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DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has no intention of letting the new 500-hp Dodge SRT-10 keep the title of world's fastest truck.

But John Coletti, director of Ford's Special Vehicle Team, acknowledges that automakers have hit a wall on how much horsepower they can give a vehicle. So the automaker will make the next-generation Ford F-150 Lightning pickup go faster by removing weight and improving handling.

"In the next generation, we've got to worry about efficiency, weight and better control," he says. "You can get great power-to-weight ratio without a fountain of horsepower."

Until the Ram SRT-10 pickup debuted this year, the Lightning had been the unchallenged leader in performance trucks for more than a decade.

But in February, the SRT-10 clocked a record speed of 154.587 mph.

Ford SVT engineers have experience in reducing weight with the 2002 Mustang Cobra R, a version for performance enthusiasts.

Strong, lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, magnesium, aluminum, ceramics and plastics can substitute for steel parts without major re-engineering.

Coletti says lighter parts and better-handling suspension systems might not come simultaneously.

"You'll start seeing it in incremental steps," he says. "Now that we have the engines where we want them, the question is what do you do with the rest of the car? Clearly you have to start looking at the weight aspect of it. If I could take 300 or 400 pounds out of the car, I wouldn't have to add any more horsepower. It would just be an incredibly faster, better handling, better braking car. All the attributes would improve."

Coletti believes automakers risk attracting attention from government regulators and the insurance industry by constantly increasing horsepower in their performance-oriented vehicles.

In the last two years, the number of vehicles with engines producing 400 hp to 500 hp and more has grown quickly.

"The focus now has to be better efficiency and weight reduction," Coletti says.


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Thier going to have to lose alot of weight just to get back to break even with the new body style.
 

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This is a little dissappointing, but it makes sense. Im sure the next lightning will have at least 450HP, Well thats if they plan on taking back the title.
 

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So basicly ALL that talk about 500hp, air conditioned superchargers was all bs. Light weight and handling wont come at the same time too. So basicly It might just stay at 400hp and they could just lighten the truck. I will remind the class that the new F150 weights a great deal more then the last generation of F150's.
 

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You all aren't listening!

There is nothing in the report to negate the reports of the 500 hp and air conditioned precharge of intake air. Ford has simply seen that there is a limit to what they can produce with horsepower (lawyers and government regulators are the antichrist of car guys); so in order to gain an advantage over Dodge (GM stopped being taken seriously years ago in truck performance), Ford will seek to reduce the weight of the vehicle. The use of the 500 hp engine (fact) will not be mutually exclusive of the weight savings; they go hand in hand, friends. My guess is that the Lightning will have all the performance goodies we had heard about ALONG WITH weight savings. The sticker price of the vehicle can easily carry the extra cost of carbon fiber etc components so we'll get all the goodies, not just brute force. Dodge will have much to fear. I've heard the Ford will not accept second place to Dodge in the top speed.
 

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I for one am glad to see an attempt to reduce weight as most newly introduced cars or trucks have gotten incredibly porky lately! less weight = more power, better handling in most cases, better fuel economy and slight decreases in reg fees for us. As long as the weight loss doesn't take away from vehicle safety that is.
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard@Jun 28 2004, 06:10 PM
You all aren't listening!

There is nothing in the report to negate the reports of the 500 hp and air conditioned precharge of intake air. Ford has simply seen that there is a limit to what they can produce with horsepower (lawyers and government regulators are the antichrist of car guys); so in order to gain an advantage over Dodge (GM stopped being taken seriously years ago in truck performance), Ford will seek to reduce the weight of the vehicle. The use of the 500 hp engine (fact) will not be mutually exclusive of the weight savings; they go hand in hand, friends. My guess is that the Lightning will have all the performance goodies we had heard about ALONG WITH weight savings. The sticker price of the vehicle can easily carry the extra cost of carbon fiber etc components so we'll get all the goodies, not just brute force. Dodge will have much to fear. I've heard the Ford will not accept second place to Dodge in the top speed.
I thought Colleti admitting that they had "hit the wall" in the amount of horsepower they can give a vehicle meant that they weren't going much beyond the current truck. Did he mean they hit the wall at 500 hp?
 

