Ford’s new one-off electric truck: The F-150 Lightning Switchgear for extreme off-roading

On Wednesday, Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning Switchgear, a concept derived from the F-150 Lightning, providing a glimpse into the potential direction of the automaker’s performance-oriented electric truck. As of now, it remains solely a conceptual vehicle.

Similar to its predecessors such as the SuperVan, Mustang Mach-E 1400, and Mustang CobraJet 1400, the F-150 Lightning Switchgear is positioned as a testbed for upcoming electric vehicles. In contrast to those earlier models, Ford has not increased the power in its pursuit of performance, maintaining the Switchgear at the stock F-150 Lightning’s maximum of 580 hp.

Shifting the emphasis away from power, Ford concentrated on enhancing the chassis, specifically the suspension. Collaborating with RTR Vehicles, they crafted a customized suspension featuring independent double wishbones at the front and a multi-link design at the rear.

At both ends, the F-150 Lightning Switchgear incorporates Fox 3.0-inch diameter internal bypass shocks, stabilizer bars, and custom control arms. The inclusion of limit straps aids in managing suspension and wheel travel.

Switchgear refers to the vehicle’s adaptability, allowing it to be configured for either street truck or off-road performance. Drivers need to make component swaps based on their specific preferences and driving goals.

In the setup tailored for street truck performance, modifications include a carbon-fiber front fascia, custom side skirts, a specialized tonneau cover, and 20-inch wheels fitted with Nitto NT420V tires. This configuration also features a lowered ride height to enhance its on-road performance.

In the off-road setup, the front fascia is replaced with a durable steel alternative, accompanied by a robust steel skid plate. Additional features include sturdy steel rock rails and a chase rack equipped with two spare tires, while 18-inch wheels paired with 37-inch Nitto Ridge Grappler tires contribute to its off-road capabilities.

Ford has not confirmed if the F-150 Lightning will incorporate these enhancements, leaving room for potential advancements in Ford’s upcoming full-size electric truck, set to debut in 2025 under the code name T3, utilizing a dedicated EV platform.

Debuting at the King of the Hammers race on Jan. 25 in Johnson Valley, California, the F-150 Lightning Switchgear will make its inaugural public appearance.

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