First Drive: 2008 Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCrew

2008 Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCrew Gets Big Boost From Saleen

Bruce W. SmithJun 10, 2008
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.
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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.)
Both F-150s have a special ground-effects package and custom 22-inch forged wheels wrapped in Pirellis, and a plush black and Dusted Copper leather interior with captain's chairs up front and a 60/40 bench in the rear. There are Harley-Davidson Bar & Shield medallions on the seats, center console, and dash, and on the outside of the truck lest you forget what you are driving or with whom Ford has a long-term partnership. And where medallions can't be affixed, H-D logos are displayed.
Ride comfort is second to none in the world of performance pickups; this special-edition model is loaded with all the creature comforts and frills. That comfort extends into the handling. Despite the low-profile 22s, the performance suspension is tuned remarkably well for city and highway driving. The Harley-Davidson SuperCrew 2WD is responsive in tight corners and quick dips and has tremendous braking ability. The downside for the performance package? The tow rating drops to 5300 pounds.
As we noted early on, this truck has power. The dealer-installed Saleen package ($6575) brings a twin-screw supercharger, dual stage water-to-air intercooler, larger fuel injectors, cold-air intake, and cat-back exhaust to the aid of the Ford 5.4-liter, taking power from an unremarkable 300 horsepower to a titillating 450 along with a similar gain in torque.
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The Saleen supercharger takes a few moments to roll into full boost. But when the tell-tale whine settles in you can feel the surge. It's strong from about 3500 rpm to the engine's redline. The Powerflash Saleen tranny mod gives the otherwise laconic four-speed automatic nice, crisp shifts, too.
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However, those crispy shifts don't make up for the extra gears this truck really needs. Ford should've dropped in a six-speed to give the H-D F-150 the driving rush of the old Lightning-and not limited top speed to 94 mph. That said, this is still one F-150 SuperCrew that'd be a bad-ass ride for hauling your 105th Anniversary Package V-Rod to Sturgis. That's where you'll find us.

2008 Ford F-150 Super-Crew Harley-Davidson
GENERAL
Location of final assembly Dearborn, Michigan
Body style 4-door, 5-pass crew-cab pickup
EPA size class Full-size pickup
Drivetrain layout Front engine, RWD/AWD
Airbags Front
POWERTRAIN
Engine type V-8, iron block/alum heads
Bore x stroke, in 3.55 x 4.16
Displacement, ci/L 330/5.4
Compression ratio 9.8:1
Valve gear SOHC, 3 valves/cyl
Fuel induction Sequential multi-port/Saleen supercharged
SAE horsepower, hp @ rpm 450 @ 5200
SAE torque, lb-ft @ rpm 500 @ 4000
Transmission type 4-speed 4R75E automatic
1st 2.84:1
2nd 1.55:1
3rd 1.00:1
4th 0.70:1
Reverse 2.65:1
Axle ratio 3.73:1 limited-slip
Final drive ratio 2.61:1
Recommended fuel Premium unleaded
DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES
Wheelbase, in 138.5
Length, in 223.8
Width, in 78.9
Height, in 73.5
Track, f/r, in 67.0/67.0
Headroom, f/r, in 40.1/39.6
Legroom, f/r, in 41.3/39.0
Shoulder room, f/r, in 65.8/65.8
Ground clearance, in 6
Base curb weight, lb 5200
Weight distribution, f/r, % 54/46
Max payload capacity/as tested, lb 1810
GVWR, lb 6850
GCWR, lb 12,000
Max towing capacity, lb 5300
Fuel capacity, gal 30
CHASSIS
Construction Ladder frame
Suspension, front/rear Hotchkiss IFS/leaf spring
Steering type Power rack-and-pinion
Ratio 17:01
Turns, lock to lock 3.2
Turning circle, ft 45.1
Brakes, front; rear 13.0-in vented disc; 13.7-in disc
Wheels 22 x 9.0-in
Tires 275/45R22 Pirelli Scorpion Zero
PERFORMANCE
Acceleration, sec
0-30 2.6
0-60 7.0
Quarter mile, sec @ mph 15.0 @ 91.0
Braking, 60-0, ft 122.8
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy, mpg 12/15
As-tested fuel economy, mpg 13.9
PRICE
Base price $36,500
Options $13,610 (Saleen package, $6575)
Price as tested $50,110

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