The pickup truck concept is pretty straightforward. Take a cab, an engine, and a big bed in the back to carry whatever you need. Somewhere down the line, someone got the idea to take the powerful engines from these trucks and put them in smaller cars, and the mighty hot rod was born. Small business coupes and 'secretary cars' were now road-pounding speed demons.
Updated March 2022: Pickups are getting faster. The inclusion of Hellcat engines and electric motors means 0-60 is closer to 3 seconds than ever before. With numbers like that, even supercars struggle to keep up. That's why we've updated this list to include the new fastest truck kings.
Eventually, someone thought to take the tuned motors from the hot rods and put them back into pickups, creating a powerhouse. That gave a new meaning to the word hauling.
While there are pickups from other countries, pickups are quintessentially an American creation. Jamming a powerful engine into a lightweight pickup with the intention to go fast is an American tradition. These are the 20 fastest American pickup trucks.
22 2005 Dodge Ram Rumble Bee (8.6 Seconds)
Dodge has a long history of unique edition muscle cars. It wasn't enough to just be the manufacturer of the legendary Charger and Challenger; their internal hot rod wizards at MOPAR wanted more. They went on to make scary fast, loud, and colorful limited runs like the Charger Rumble Bee. In 2005, Dodge revived that name for their Hemi-powered Ram pickups.
In 2014 Dodge teased a new Rumble Bee concept that features a hardcore version of their biggest engine that promises to scar quarter miles across the country. The throwback Rumble Bee sports a flashy appearance package featuring a bright yellow paint job and the Rumble Bee graphic. But the Dodge Ram was already packing heat in the form of a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 that pushed the bright yellow behemoth to a very untruck-like 0-60 in 8.6 seconds.
21 2018 Chevrolet Colorado Z72 (7.1 Seconds)
The days of 'no replacement for displacement' are fading into the past with rising gas prices and technological advancements. What was once the exclusive realm of big V8s, today's trucks feature smaller but more powerful V6 engines. Occasionally, some come equipped with four-bangers. The Bowtie's sporty pickup packs a 308-hp punch out of a 3.6-liter V6 engine.
While it took a Hemi to get the Rumble Bee to 60 in 8.6 seconds, the Chevy's six-cylinder can do it in 7.1 seconds while retaining its truck-like qualities, like a 5000-pound towing capacity and 1100 pounds of cargo space. All with a regular paint job, you feel right at home working on the field.
20 2005 Chevrolet Silverado SS (6.7 Seconds)
Factory hot rod pickups came in waves, and in the early 2000s, those waves included the Chevrolet Silverado SS. This full-size workhorse fits a 345-hp 6.0 liter V8 that catapulted the SS pickup to sixty miles an hour in 6.7 seconds for those craving something unique. Like the Z72, this modern sports truck still managed to be practical.
If the SS wasn't unique enough, it came in an exceptionally limited edition trim memorializing NASCAR legend and bowtie pilot Dale Earnheart with his well-earned nickname, Intimidator. In Earnheart's trademark black and the slick number three, SS Intimidators looked the part.
19 1979 Dodge Lil Red Express (6.6 Seconds)
Sports trucks aren't an entirely new thing. In 1979 an engineer discovered a classification loophole that meant he could cram a police spec 390 into a pickup. The pickup of choice was the Dodge lightweight step-side. Add some cool seventies smokestacks and some chrome trim, and you have the Dodge Lil Red Express. The cop car engine propels the Express to a period impressive 6.6 seconds. Just how impressive, you may ask? At the time, it was the fastest accelerating vehicle made in America.
Even with a limited run of less than 8,000, they still didn't fly off the lot because of timing. During the 1979 gas crisis, no one wanted to pay extra for the thirsty pickup. The Express didn't make it to 1980. These days collectors trade them for around $30,000.
18 2007 Saleen S331 (6.1 Seconds)
Saleen is a name synonymous with modified Mustangs. They even have their own supercar, the Saleen S7, which disputed the Bugatti Veyron a run for 'fastest car in the world.' But making record-breaking Mustangs and hand-built supercars can get quite boring, right? You'll need something to tow your show ponies with to the track, so why not make it fast as well?
