10 Fastest Pickup Trucks to Grace the World’s Roads
While truck lovers are typically known for craving power, it’s usually for hauling heavy payloads, not hauling on the dragstrip. But every now and then, engineers at some of the world’s biggest automakers get lucky and slip an insanely fast pickup past the corporate lawyers and bean counters out onto the streets.
Descended from the muscle and sports car communities, a small but lively group of truck enthusiasts have continued to egg on manufacturers in the race to build faster trucks. And while virtually none of these muscle trucks are appreciated the way a Boss Mustang or Camaro SS are, a few have gone on to become legends in their own rights.
This list showcases the fastest trucks that automakers have developed so far. There are exceptions, however, as the list is limited to production models. That means trucks like the Hennessey SRT-10 Ram Venom 650R and the Chevrolet S-10 Xtreme Force are no-shows. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of firepower here. So without further ado, here are the world’s 10 fastest pickup trucks, ranked according to their acceleration time from 0-60 miles per hour.
10. 1978-’79 Dodge L’il Red Express
By the late ’70s, the feds had all but broken up the party for muscle cars. But most of the new safety and emissions laws on the books were for “passenger vehicles under 6,000 GVR,” and with that, Chrysler found a glorious loophole. Introduced in 1978 as part of Mopar’s “Adult Toys” lineup (hey, it was the ’70s…), the Li’l Red Express was a stripped-down Sportsman pickup with massive side pipes, garish gold accents, an oak-accented step-side bed, and a free-breathing 360 cubic-inch V8 that could take the full-size pickup from zero to 60 in under seven seconds, and run the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds. It wasn’t just the fastest American vehicle to 100 miles per hour back in ’78 – Car and Driver had it out-accelerating the Porsche 928, 911 and Ferrari 308 too.
9. Chevrolet Silverado SS
Chevrolet took some serious inspiration from Nascar when it put together the SS in the mid-2000s, which became the spiritual successor to the 454 SS from the previous decade. The SS could blast through a quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds, and along the way hit 60 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds. The SS used a powerful motor that generated 345 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Fairly strong, but not strong enough to outlast many of its competitors in terms of speed.
8. Toyota Tacoma X-Runner
Toyota’s immensely popular Tacoma has a variety of trim levels and variants, but the 2004-’13 X-Runner is easily the quickest. The downside is that it is slated to end its production run this year, so it’s about to become a very hot commodity. But how fast is it? Estimates peg the X-Runner’s 0-60 time at six seconds flat, as the standard model can get the job done in a second or so slower than that. It got the job done with the strength of 236 horses generated from a 4.0-liter V6 engine.
7. Ford F-150 Tremor
While the 2010-’14 Raptor made the F-150 synonymous with off-roading, America’s best-seller had one hell of a reputation as a street truck. One of the fastest Blue Oval pickups to ever hit the streets, the 2014-only Tremor could spring from rest to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds, all behind the strength of the 365 horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 motor under the hood. Many would be surprised to find that the Tremor is quicker than the Raptor, but indeed it is – mostly because it weighs roughly 1,000 pounds less.
6. 2015 Chevrolet 1500 High Country
Chevy’s Silverado is proof of how far pickups have come in just the last few years. On top of having one of the best interiors in its class, and a towing capacity of 12,000 pounds, with its 420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet torque, the V8-powered Silverado 1500 can go from zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds. We don’t care what era it’s from – that’s a seriously quick truck.
5. 2015 Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost
Chevy may have tried to make the new F-150’s aluminum-intensive construction into a big issue, but the case for the Ford is pretty strong. Over 700 pounds lighter than the previous F-150, the Ford’s diet is a big deal – not only because its 3.5 liter, 365 horsepower turbocharged EcoBoost V6 produces the same torque as its V8-powered rival (460 pound-feet), but because it’s quicker too. Zero to 60 in the V6 Ford comes in a fast 5.6 seconds.
4. Ford F-150 SVT Lightning
Here’s a name that was so popular, Ford had to give it a second chance. When the second-generation F-150 SVT Lightning hit the streets, it could race from 0 to 60 in just 5.2 seconds, on its way to an overall top speed of 147 miles per hour. Sixteen years ago, that was enough to earn it the title of the world’s fastest production truck, a title that’s since been passed on. Still, it’s hard to argue with Ford for naming this F-150 “Lightning” — after all, it could scream past all other trucks in a flash during its heyday. Not only was it fast, but its edgy aesthetics were also something to behold.
3. GMC Syclone
Simply put, the GMC Syclone has become a modern-day legend. On the surface, it appears to be a small commuter pickup truck, with very little to offer in terms of performance. On the other, it was an absolute monster on the track, keeping pace with Ferrari and Lamborghini models in its prime. Even Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear was impressed with the Syclone when he took it for a spin way back in 1991. The Syclone’s 0-60 time is pegged somewhere between 4.6 and 5.3 seconds, a speed that has yet to be matched by any other trucks even resembling the Syclone to this day.
2. Ram SRT10
Stealing the SVT Lightning’s crown in 2003 as a 2004 model, the Ram SRT10 is truly a sight to behold. The mad scientists over at SRT’s laboratories actually outfitted this truck with the engine from a Viper: a 500-horsepower V10 that could also make up to 525 pound-feet of torque. This was Dodge’s answer to the Ford Lightning, and the company replied in the loudest way possible. The SRT10 could jump from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds, a record that stood for years.
1. Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged
There is a bit of controversy surrounding the world’s fastest pickup. In 2008, Motor Trend reported that the Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharger could scramble from zero to 60 in an insane 4.4 seconds. While some have called that number into question, no one has actually been able to refute it, so this Tundra variant gets to assume the throne as the world’s fastest. To put things in perspective, this is a full-size pickup truck that can keep pace with supercars from Ferrari, Aston Martin, etc. It gets there behind a goosed-up 5.7-liter V8 engine making 504 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. Simply astounding stuff.
Additional Reporting by James Derek Sapienza
Check out Autos Cheat Sheet on Facebook
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.