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Originally posted by nsap@Jun 28 2004, 06:15 AM
"You can get great power-to-weight ratio without a fountain of horsepower."
Spoken like a guy who knows he cannot win with pure horsepower!
 

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Originally posted by MelvinJ@Jun 28 2004, 12:17 PM
Did he mean they hit the wall at 500 hp?
The Ford GT uses a 500-hp version of the blown 5.4 V8.
I would assume that they are not going to use an even
more powerful version of the 5.4 in their Lightning. So
I would venture to say you will not see over 500-hp for
their next Lightning. But will they keep the same #s as
the GT? That is my question. My guess is that they put
it right under the GT in terms of power, as I bet they do
not want to trump the GT (like GM trumping the 'Vette).
 

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Originally posted by thehemi+Jun 28 2004, 02:05 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (thehemi @ Jun 28 2004, 02:05 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-MelvinJ@Jun 28 2004, 12:17 PM
Did he mean they hit the wall at 500 hp?
The Ford GT uses a 500-hp version of the blown 5.4 V8.
I would assume that they are not going to use an even
more powerful version of the 5.4 in their Lightning. So
I would venture to say you will not see over 500-hp for
their next Lightning. But will they keep the same #s as
the GT? That is my question. My guess is that they put
it right under the GT in terms of power, as I bet they do
not want to trump the GT (like GM trumping the 'Vette). [/b][/quote]
The Ford GT makes 550 HP. They upped it a few months ago when it got closer to production. Some people think even the 550 HP, based upon dyno results, is conservative.

Mark
 

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Why would the next F-150 Lightning need to be limited in HP numbers on account of the Ford GT? Just because matching the Lightning's engine output to the GT's HP at 550 (thanks usa1, not enough people caught that change) doesn't mean that Ford is infringing on the GT's perfmormance. It would take a Hell of a lot more horses for the Lightning, or the Ram for that matter, to catch a GT. So, in light of that, I don't see why Ford couldn't match the engine performance of the Lightning to the GT or even go higher. Besides, in spite of how much Ford engineers can reduce the weight of the next Lightning or do whatever else to increase performance without bumping up engine output, Ford would still be inclined to put as much HP as they could into the next Lightning for posterity against the Ram SRT/10, even if they don't actually need as much HP as the Ram in order to be faster.
 

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Why does the Vette have more HP the GTO? The same reason " Halo cars must be the most powerful in the line up. I would suspect this is why they bumped the output by 50hp on the GT, because the Lighting is to be around 500hp.

For that matter why not use the 3 valve V10 in the Lighting? and compete head to head with the SRT 10? Also I believe it is due to weight. Think the F150 and what it means to Ford, they aren't going to go down without a fight.
 

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I think Chevy shopuld get that Silverado SS up their competeing with these trucks. I guess it is getting more power next year 385 or around their, but I want to see the SS having a chance at taking the title.
 

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the ford guys are pathetic as usual: the lightning was the fastest truck just because NO ONE bothered to offer a competitor!

How can the flimsy ford engine ever beat the mighty v10? Anyone wondered what happens if dodge puts a s/c on top of that monster?

Anyone thinks it's easy to reduce weight without HUGE costs? Think again: this is a very tough job, maybe they are one or two guys at ferrari or porsche who can do it, so GET REAL: that won't happen.
 

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Originally posted by johnd89@Jun 29 2004, 01:58 AM
the ford guys are pathetic as usual: the lightning was the fastest truck just because NO ONE bothered to offer a competitor!

How can the flimsy ford engine ever beat the mighty v10? Anyone wondered what happens if dodge puts a s/c on top of that monster?

Anyone thinks it's easy to reduce weight without HUGE costs? Think again: this is a very tough job, maybe they are one or two guys at ferrari or porsche who can do it, so GET REAL: that won't happen.
The flimsy Ford Lightning engine is beating the mighty Dodge V-10 already! Even with 120 less HP they e.t. almost identically, thanks in part to how hard the SRT-10 is to launch and shift with the 6 speed. The new model will just put them way ahead again.

