10 Pickups We’d Buy Instead Of A Sport Car

10 Pickups We’d Buy Instead Of A Sport Car

Utilitarian pickup trucks don’t seem like they’d come with too many sporting credentials, but performance trucks are getting more popular. These haulers have the performance figures to take on plenty of sports cars. They’re so good, in fact, that we’d take one of them over that sports car.

The concept came from America, where pickups themselves were created, with a philosophy of throwing a massive engine into a work truck and going fast. Modern fast trucks feature luxury touches and performance upgrades that make them compete with any real sports car.

10 Chevrolet Silverado SS

silverado ss
via BaT

The Silverado SS took the standard Chevrolet pickup and dropped in the 6.0-liter V8 from the Escalade, rated at 345 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. That was sent to the rear wheels, although all-wheel-drive was an option, hitting 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and running the quarter mile in 14.3 seconds.

silverado ss rear
via BaT

Unlike the old 454 SS truck from the brand, though, this truck was more than just a massive engine. It featured high-performance Z06 suspension and a limited slip differential for performance. But it was also tuned for a smooth ride that you could actually drive every day. And yes, all that’s coupled to a “NASCAR-inspired roar” from the exhaust, as Chevy put it. The SS was produced between 2003 and 2006.

9 Dodge Lil’ Red Express

lil red express
via BaT

The late ‘70s was an era of high power and crazy creations. What just might be the craziest build from that era is not a custom build at all, though, and instead came straight from the Dodge production line. Like the muscle cars of the day, it wasn’t a sophisticated build, but just a huge engine inside the body. The body in this case, though, was a truck.

lil red express rear
via BaT

Produced from 1978 to 1979, what the company called “The Last American Hot Rod” was based on a standard half-ton truck fitted with a 5.9-liter V8 that made 225 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The fact that the engine was used in a truck actually helped it get around emissions regulations, which were already starting to limit performance engines. Plus, it featured an eye-catching livery as standard. Now, it’s a rare classic.

8 Ford F150 SVT Lightning

f150 lightning
via BaT

The SVT Lightning first debuted as a trim level of the Ford F150 back in 1993, and the popular trim remained in production for three years. It was so popular, in fact, that Ford reintroduced it in 1999 for five more years. This second generation was a big improvement, with even more power coupled to major upgrades.

f150 lightning side
via BaT

It’s powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 that made up to 380 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque after a tune-up for the 2000 model year. Car & Driver recorded a 0-60 mph time of just 5.2 seconds. But it wasn’t only pure power. A lowered stance and tightened suspension sat on custom Goodyear Eagle tires to optimize handling, something that also contributed to its aggressive look.

Related: Here’s Why The SVT Lightning Should Make A Comeback

7 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner

tacoma x-runner
via BaT

Toyota’s probably the not first brand that comes to mind when it comes to sporty pickups. However, the Tacoma X-Runner has all the credentials and more. Toyota stepped it up for the second generation, and that’s the one enthusiasts remember. It featured a 4.0-liter V6 engine good for 236 horsepower, paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

tacoma x-runner rear
via BaT

In production between 2005 and 2014, the X-Runner sold well. In addition to the power, it featured a sport suspension, a rear stabilizer bar, Bilstein shocks, and upgraded springs. With rear-wheel-drive the only option, it was never going to master the trails, but it mastered the roads. It could also be fitted with a limited-edition supercharger, which brought it to 60 mph in the 6-second range. Flailing sales saw its death, though.

6 GMC Syclone

Via: Mecum
GMC Syclone

It’s the truck that was faster than a Ferrari, as the famous Car & Driver test demonstrated. And while it can only haul 500 lbs and isn’t even tow-rated, this truck will hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds with its 4.3-liter turbo V6 making 280 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. And that’s in 1991.

gmc syclone
via BaT

It’s limited to 124 mph, but Car & Driver said that “you probably wouldn’t want to drive faster than that” in a pickup. But it’s also got luxury touches that make it more comfortable than the supercars of its day, even as it beats them in a stoplight drag race. Its all-black interior and exterior gives it the menacing look to match for the year it was produced.

Related: 10 Things Gearheads Forgot About The GMC Typhoon And Syclone

5 Dodge Ram SRT10

ram srt10
via BaT

Anything called “The Viper Truck” has to make this list, and that’s exactly what the Dodge Ram SRT10 was. Under the hood is an absolutely massive 8.3-liter V10, sourced from the Viper itself making 500 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed manual transmission.

ram srt10 rear
via BaT

Produced from 2004 until 2006, the truck gained legions of fans for its raw power, which was enough to smoke the tires, as well as pushing it to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. There was also a larger Quad Cab with the same power, which could hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. An additional fifth shock was actually added solely to improve performance while spinning the wheels.

4 Ram TRX

ram 1500 trx
via Stellantis Media

Intended to counter the threat of the best-selling Ford Raptor, the Ram TRX is even faster. Its supercharged 702 horsepower V8 gives it a 3.7 second 0-60 mph time, according to Car & Driver, and that’s almost double the power of the Ford. Ram only claims a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds, to be fair.

ram 1500 trx out
via Stellantis Media

Starting at over $74,000, the truck does offer a great value for the power. Featuring the engine from the Hellcat, it’s the fastest pickup in the world. It’s so performance-designed that 74{7e44665ad31c7163a3225b5cdeca12ae8e1ba5a9651d05b2285576263eb8f3ac} of the truck is custom-designed, and not shared with the standard Ram 1500, Motor Trend points out. And, unlike plenty of other trucks on this list, it’s equally comfortable off-road.

Related: Five Reasons Why The Ford Raptor Is The Sickest Off-Road Truck (5 Reasons Why We’d Rather Have The Ram TRX)

3 HSV GTS Maloo

hsv maloo
via BaT

Australia is the land of the fast ute, and nothing has come out of the country that can outdo the HSV GTS Maloo. The Holden truck stopped production when the Holden nameplate died, but it went out with a bang. Indeed, it’s the fastest Australian car What Car? Magazine ever tested.

hsv maloo rear
via BaT

The ute features a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that makes 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque, that can be optioned with a manual transmission. Other features include computerized torque vectoring and an aggressive bodykit to improve handling. Only 250 were made for Australia and New Zealand only, and production ended when Holden did in 2017.

2 Hennessey Venom 775

Hennessey venom
via Hennessey 

The Ram TRX might outdo the Ford Raptor, but there’s a Ford-badged truck that’ll beat it. All it takes is a bit of tuning from Hennessey. And it’s got a V8: the same Coyote V8 from the Mustang with a supercharger added.

Hennessey venom rear
via Hennessey

That’s good for 775 horsepower and 685 lb-ft of torque. Plus, being lighter than the TRX, it’s faster on paper, sprinting to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. This truck is also incredibly capable off-road straight from the factory. The truck can be specced in either Sport or Off-Road trim, which either raise or lower the truck from the standard height.

1 Roush Nitemare F150

roush nitemare
via BaT

The Roush Nitemare F150 is the ultimate sport truck, and also the most powerful. Unlike Hennessey’s builds, Roush ditches any off-road pretentions in favor of pure street speed. It uses the same Coyote V8 with a supercharger, making 650 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque for this truck.

roush nitemare rear
via BaT

Without any off-road equipment, though, it’s light, and so beats the VelociRaptor to 60 mph, even if it clocks in at an identical time of 3.9 seconds on the timesheet. Also, the four-door SuperCrew version can hit 60 in 4.1 seconds for more passengers. The package costs $19,150 that can be specced on any V8 F150 at select Ford dealerships.

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