Ford preparing F-150 Lighting successor?

The Lightning successor will likely be powered by a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine.

A new report finds Ford is preparing to introduce a successor to the mighty F-150 SVT Lightning (pictured) that was phased out over a decade ago.

The yet-unnamed truck is part of Ford's recent performance offensive, which calls for the launch of no less than 12 new sport-focused vehicles by the year 2020. One of them is the second-gen F-150 Raptor that was presented in Detroit last January, and Car & Driver believes the off-roader will be joined by a second sport truck designed specifically for the street.

The hot-rodded F-150 will need to pack a powerful punch in order to out-perform its predecessor, which was capable of reaching 60 mph from a stop in just 5.2 seconds. To achieve that, the aluminum-bodied truck will most likely be powered by a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine and it will go on a serious diet.

An automatic transmission will send the V6's power to the rear wheels. The truck will be fitted with bigger brakes all around and it will ride a lot lower than a stock F-150 thanks to a model-specific suspension setup.

What the pickup will be called is up in the air. It could resurrect the Lightning moniker or it could be dubbed EcoBeast, a nameplate mysteriously trademarked by Ford late last year.

The Blue Oval has not commented on the rumor. If it turns out to be true, Ford's next F-150 on steroids will likely be introduced at a major auto show either late this year or early next year, and it will go on sale as either a 2017 or a 2018 model.

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