Behold the S331, with a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 cranking out 450 hp, the S331 scrambles to 60 in 6.1 seconds. Unlike some other trucks showing off-road prowess, this one sits low and sleek, just like the Mustang with room in the back to carry kegs to the frat party in record time. The side exhaust is thunderous. Just in case you were worried that someone might think you just bought a body kit and an aftermarket exhaust, each S331 comes with an edition number under the headlight. What's the use of being exclusive if you can't point out the exclusivity?
17 2014 Ford Tremor FX4 (5.8 Seconds)
Sports cars get slick names like “Mustang” and “Corvette” while luxury cars get posh names like “Eldorado” and “Town Car.” But trucks are not gentle creatures; they are rugged workhorses driven by tough people who wear plaid and denim. They get names like Tremor.
The Tremor is really just another special F-150. From the name, you'd expect a big loud modified V8. Well, you'd be almost right. The Tremor features their renowned EcoBoost 3.5 liter V6 with power adders strapped to it in the shape of a turbocharger putting out 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. With the 4X4 drivetrain, that amounts to a pickup that growls to 60 in 5.8 seconds. All this while getting 17 mpg in the city and 23 highway. Not bad.
16 2005 Dodge Ram SRT10 (5.6 Seconds)
Once upon a time, Dodge wanted a flagship sports car. They thought, “What would Carol Shelby do?” Or perhaps they still had his number from when he was on the payroll. The answer was to go to Lamborghini, who was their subsidiary, and craft an aluminum 8.3 liter V10 cranking out 500 hp and then mold a Cobra-Esque roadster around it. The Viper came to be.
What to do next? Find something else to put that beast of an engine in. Enter the Dodge Ram SRT10. What better way to tow your Viper than with a Viper in truck form? The Ram is uniquely qualified for towing, with a chassis capable of towing a whopping 7500 pounds. When it's not pulling your neighbors and the kid down the street's toys, it can move you from a standstill to 60 in a quick 5.6 seconds. It doesn't have a bright yellow trim package, but no one seems to mind.
15 2005 Chevrolet SSR (5.5 Seconds)
The retro trend hasn't always been so successful. Before Mustangs got throwback grilles and Camaros came back as a proper 2+2, a few hot-rod throwbacks missed an essential element: the “hot” part. An example is the PT Cruiser that was propelled by a less than impressive 150 hp four-banger. Another example is the Plymouth Prowler, which sported a less inspiring V6.
When Chevy got rid of the fourth generation Camaro, someone's idea for a successor was an art deco-inspired hot rod-inspired pickup that no one really asked for. What we got was an underpowered bulbous-looking pickup that lost even more room when the hardtop folded down, which made the awkward-looking truck even more awkward.
All of these sins aside, as long as they would cram some power in it. And in 2005, they finally did just that by putting the 390-hp LS2 V8 in the SSR. The powerplant would sprint the SSR to 60 in 5.5 seconds. The largely unloved truck finally lived up to its go-fast looks.
It was too little too late for the SSR, and the truck's production ended. Soon after, Chevy revived the Camaro, which would bring back the Camaro's muscle shirt image. This image was enough to make us forget that the SSR ever happened.
14 2015 Silverado Rocky Ridge Callaway Edition (5.5 Seconds)
Who in their right mind looks at a Corvette and goes, “Yeah, but it could be faster, right?” Reeves Callaway, that's who. Starting his career selling turbo kits for BMWs and other sports cars, Callaway really made his name by making already fast Corvettes mind-numbingly fast.
Callaway has turned his attention to the Chevrolet pickups, jamming a 6.2 liter V8 and then sticking a 2.3-liter TVS triple intercooled supercharger used on Corvettes to pump out 560 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. All this manifests in a beast that launches to 60 in 5.5 seconds.
You get to announce that power with Callaway's side exhaust trumpeting your swift arrival. Maybe you scoff, but aren't there 19 other trucks on this list that get to 60 in a hurry? Off-road specialists Rocky Ridge have you covered. The truck lifts an extra 4 inches with 20-inch wheels and an uprated suspension with coil-overs upfront. All this adds up to a truck that will get you to the dirt quickly and not flinch once you get there.
