Ford F-150 Lightning Name Could Make a Comeback As an Electric Truck: Report
It could be a smart wink and a nod to a legacy name that fits.
The old adage “lightning never strikes the same place twice” is not necessarily true in the case of Ford’s Lightning moniker. Car and Driver reported that the brand is reviving the Lightning name for its all-new electric F-150, and it makes a lot of sense. If you’re paying attention, this is actually the third go-around for the Lightning label, since it was produced from 1993 to 1995 and then returned four years later for model year 1999.
Lightning should be an easier sell than using the Mustang name for its EV Mach-E crossover, especially since the original Lightning street truck faded away in the early 2000s. The suggestion of electricity and voltage pairs well with a new all-electric pickup, and could help Ford win the nostalgia vote to divert attention from Chevrolet’s upcoming electric Silverado and Tesla's elusive Cybertruck.
It won’t be anything like the old Lightning, however. A 1993 Lightning had a 5.8-liter V8 stuffed under the hood that made 240 horsepower and could get 13 miles per gallon in the city if you were lucky. Even pop star and actor Lady Gaga was a fan; she has a pet 1993 Lightning in an attention-grabbing red. Aside from the gas/electric dichotomy, the Blue Oval says the new F-150 Lightning says its dual electric motors will generate the most horsepower and torque than any F-150 currently available.
Ford also patented a removable range extender that acts as a generator to recharge the battery of the Lightning with a separate motor. Resembling a toolbox, the range extender can go incognito as it carries the ability to go further than the expected 300 miles or so on battery power. It remains to be seen if the automaker will use it in the Lightning.
The company has invested $700 million in its historic River Rouge Complex, getting it ready for the electric F-150; they broke ground in 2020 in Dearborn, Michigan, and the site is currently housing the line for the PowerBoost hybrid. Considering the direction of the market and the rapid uptake from automakers to build EVs, it feels pretty clear the Lightning name could stick around a lot longer with this generation.
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