A silver 2023 Ford Lobo from Mexico towing a speed boat out of the water.

What Is the Ford Lobo and Why Are People Excited About It?

As part of the 2024 model year, Ford has already officially confirmed several big updates to the stalwart F-150 and other truck models, including new specialty trim levels and interior features. One of the most intriguing additions, though, is something the brand has remained tight-lipped about. Ever since it was revealed in August 2023 that Ford had filed United States trademark applications for “F-150 Lobo” and “Maverick Lobo,” excitement has been building for these new vehicles—as has speculation about what they might be.

Information regarding the Ford Lobo models has been hard to come by, but we took it upon ourselves to follow the breadcrumbs and find out what there is to know about these upcoming trucks. From what we’ve uncovered, those in search of a high-performance Ford truck for sale may get what they’re looking for with the Lobo. Let’s see how a Ford F-150 Lobo or Ford Maverick Lobo could change things up.

The History of the Ford Lobo

While the Lobo name might be new to Ford drivers in the United States, it’s already familiar south of the border. The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for over 45 consecutive years, with the light-duty F-150 as the flagship. But in the 1990s, sales of the Ford F-150 in Mexico were best described as stagnant.

As such, Ford decided to rebadge some of its F-150s to try to make them more appealing, especially among young male customers. While the F-150 name continued to be used for the work-oriented base models, the higher trims were rebadged Lobo, with “lobo” being Spanish for “wolf.” While these trucks are pretty much the same as their American counterparts, there are some cosmetic differences with the Lobo to differentiate it from the F-150 and further emphasize its unique branding.

Now, it appears the Ford Lobo badge is coming to the United States. But when will it land—and going back to the original question, what is it? That’s what many Ford and truck aficionados are asking and that we’re trying to answer.

The steering wheel and infotainment center in a 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.

The Ford Lobo Trim: What We Know

As we mentioned, Ford has said very little about this new truck variant so far. Even the official announcement of the new Ford F-150 lineup in September 2023 made no mention of the Lobo. Perhaps this lack of information is part of the buzz, allowing enthusiasts to speculate and imagine what sort of truck it ends up being.

However, according to an early report from Ford Authority, the most likely outcome is that the Ford F-150 Lobo will be a “street performance” trim. Among other things, this could include a lower ride height and more aggressive exterior styling. Information on the powertrain has not yet leaked or been reported.

Based on this brief description, though, it’s fair to believe the F-150 Lobo may be a successor to the F-150 SVT Lightning. Part of the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) division that eventually merged into Ford Performance, the SVT Lightning was manufactured from 1993-1995 and 1999-2004 with a V8 engine and a performance suspension. The Lightning name has since been resurrected for the all-electric version of the F-150, leaving the street performance niche open for the Lobo.

As for the Ford Maverick Lobo, photos of a possible prototype surfaced in November 2023. A closer examination of said photos showed the truck sporting 19-inch wheels compared to the 18-inch wheels currently available on the model. Camouflage covered the nose and tail of the truck, so it’s difficult to tell what there is for a grille, powerplant, or other changes.

Still, some viewers are certain the front coverings concealed a lower front fascia and larger intercooler, which is a sign of a bigger engine. Considering the 2.0L EcoBoost in the current Maverick already has 250 hp and can do zero to 60 mph in under six seconds, any sort of powertrain upgrade would push it into the stratosphere of compact pickups. And despite the rear coverings, you can see the prototype is running the all-wheel drive independent rear suspension.

For the final clue, we can look back to the 2021 SEMA Show. There, Ford Performance unveiled the 2022 Street Performance F-150 concept vehicle. This truck was based around the 5.0L V8 Coyote engine with a supercharger kit that combined to put out 700 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. It also had Brembo performance brakes, 22-inch six-spoke wheels, a Borla exhaust, and much more.

Picturing all these goodies on a Ford F-150 Lobo may be wishful thinking. But if nothing else, it showed Ford has its eye on the street performance market, and imaging at least a “lite” version of this concept truck with a Lobo nameplate isn’t out of the question.

A red 2024 Ford F-150 Lariat parked in the mountains.

Why the Lobo?

The potential of the Lobo offering fits in with Ford’s previously announced strategy of offering specialty variants on existing models like the F-150. With lower development costs and higher profit margins, these variations are considered central to the company. Before the Lobo trademarks generated so much interest, Ford previously filed trademarks for the F-150 Flash and the F-150 Thunder. These, along with the Lobo, could theoretically join options like the Raptor and Tremor in the American lineup. Ford also said in its earnings report for the third quarter of 2023 that it was planning new Maverick trims.

Furthermore, the success of existing variants has shown there’s a thirst for high-performance Ford trucks. Although official sales numbers of individual Ford truck trims are hard to come by, the F-150 Raptor is believed to be among the top-selling off-road trucks, with some estimates putting annual production at around 30,000 units. With the F-Series as a whole selling over 750,000 trucks in 2023 alone despite fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting supply-chain issues, these trucks are still in demand.

Last but not least, the clues so far point to an American Lobo being in the same vein as the Mexican Lobo––urban, hip, aggressive, and bleeding machismo. It’s a market that has already proven effective in the United States, even if not directly through Ford. With other manufacturers already having some sort of performance truck, plus aftermarket options like the Shelby F-150 and the Roush F-150 Nitemare, it’s not surprising Ford would want another crack at the street performance game. It’s especially not surprising when you consider the cult-like status the F-150 SVT Lighting still has two decades after it was discontinued.

When Will the Ford Lobo Be Released?

The final question may be the most important: When will we finally see the Ford F-150 Lobo and Ford Maverick Lobo at dealerships and on the streets? Initial sources said the Lobo would be part of the 2024 model year offerings. However, with Ford having yet to publicly acknowledge it, some people are hedging their bets and saying the Lobo might not see the light until 2025. Also, though we’ve referred to it as a trim for simplicity, it is admittedly not known whether the Lobo will be a separate trim or an optional package.

Regardless, we think there’s enough meat on the bone for truck folks to be genuinely excited about what’s to come. We’ll be keeping a close eye on announcements and leaks, and as soon as there’s something new to report, we’ll be sure to let you know. If you’ve been trying to find the perfect high-performance truck for sale, then the rumored Lobo might be worth waiting for.