Our first-day track tests were conducted at the Milan Dragway. Temperatures hovered around 72 degrees with a slight breeze throughout the day.
All tires were measured and left at manufacturer-recommended pressures with the concrete launch surface sticky and cool. Each truck was loaded with Ricardo test equipment (www.ricardo.com), and two adult males sat in the front seats during each run. Each truck was run with the windows up and the air conditioning and traction control switched off. Each truck was run at least four times, with at least two runs in Drive, and at least two runs executed by manually shifting the electronic transmission. And, of course, we had the same driver behind each wheel.
To no one’s surprise, the F-150 — the lightest pickup with the newest, most modern engine — ran the fastest to 60 mph with a time of 6.97 seconds. That turned out to be 1.5 seconds faster than our two slowest trucks, the Chevy and Nissan, which tied with a time of 8.41 seconds. The best time for the Ram was a respectable 7.5 seconds, while the Toyota, at 7.12 seconds, had the most trouble getting its power to ground, requiring a little finesse at takeoff to prevent the wheels from breaking loose and spinning. All the other V-8s did a good job of controlling wheelspin when we mashed the throttle at the green light. We were especially impressed with the F-150, which had struggled for us in past tests, keeping its rear axle quiet and free from hop.