An ominous pall of white smoke drifts across the frontage road. Our new Harley-Davidson SuperCrew Saleen F-150 rolls out of the plume of drag-racer's incense, and we're sure we just embedded another 500 miles of the Pirelli Scorpion Zero's tread life in the pavement.
Striping the road isn't really that easy. The fat Pirellis are much more likely to grip than slip, which falls perfectly in line with the Harley-Davidson thought process. Although pumping out a muscle-trucklike 450 horses and 500 pound-feet of torque from the 5.4-liter V-8, this special SuperCrew is much more at home showing its bravado carving up twisting roads and cruising effortlessly along vast open stretches of Interstate than it is staging at a Christmas Tree.
It's no slouch on the track, either. It thumps sub-seven-second 0-to-60 runs time after time and posting 15.0-flat, 91-mph quarter-mile runs. That's a full second and five mph slower than the truck we tested back in 2003-the last model year for the supercharged Harley-Davidson F-150.
Of course, this isn't a pure apples-to-apples comparison: The 2003 we tested was a regular cab and this is a SuperCrew. The extra 70 horsepower from the new package doesn't quite offset its handicaps of 600 pounds more weight and taller gearing. But where the new edition flat outshines the old truck is in the areas that matter most to those laying out $50,000 for a pickup: panache, ride, and handling.
"Ford Harley-Davidson trucks have turned a shared passion for open roads into one of the most successful alliances in the industry," says Todd Eckert, Ford Truck and SUV communications manager. He adds, "The new 2008 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 blends the flexibility and capability of F-Series trucks with the free spirit and raw power of Harley-Davidson motorcycles-the principles that continue to drive both companies after 105 years."
There's no mistaking Ford's partnership with Harley-Davidson in this model, which is available with rear or all-wheel drive in a choice of monochromatic black with a custom stripe along the beltline or, as with our tester, black and Dusted Copper two-tone exterior paint. (Dusted Copper is the color for Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Edition bikes.)