Back in the '90s, before the reign of the Ford Raptor in the past decade, there was the SVT Lightning. The go-fast ninth and tenth generations of the Ford F-150 were popular among enthusiasts, and that's all thanks to the Blue Oval's Special Vehicle Team (SVT).
With a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 that makes 360 horsepower (268 kilowatts) and 325 pound-feet (440 Newton-meters) of torque in its latest iteration, the SVT Lightning was exceptionally fast at the time.
But did you know that the Lightning almost had an SUV brother based on the first-generation Ford Expedition called the Thunder?
Gallery: This '90s Ford F-150 Lightning Packs a Supercharged Surprise
Just like what the GMC Typhoon is to the , the Thunder was supposed to be the more practical version of the Lightning that didn't come to fruition. Why? A Donut Media interview (video embedded above) with John Coletti, SVT's Chief Engineer from 1994 to 2004 sheds light on the story of the stillborn concept.
The SVT Thunder was practically a Lightning with three rows of seating. Coletti and his team have built a prototype towards the end of 2000 by shoehorning the same supercharged V8 and the Lightning platform into the Expedition.
The result was expectedly great. A 0-60 mph sprint of just 5.6 seconds, which was nearly 4 seconds quicker than the normal Expedition. While fast SUVs aren't a surprising thought these days with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat around, the SVT Thunder would have been a precursor to what these exciting SUVs embody today.
Unfortunately, timing wasn't on SVT's hands back then. The first-generation Expedition only had two years left in its lifespan in 2000 (the second-generation model was introduced in 2002), so introducing a special version of the nameplate would have been a waste.
To this day, only one prototype was built by Coletti and his team at SVT. Such an anticlimactic ending, we reckon, but it is what it is.
Source: Donut Media