13 2017 Ford F-150 EcoBoost (5.3 Seconds)
When the Ford Tremor was introduced, it was an option for the EcoBoost. You don't always need a cool name like “Tremor” to make an impression; sometimes, you can get there on numbers alone. In 2017, the EcoBoost engine was typical and was available in many Ford models. At 3.5 liters and pumping out 375 hp and 470 lb-ft, the F-150 EcoBoost hustles to 60 in 5.3 seconds without losing much in the mpg category, scoring 17/19 city/highway.
It does this with a transmission you're more accustomed to seeing on bicycles. A total of ten gears guide all that power to the road without constantly shifting. And unlike most of the trucks on this list, it's not a limited edition. This means it keeps a reasonable price tag on a truck you can use as a work truck.
12 2014 Lingenfelter Reaper (5.3 Seconds)
If you miss cool names like “Tremor” and the idea of having something you're not going to mistake for someone else's at the tailgate party, it's time to go back to the tuners. NHRA driver turned GM tuner Lingenfelter has been modifying fast cars for years.
In 2014 Lingenfelter cranked up the Silverado to the tune of 550 hp through a 6.2 liter V8 strapped with a TVS1900 Supercharger launching the truck to 60mph in 5.3 seconds. Also, you get an excellent graphic on the side if anyone thinks you're driving just a regular old Silverado.
Like most of the modern hot pickups, the Lingenfelter is built to thrive in the dirt, with increased suspension travel that is made to handle all that hustle in the rough. Just bring a rag to wipe the dirt off that decal as you have to keep up with appearances.
11 2001 Ford SVT Lightning (5.2 Seconds)
Most manufacturers have a team of engineers, which are a group of mad scientists that answer all the pressing questions. For Ford, that's the Special Vehicles Team or SVT. They have modified Mustangs and even managed to make a desirable version of the Taurus.
Once you've made a hot Taurus, though, where do you go? What mountains are there left to climb? In 2001, it was the F-150. They start by slapping a supercharger to a 5.4 liter V8 resulting in 380 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. This eases a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds.
While essentially remaining a truck, it's a tough truck to love as a truck. It's low and bumpy like a tuned street car, and all that power comes on hard. If the roads are a little wet, you might be doing a few unintentional burnouts along your way.
10 2018 Ford Raptor (5.1 Seconds)
Desert racing is so hardcore that it's common to run the course in something fast, but that can take severe punishment. These rugged trucks are called pre-runners. In the days of Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, the 'custom' pre-runner was all the rage, though usually modified a little more than a slight suspension upgrade and a sticker package.
These issues aren't the case with the Ford Raptor. The Raptor might be the BMW M3 of the sports truck world in the same way that it is almost universally beloved by automotive journalists everywhere. It has a long-travel soft suspension that absorbs the rough parts and keeps the ride smooth for the pilot. The twin-turbo 450-hp V6 with the EcoBoost's crazy 10-speed transmission makes it easy to fire up the Raptor to 60 in an impressive 5.1 seconds.
This desert-friendly fast truck has become the golden standard of the modern sports truck.
9 1970 El Camino 454 SS (5 Seconds)
As we know, seeing how big of an engine you can jam into a vehicle is not a new hobby. In 1970 Chevy took the tried and tested formula, found a car, and put a Corvette engine in it. The car they made was a car/truck combination named the El Camino. The 454 was making the rounds at GM, and its legend status was growing.
The claimed 450-hp engine was chosen to power the half truck half-car to a respectable 6.6 seconds. This engine is an early seventies big block engine, and finding a stock 454 SS might be like trying to find a unicorn. Mix the mighty 454SS with high octane fuel, and you launch the El Camino to 60 in 5 seconds.
8 1991 GMC Syclone (4.9 Seconds)
If the modern sports truck has a spiritual father, it's the GMC Syclone. The truck is dripping with mods based on the stock model GMC Sierra S-15 pickup. That meant turbocharging the 4.3l V6 was not impressive by today's standards, but still incredible 280 hp. This power was laid down through a constant AWD system. All this power, and it is only 1991, a time when Audi was quickly getting AWD outlawed in racing for their infamous 'Unfair Advantage,” and other manufacturers were starting to explore their own. What this meant was that the Syclone could put down its power without having the lightweight rear end losing traction at the first touch of the pedal. The result is a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds. In a pickup. In 1991.
