Unlike a conventional SuperCrew, the '02 Harley-Davidson doesn't use a bench rear seat. Instead, like its bigger corporate cousin, the Lincoln Black two captains chairs, separated by a sizeable center console, provide seating. The top of both front and rear consoles are embossed with the flame pattern seen on the outside. The instrument cluster houses a 130-mph speed ometer and tachometer in a neat spun-metal background, similar to an engine-turned treatment. The seat backs have the Harley-Davidson emblem set in leather, and in case anyone in the vehicle forgets what edition they're in, a numbered plaque is set into the center stack.

It adds up to a comfortable, upscale environment. With a base MSRP of $36,495, the upscale part comes in handy. A half-dozen options are offered, including a moonroof, six-disc CD changer, sliding rear window, and engine-block heater. The H-D/F-150 is not the sort of truck that most owners are going to toss hay bales or engines into the bed. Instead, it's going to see more than a few trips to the bright lights of downtown. Production is planned to a limited 12,000 units, and if past sales are any indication, we suggest getting to the dealer in a hurry.

Insights From the Inside
To get the inside info, it pays to go to the source. We recently spoke with George Magro, manager of product development at Ford, about the F-150 SuperCrew Harley-Davidson and what the future holds. His remarks indicate a long-term relationship is being forged between the two companies, with bold products in the pipeline.

Asked about the powertrain similarities between the Lightning and the Harley edition F-150, Magro notes that the 40-hp difference (340-hp H-D F-150 versus 380-hp in the Lightning) is due to a larger pulley installed on the SuperCrew's supercharger. The result is the blower rotating at a slower rate, hence lower boost. The Harley-Davidson edition uses a full-vehicle-length exhaust, unlike the abbreviated pipes exiting in front of the rear tires on the Lightning. A slightly smaller opening in the lower front valence allows less air to flow through the intercooler, meaning that incoming air is not cooled as much as the higher-powered sport truck. The cumulative result is a modest decrease in power.

For the first time since the debut of the Ford/Harley-Davidson alliance, a color other than black is offered in '02, and there will be more hues. Of course, black will always be available.

Gazing into a crystal ball, one might see a SuperDuty Harley-Davidson edition and a 4x4 version. Customers have been vocal in wanting a go-anywhere truck with the H-D touches, and Ford and Harley-Davidson have heard the requests. With two more years in a five-year cooperative contract, we might be test-ing such vehicles sooner than later.