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Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear concept resets electric truck expectations

The new Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear concept pushes the boundaries of what’s expected from an electric truck. Unveiled on Wednesday, this pumped-up pickup amplifies the Lightning’s already impressive off-road capabilities in significant ways and looks great doing it.

Inspired by the F-150 RTR Ultimate Fun-Haver project vehicle from way back in 2016, this vehicle was designed and built in partnership with RTR Vehicles and Vaughn Gittin Jr. The F-150 Lightning Switchgear follows in the tire tracks of other pumped-up concept vehicles like the Supervan 4.0 and 4.2 as well as the Mustang Mach-E 1400, CobraJet 1400 and F-100 Eluminator.

Compared to a fresh-off-the-assembly-line Lightning, the modifications this design study received are numerous and impactful. This tough truck has an elevated ride height, more ground clearance and a wider track than what you get with a standard Lightning. Additionally, everything is wrapped in the eye-catching new 2024 Ford Performance livery.

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This truck was built to fly. Photo credit: Ford

Providing ample traction, the off-road version of the Switchgear features 18-inch wheels wrapped in massive 37-inch Nitto Ridge Grappler tires, though if you’d rather cruise the street than the trail, 20-inchers with tamer rubber are installed on the street-tuned version of this truck.

Beyond all that, this rig features a custom double-wishbone front suspension setup and a multilink arrangement with unique control arms and coil-over shocks at the rear. Naturally, the off-road model’s suspension travel has been increased, topping out at 11 inches up front and 13 at the rear. Keeping the body under control when driven in anger are Fox 3-inch internal bypass shock absorbers. Limit straps are included, too, so things don’t get totally out of hand.

Helping accommodate those beefy tires, this truck’s body has been extensively modified. It features carbon composite front fenders and bed sides, plus a rear bumper cover made of the same material. Steel rock rails protect the sills while a new skid plate shields delicate underbody components from rough terrain.

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Look at that wiiiiiide stance! Photo credit: Ford

Motivating this concept is a familiar powertrain. The Switchgear features a lithium-ion battery with a usable capacity of 131 kilowatt-hours. This pack juices a pair of electric motors, one at each end of the vehicle. Together, they deliver 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque for ample performance either on road or off. Just like production Lightnings, you also get a spacious, 14.1-cubic-foot front trunk and an ever-useful 5.5-foot bed.

The F-150 Lightning Switchgear concept pushes the boundaries of what’s expected from an electric truck and offers more off-road capability than any Lightning that’s come before. The Switchgear will make its public debut at the King of the Hammers off-road race on January 25 in Johnson Valley, California.

Written by Craig Cole

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