Colletti's always wondered about taking intercooling to the next level, when air-to-air and air-to-water intercoolers don't adequately chill the incoming air to make the charge dense enough. Enter Ford's new patented SuperCooler technology. Unlike traditional intercoolers that dissipate heat from the supercharged air by circulating coolant through a front-mounted air-cooled radiator, the SuperCooler uses the vehicle's air-conditioning system to chill a small storage tank of coolant to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
The result is a system that, on demand, dumps the frigid coolant into the engine's intercooler, dissipating up to 20 percent more heat from the air charge, making it ultradense and upping horsepower in the process. Although sources within SVT say this system can deliver 50 transient horsepower per 30-45-second burst, experts in the supercharging realm claim the system could actually boost output by 75-100 horsepower under the right conditions.
The SuperCooler is surprisingly easy to use: When the green lamp illuminates on the dash (indicating the system is ready), just mash the throttle to the floor and the refrigerated coolant floods the intercooler for a nitrous-oxide effect, without the environmental hazards of laughing gas.
SVT's Lightning concept adds to the performance equation by ditching the 4R100 four-speed automatic tranny in favor of a Tremec T-56 six-speed out of the Cobra. Keeping it on the sport side, a short-throw, console-mounted shifter ensures quick engagement of the cogs. Getting power to the pavement are massive six-spoke 22-inch aluminum wheels shod in P295/40R22 (front) and P325/45R22 (rear) Goodyear rubber. Estimates by SVT put the truck at 0-60 mph in the high-four-second range and around the mid 12s at over 115 mph in the quarter mile.
Stopping SVT's ground missile are manhole-cover-size Brembo vented discs (15-inch and cross-drilled) squeezed by six-pot calipers in the front and four-piston binders out back.
Armed for the straight line, SVT engineers mandated that the truck also corner like a sports car. Underneath, the front suspension and steering rack uses a modified version of the '04 F-150's (to clear the massive wheels), while the traditional Hotchkis-type solid rear-axle and leafs were abandoned in favor of an independent rear, adapted from the Ford Expedition. Not only does the swap reduce unsprung weight, but SVT engineers also gained a larger envelope of suspension-tuning possibilities.