Ford Authority

Ford F-150 Raptor Takes On Second-Gen Lightning In Blue Oval Drag Race Battle: Video

Ford has been building high performance pickups for a while now, but things really got serious when The Blue Oval introduced the Ford F-150 Lightning in 1993. Following a successful first generation, the Lightning went away for three years before returning in 1999 with a supercharged 5.4L Modular V8 that produced 360 horsepower, then 380 horsepower beginning in 2001. However, the second-gen Lightning disappeared after 2004, and the world wouldn’t receive a proper successor until the F-150 Raptor came along in 2010.

Now in its second-generation, the F-150 Raptor features Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 that produces a stout 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Paired with FoMoCo’s 10 speed automatic transmission, it’s an undoubtedly quick truck, in spite of its weight. The Lightning, despite its power disadvantage, is lighter. So it’s worth wondering – which one would come out on top in a drag race?

Thankfully, this recent video provides us with an answer to that burning question. However, there are a couple of caveats worth mentioning. Interestingly enough, the Raptor has more miles miles on the clock than the Lightning – 34,000 versus 26,000. Additionally, the second-gen Lightning has an aftermarket intake and exhaust, so it’s not entirely stock, but pretty close, regardless.

After a bit of a dramatic lead-up, these two Ford pickups line up for a race from a dig. Unfortunately, the Raptor was left in reverse at the start, so it goes in the wrong direction. So they try it again, and incredibly enough, the Lightning pulls away from the much more powerful Raptor. That was foot braking it in Sport mode, so the Raptor pilot decides to try out Baja mode for the next race.

Amazingly, that does the trick, and the Raptor pulls away from the Lightning with no problem. And that’s the same result from dig race number three, which sees the newer Ford pickup win after the older one spins a little off the line. Things go much differently when the two square off in a pair of roll races, however, as the Lightning easily pulls away each time.

Truthfully, these are some rather surprising results, as we would have guessed the Raptor would have won each race with no problem. But as it turns out, the Lightning is still pretty darn quick for a pickup that’s now 20 years old.

We’ll have more cool drag races like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news, F-150 Raptor news, F-150 Lightning news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Roy Chiles

    This is a fun comparison as I own a 02 Lightning with 380hp, as well the 04 Mystic Cobra both bone stock.I been thinking about buying Raptor but been waiting to see if Lincoln would step up and build a real luxury sedan. I don’t know if it’s the driver or the rear tire but my Lightning don’t spin from a dig like that and he has 360hp. Cool comparison none the less from 2 of the best F150’s

  2. Bernard Kloian

    What a pity to know, that the history of the Ford Car, as we know it, has come to an end and is no more. Just the Mustang remains in North America. I can almost hear the footsteps of old man Henry echoing through the halls of his storied buildings, as he walks alone in dismay.

  3. William Sweitzer

    I think ford made a big mistake when they quit making the crown Vic and especially the focus and fusion. I could write a book on this subject all I got to say how can you afford to loose the sale of approximately 500,000 units a year and don’t think your going to make up sales with suv. Somebody needs a shoe planted up there ass and get there out there ass.Also a lot of Dodge Charger police cars now.

  4. Dave Mathers

    I had a 93, 94 & 95 (all ‘demos’!!). I was undefeated in King of the Hill at Delaware Speedway until I got waxed by an ex-Players Series Camaro. The truck went around the corners like a stock car. The 93 was stock, the 94 had nitrous and the 95 had a Paxton, a cam and Yates heads. BAD fast and lots of fun.


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