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Roush Nitemare Is The F-150 Lightning Ford Won’t Build

The Aftermarket Shows Time And Again That The Market Is Hungry For A Performance Truck

Roush Nitemare Modern F-150 Lightning
Roush Nitemare Ford F-150

The days of the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevrolet Silverado SS, and Ram SRT-10 seem to be behind us. High performance in the truck market has transitioned to off-road capabilities, rather than outright street superiority. Trucks like the F-150 Raptor and upcoming Ram Rebel TRX come to mind when we mention this. Nevertheless, the aftermarket continues to fill the hole in the segment, and the 2019 Roush Nitemare F-150 is the latest example of this.

Designed specifically for street performance, the 2019 Roush Nitemare is equipped with a TVS R2650 Supercharger System bolted onto the Ford 5.0L Coyote V8, producing a total of 650 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque. At the drag strip, a Regular Cab 2019 Roush Nitemare F-150 catapulted from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds. That’s practically supercar territory. A larger Nitemare Super Crew managed the same feat in 4.1 seconds. In terms of the data available, Roush claims that the 2019 Nitemare is the quickest “production truck” ever. It’s technically not OEM, but let’s not get hung up on that right now. Bottom line is that it should be, because it might be time for the Ford F-150 Lightning to come back.

Visually, the Roush Nitemare separates itself from ordinary F-150 models with a unique bumper and grille setup, special 22-inch wheels, integrated accent lighting, side panel graphics, and a side-exit exhaust system. As an option, Roush offers an active exhaust system of a proprietary design. It features a mild-mannered touring mode, a primal wide-open mode, an aggressive sport mode, and a custom mode. The system is controlled via a center-console-mounted dial.

If Ford were to build a modern F-150 Lightning, it would probably something like the Roush Nitemare. It’s been fifteen years since the performance truck was discontinued, and the pickup truck market is a different place now, with more wealthy consumers than ever before. These buyers continue to demand more comfort, power and performance year after year. With that in mind, we feel that it’s not a matter of if an automaker will build another street performance truck, but a matter of when. After all, with the 760 horsepower supercharged 5.2L V8 going in the 2020 Mustang GT500, Ford definitely has the hardware to get it done.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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