Ford Finally Built an F-150 Lightning Raptor, But Even More Hardcore

The automaker’s go-fast division gave into its impulses and built the ultimate electric super truck: the F-150 Lightning Switchgear.

byCaleb Jacobs|
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We already know that electric trucks have a lot of performance to offer. Take the Ford F-150 Lightning and its 775 lb-ft of torque, for example. All that twist is great for acceleration, but there's a world of suspension upgrades still to explore—if only normal people could afford to. The latest Ford Performance build realizes the battery-powered pickup's full potential in a way that only a manufacturer could, complete with Fox 3.0 shocks from the Raptor and tons more.

It's called the F-150 Lightning Switchgear, and it's the Ford Performance Demonstrator program's latest passion project. That means it's in the same category as the Mustang Mach-E 1400 and Ford's electric SuperVans. It doesn't have the same crazy power as those other builds, but it looks far from boring. What's more, it's a dual-purpose build with two configurations—street and off-road.

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The dual-motor powertrain still makes a solid 580 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, though the real magic lies behind the Nitto tires (37-inch Ridge Grapplers in the off-road config, 305/55R20 NT420Vs in street spec). That's where you'll find a bespoke double-wishbone suspension setup in the front and a heavily upgraded multi-link IRS with custom control arms, a stabilizer bar, and coilover shocks out back. The F-150 Lightning's four-wheel independent suspension is much tougher to modify than the gas truck's, but because this was done in-house, you can bet the proper tweaks have been made to work with the added height.

The F-150 Lightning Switchgear's track width measures 80 inches—about six inches wider than a Raptor on 37s. The front ride height can be set to seven inches in street guise or 13.5 inches in off-road garb, while the rear is either five or 11 inches depending on the application. Wheel travel clocks in at 11 inches up front and 13 inches at the rear.

Carbon composite fenders do their best to keep mud, gravel, and tire smoke contained. The off-road configuration features rock rails, skid plating, and a front bumper all made of steel; meanwhile, the street spec—which Ford hasn't shown off yet—wears rocker skirts and a front bumper made of carbon. Both versions of the truck get that slick roof spoiler, which plays well visually with the fender vents.

Even the inside is sick with five—count 'em, five—Recaro Sportster ORV seats. It's entertaining to see three of them lined up in the back row, and there's even a hard-mounted brace that acts as a handle for passengers and a tethering spot for the front seats' six-point Schroth harnesses. Here's hoping your driver is skilled enough that you don't end up eating said brace.

Helmets on, kids.

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Got a question or tip for the author? Contact them directly: caleb@thedrive.com

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