its Battery And Fuel Cell Tech
10 Sickest Cars Built By Roush