In order to compile a list of the fastest trucks, we had to go back a few years in time to blend some of the fastest pickups in recent memory with current transporters that provide more than just towing and hauling. The big-displacement engines beneath the hoods of the world’s fastest trucks, not to mention the occasional appearance of superchargers and turbochargers, have allowed a handful of rigs to produce sports car-like acceleration without sacrificing much of their utility.
Let’s take a brief look at ten of the quickest vehicles to ever burn a set of rear tires right off the showroom floor.
10. GMC Syclone
The GMC Syclone was not only one of the fastest trucks ever produced; it was also one of the quickest vehicles on the market at the time of its debut in 1991. A turbocharged 4.3-liter V-6 producing 280 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque and operating in combination with a standard all-wheel-drive system propelled the GMC Syclone beyond 60 mph in only five seconds, outperforming not only the Chevrolet Corvette of the day but also many Ferrari models. Between 1991 and 1992, less than 3,000 Syclones were made, making them an uncommon discovery on the secondhand market.
9. Toyota Tacoma X-Runner
With its lowered suspension and sleek body package, the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner was more show than go. However, there was a TRD supercharged edition of the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner – with a full factory guarantee – that provided the truck 60 extra horsepower for a total of more than 300 ponies, enough to lower its 0-60-mph speed under seven seconds. The X-Runner came standard with a slew of suspension improvements aimed to improve handling, as well as an optional six-speed manual gearbox.
8. Dodge Lil’ Red Express
Going to Dodge’s past also reveals a Mopar-powered pickup with a reputation for being one of the quickest vehicles of its era. Dodge was able to massage the 5.9-liter engine under the hood of the Lil’ Red Express to generate 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, astounding statistics for 1978 and enough to merit the vehicle’s look-at-me exhaust stacks by carefully reading between the lines of 1970s-era EPA restrictions.
The Lil’ Red Express was faster than almost every production car released that year, at least until it reached 100 mph, when aerodynamics began to take their toll on the brick-like design.
7. Ram 1500 R/T
If you can’t wait for Ford to release a regular-cab performance truck, there’s always the 2015 RAM 1500 R/T. The Ram 1500 R/T combines the brand’s 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine with a short-wheelbase vehicle that has a traction-enhancing limited-slip differential and 22-inch wheels.
With 395 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque on tap, it’s no wonder that the 1500 R/T is one of the quickest vehicles in the current Ram lineup, sprinting to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds owing in part to its eight-speed automatic gearbox and reasonably lightweight construction.
6. Ford F-150 Tremor
The Ford F-150 Tremor was only available for a short time – the 2014 model year – but it made waves by sticking to a tried and true performance formula. The Ford F-150 Tremor was a stripped-down base model Regular cab equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and the brand’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, which produced 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque due to the use of twin-turbo technology.
This gave it an advantage on the road over heavier versions of the F-150, and it’s feasible that the sporty variant may return for 2015-and-up pickups.
5. Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged
The Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged demonstrated how powerful a package the Japanese manufacturer’s full-size pickup might have become if its research team had been allowed the opportunity to push one of the company’s quickest trucks to its limits.
Toyota’s in-house motorsports crew, TRD, had been producing superchargers for the Tundra for years, but in 2008 it created a monster with a bolt-on kit for its 5.7-liter V-8 that churned out 504 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque, allowing the pickup to zip to 60-mph from a standing start in five seconds (while picking up over 1.5 seconds on the quarter-mile versus the stock pickup) (while picking up over 1.5 seconds on the quarter-mile versus the stock pickup). A six-speed automatic gearbox handled the added meat with ease for the Toyota.
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4. Ford SVT Lightning
The Ford SVT Lightning was the truck that really pushed the boundaries for modern performance pickups. Although a less-impressive SVT Lightning had been available from Ford since 1993, it wasn’t until 1999 that we got the Big Daddy version of the F-150, which shocked the world with a (up to) 380 horsepower supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 engine (also capable of producing up to 450 lb-ft of torque), a motor shared in large part with the Ford GT.
The Ford SVT Lightning, which was almost as fast on the highway as the Raptor (147 mph) and much faster off the line (5.2 seconds 0-60), left some big shoes to fill when it was discontinued after the 2004 model year.
3. Dodge Ram SRT-10
Between 2004 and 2006, you could walk into a Dodge dealership and drive home in a pickup truck powered by the same V-10 engine found in the Dodge Viper supercar. Dodge engineers apparently anticipated the Ram SRT-10’s rear tires to manage 500 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque while it was available with either a six-speed manual (standard cab) or a four-speed automatic (quad-cab) gearbox.
If you time your launch perfectly, you’ll be reaching 60 mph in under five seconds; if you’re a touch over eager, you’ll be sitting at a stop light in a cloud of smoke.
2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 6.2
The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s order sheet conceals a performance gem: the availability of a 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Not only that but the Chevrolet Silverado’s massive V-8 is coupled with a contemporary eight-speed automatic gearbox, which provides it an advantage in regulating its powerband.
This is enough to dust the SVT Raptor in a straight line, with a 0-60-mph speed of six seconds accessible beneath your right foot. The Silverado 6.2 may not be marketed as one of Chevy’s quickest trucks, but its lineage is clear.
1. Ford SVT Raptor
The Ford SVT Raptor was one of the most powerful pickup trucks to ever bear the Blue Oval logo. Perhaps more amazing is the fact that the Ford SVT Raptor was able to maintain its high speed in an off-road setting due to the presence of a long-travel suspension system and a tough four-wheel-drive arrangement.
The Raptor was powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produced 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque and was fused to a six-speed automatic transmission. The truck, which was manufactured between 2010 and 2014, could hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and had a peak speed of close to 150 mph. We’re still waiting for the Raptor’s next generation, which will include twin-turbo EcoBoost engines.