The Syclone worked so well that Car and Driver famously took one to a drag strip to race it against a Ferrari 348. The pickup won, and the Syclone's legend status was established. Even today, modern sports trucks measure themselves against the Syclone and find themselves lacking.
Low to the ground and with a bed more like a long trunk, the Syclone remained more on the sporty rather than a functional pickup truck. But it's still at the top of the podium for those who don't mind.
7 2018 Hennessey Velociraptor (4.9 Seconds)
The folks down at Hennessey, famous for making the already hot Viper even hotter, took the task of making yet another unique Raptor even more special.
The EcoBoost is tuned to a rather frightening 600 hp that will hurl the off-road craving Velociraptor to 60 in 4.9 seconds. But that's still just Syclone territory. You can't just have that number to stand out in the sports truck world.
Better add another axle. That's right; the Velociraptor isn't content being a simple 4X4. It also comes in 6X6. If you're going to prepare for the apocalypse, do it right. That's if you can bring yourself to mud a truck that costs as much as a house. It's not the kind of unwieldy beast you want to hand to your average valet, despite its valet-worthy price tag of $349,000.
6 2017 Shelby F-150 Super Snake (4.5 Seconds)
The Shelby F-150 is another case of a hot car engine that found its way into a sports truck, this time at the hands of a legendary company. You probably know Shelby's name if you even kind of like cars. Carol Shelby is the man who took British roadsters and stuffed Mustang engines in them. He is also the man who Ford called to beat Ferrari at Le Mans. In short, the man who made Mustangs cool. Well, he and Steve McQueen.
In the 2000s, Shelby as a company was known for modifying Mustangs. Never running away from a challenge, Shelby took on making a hot F-150. Not a Raptor, though; this 5-liter 750-hp truck is a ground-pounding street truck that knocks 60 miles and out in 4.5 seconds.
Aside from raw power, it bears the Shelby markers such as the trademark white racing stripes and the name “Super Snake.” You can tow that vintage Shelby GT350 to the local auto show in your Shelby pickup truck, and thanks to all the power at your disposal, you won't be late.
5 2018 Yenko Silverado (4.5 Seconds)
Yenko might not be a household name if you aren't into Camaros or collector car auctions. Back in the 60s and 70s, Chevy dealership Yenko Chevrolet sold Corvettes and Camaros like any Chevy dealership. Still, it also sold its own version of the modified Camaro and Corvette. Yenko Camaros became a prized find in Camaro circles.
The Yenko name now belongs to the aftermarket tuner Speciality Vehicle Engineering, and they've done something insane. They took a Silverado and put a 6.8 liter supercharged V8 in it, putting out 800 hp, with a Syclone-Esque 4WD meant to blur the Silverado to 60 in an estimated 4.5 seconds. It's lowered two inches and made to hold the road, not the dirt.
The truck costs $45,500 over the price of a regular Silverado, but you'd also have to be quick because they're only making 25 of them.
4 2008 Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged (4.4 Seconds)
Toyota is no stranger to putting out high-speed vehicles. However, few are faster than the 2008 Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged when it comes to trucks. In fact, even 14 years later, it still ranks as one of the fastest. It can hit 60 in a mere 4.4 seconds, thanks to a suite of TRD parts.
All TRD parts were dealer-installed and factory approved, meaning great power didn't void warranties. Under the hood, the Tundra TRD Supercharged sported a 5.7L V8 engine capable of 504 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque. Despite being paired to a six-speed auto, the TRD Supercharged can launch with the best of them!
3 2018 Roush F-150 (4.2 Seconds)
NASCAR or sports car racing fans no doubt recognize the name Roush. While there is no shortage of people making Mustangs go faster, Roush stands out in the crowd. Just like other Mustang tuners on this list, they were more than happy to turn their attention to the F-150.
Roush went with a supercharged version of the 5.0 liter Coyote V8, an in-house special, pumping out 750 hp to drive the full-size crew cab pickup to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Without a distinct paint scheme of bees or racing stripes, the Roush V8 goes with the tried and tested splash sticker on the side so that everyone you're passing can know why your truck is insanely fast. While no Raptor, it still gets a Fox 2.0 Performance Series suspension kit and big meaty Micky Thompson tires.