We’re probably in the golden age of the pickup truck. Full-size trucks are America’s best-selling and most sophisticated vehicles. Midsize trucks may be America’s hottest segment. Compact, unibody pickups are coming. And even when we convert to electric cars, one of the most competitive markets will be, you guessed it, incredibly capable pickup trucks.
Customers these days are overwhelmed with options, trims, packages and accessories. They can customize their pickups toward just about any niche or taste they want, with one glaring exception: the 1990s-style street truck. Despite an uptick in interest for vehicles like the Ford SVT Lightning, manufacturers apparently have no plans to bring them back.
Ford F-150 Chief Engineer Craig Schmatz told Muscle Cars & Trucks that customers overwhelmingly prefer off-road performance to on-road.
“We see more people do off-road rather than on-road street performance,” Schmatz told MC&T. “Our customers love the ability to go anywhere and do anything… very few people would want to buy a street truck that wasn’t capable of towing vehicles and going off-road.”
Pickups are going to deliver on-road performance. The Hellcat-powered RAM TRX will travel from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The upcoming Hummer EV will do it in a sports-car quick 3.0 seconds. Customers just want them to look like super-wide rampaging hell-beasts on massive mud-terrain tires.
Those looking for a street truck do have an option. A Special Vehicle Engineering package offers a $40,000 Syclone conversion for the GMC Canyon, which drops the suspension and adds a supercharged 455 hp V6. However, that conversion is about the same price as scoring a mint-condition original.