Ford has never sold the F-150 in Britain. And why should it? It’s massive, thirsty, and the main reason why it’s so popular across the pond is that America-built pickups are vastly cheaper than they’re imported equivalents. Couple that with the fact that small business owners can write off up to 100 per cent of the tax on a new pickup, and it’s little wonder why pickups are consistently the best-selling vehicles in the US – with Ford’s F Series at the top of the pile.
To us Brits, cars like the F-150 might seem vulgar and excessive. But, let’s be honest, if we could buy them, some of us probably would. Not that we’d have much use for one, given that they’re wide enough to occupy two lanes, and the fuel bills would induce bankruptcy. Yet, there’s something freeing about owning a vehicle that can haul logs and your family at the same time. It’s their versatility – along with a hefty dose of blue-collar patriotism – that’s made the F-150 a staple of American culture. Hell, Ford even discovered that around 15 per cent of its truck owners had tattoos relating to the gargantuan F Series. Imagine if Brits did the same with, I dunno, a Rover 75.
As it’s Ford’s best-seller in the US, it was of course going to be subjected to a host of performance models. The most extreme of which is the car we have here, the F-150 Shelby Super Snake Sport. A bit of a mouthful of a name, so you know it’s packing a punch. Try 770hp from a supercharged 5.0-litre V8, which is good for a 0-60mph time of 3.45 seconds. That’s frankly astonishing for a car weighing about the same as a medium-sized moon, and it’s even enough to outpace the all-electric F-150 Lightning by a second. Just think of all the heavy stuff you could haul with that sort of performance.
Don’t go thinking the Super Snake Sport is all grunt, though. Shelby’s gone to the extent of fitting the fast Ford with adjustable dampers, uprated control arms and a beefier anti-roll bar at the rear. Heavy-duty six-piston brake callipers help bring the Super Snake Sport to a stop, with the ad claiming that it’ll go from zero to 100mph and back to a standstill in just 8.3 seconds. Take it out on a track – not out of the question for those mad enough to buy an F-150 in the UK – and you’ll benefit from functional aero revisions courtesy of a new front bumper and side skirts. Whether they’ll be noticeable at high speed is anyone’s guess, but there’s only one way to find out.
This version is based on the single cab F-150 pickup, with seating for three. If the exterior design wasn’t shouty enough, the cabin gets sports seats with red stitching and the Super Snake Sport name embossed below the headrests. There’s a carbon fibre finish on bits of the dashboard, too. It’s difficult to tell whether it’s real, not that it would make any difference.
A track-honed pickup truck just doesn’t make any sense, which only makes us want it more. Ford produced just 250 examples, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll see another one of these on the PH Classifieds any time soon. They weren’t cheap in the US when new, either, and you’ll need £132,000 to get behind the wheel of this one right here. But it’s brand new, with only 101 miles on the clock, and there’s no need to faff about with any extra import costs. It’s ready to drive away today. If you’re man enough.