I also agree, I wish Chevy would step up to the plate and build a competitive truck.

Jody
 

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The rumours were that the 5.4 3v S/C was putting out fairly close to 500hp on the dyno (480-490), with the GT motor (4v DOHC) putting down over 550hp on the dyno (565 if I recall correctly). That's about in line with what I'd expect. Now, the current Lightning and the Ram SRT-10 are pretty close from a dead stop, with the SRT-10 pulling a little bit when going from a roll. The Ram is much heavier, so the power advantage reduced. However, it does have the 6-speed gearbox, giving it more top speed potential (ignorning aerodynamic concerns), but also making the launch that much harder. So really, if the new L comes in at the same weight as the current one or even a bit less, along with an extra 100hp or so, and a 6-speed manual, the Ram is not going to have a chance.

As for the "if the SRT guys put a blower on the Viper motor..." argument, that's all moot. The SRT-10 costs about $10k more than the Lightning. Adding a blower to it isn't that simple. They'd have to build up the engine's bottom end to handle it -- I don't care how many Vipers have blowers on them with the stock bottom end.. tons of 99 and 01 Cobra's had blowers on 'em too and ran just fine, but when you put your name on the vehicle and attach a warranty, you want that engine to last. That's why all SVT V8's have signed nameplates on them. The Viper engine isn't cheap as it is, nor is it a lightweight. Building up the bottom end and adding a blower would just increase the weight even more.
 

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Originally posted by awalbert88@Jun 29 2004, 04:25 AM
The rumours were that the 5.4 3v S/C was putting out fairly close to 500hp on the dyno (480-490), with the GT motor (4v DOHC) putting down over 550hp on the dyno (565 if I recall correctly). That's about in line with what I'd expect. Now, the current Lightning and the Ram SRT-10 are pretty close from a dead stop, with the SRT-10 pulling a little bit when going from a roll. The Ram is much heavier, so the power advantage reduced. However, it does have the 6-speed gearbox, giving it more top speed potential (ignorning aerodynamic concerns), but also making the launch that much harder. So really, if the new L comes in at the same weight as the current one or even a bit less, along with an extra 100hp or so, and a 6-speed manual, the Ram is not going to have a chance.

As for the "if the SRT guys put a blower on the Viper motor..." argument, that's all moot. The SRT-10 costs about $10k more than the Lightning. Adding a blower to it isn't that simple. They'd have to build up the engine's bottom end to handle it -- I don't care how many Vipers have blowers on them with the stock bottom end.. tons of 99 and 01 Cobra's had blowers on 'em too and ran just fine, but when you put your name on the vehicle and attach a warranty, you want that engine to last. That's why all SVT V8's have signed nameplates on them. The Viper engine isn't cheap as it is, nor is it a lightweight. Building up the bottom end and adding a blower would just increase the weight even more.
first, I really doubt the new ford supertruck will weigh less than 5000 lbs (the weight of the ram), given that the old one had some 4700 lbs. maybe if it will conserve the buick type pillow ride, junk suspension, and no brakes like the actual one.

second, you do understand that if the lighting will get a manual gearbox, it will be as hard to launch as the ram...

all in all, unless someone only goes at the strip or dosen't know how to shift, a good manual gearbox offers 100 times more driving excitement. add into equation how good the ram looks, plus the pedigree of having the mighty viper powerplant and... you have a winner despite the higher cost!
 

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How does a 6 speed manual give more top end pontenial? I seriously doubt that there is more than 1 overdrive gear, and rear axle ratios would come into play.

There are many vehicles that have gobs of power but it has to be usable power, lets take the RX8 for example with only 250hp, but the whole pkg makes it a very fun aggressive car to drive. The difference between a 68 Vette and Camaro, both could go like rabbit down the track but the Vette could turn at the end of it.

the SS on the other hand went a different way I believe, a fun agile truck for day to day driving and take the family with you.

johnd89 You have to lighten up man soon you'll have to bash Toyota when they become #2
 
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