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Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear: The Electric Truck

How Ford’s Electric Performance Demonstrator Outperforms Other Off-Road Vehicles.

Ford has unveiled its latest electric performance demonstrator, the F-150 Lightning Switchgear, at an event in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Switchgear is a collaboration between Ford Performance and RTR Vehicles, founded by professional drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. The Switchgear is based on the F-150 Lightning with the extended-range battery, but it has been modified to offer more off-road capability and track performance.

What is the F-150 Lightning Switchgear?

The Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear concept vehicle showcases Ford’s vision for electric all-terrain performance. It is not available for purchase, but the public will see it for the first time at the grueling King of the Hammers off-road racing event starting Jan. 25 in Johnson Valley, California.

The Switchgear has a dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain that produces 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque from its 131.0-kWh battery pack. The battery pack also provides an estimated range of 320 miles in normal driving conditions. The Switchgear can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about four seconds and reach a top speed of over 130 mph.

The Switchgear features custom carbon bodywork with a Ford Performance livery and is underpinned with off-road upgrades to take the Ford F-150 Lightning where it’s never been before. It has an increased track width of 80 inches at both ends, compared to about 68 inches on the stock Lightning. This improves stability and approach and departure angles when tackling rough terrain.

The suspension on the Switchgear has also been enhanced with FOX three-inch diameter internal bypass shock absorbers, front and rear bumpers, custom independent double-wishbone suspension at the front, multilink independent suspension at the rear with coil-over shocks, stabilizer bar, and custom control arms. The truck also has carbon composite front fenders, bed sides and rear bumper cover. Steel-fabricated rock rails and a front skid plate are added to protect the vehicle from damage.

The tires on the Switchgear are NITTO Ridge Grappler 37×12.5R18s, which are designed for extreme off-road conditions. They have a rugged tread pattern that allows traction on mud, sand, rocks, and snow. The truck also features a unique chase rack with two spare wheels/tires in case of punctures or flats.

What are some of the features of the F-150 Lightning Switchgear?

The F-150 Lightning Switchgear has several features distinguishing it from other electric vehicles. Some of them are:

  • Switchable Drivetrain Modes: The truck can switch between three different drive modes: Normal Mode for everyday driving; Off-Road Mode for tackling challenging terrain; and Track Mode for maximizing performance on paved roads.
  • Active Terrain Management System: The truck can automatically adjust its traction control system according to the road conditions. It can send more power to either wheel or reduce engine braking when needed.
  • Terrain Response System: Drivers can also customize the truck to suit their preferences on different terrains. It can choose from four preset modes: Normal; Mud & Sand; Rock Crawl; Snow.
  • Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist Technologies: The truck has several advanced driver-assist technologies that enhance safety and convenience. Some of them are Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping System, Blind Spot Information System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Centering Assist, Auto High Beams, and Wireless Charging Pad.

Why did Ford create the F-150 Lightning Switchgear?

Ford created the F-150 Lightning Switchgear as part of its Ford Performance Demonstrator program, which showcases new technologies and concepts that could be used in future electric vehicles. The program aims to push the boundaries of what electric vehicles can do on both road and track.

Ford’s CEO Jim Farley said that he wants Ford to be “the dominant brand in off-road racing” and “the dominant brand in road racing,” as Porsche does. He said electric vehicles have many advantages over gas-powered sports cars, such as instant torque delivery, lower emissions, higher efficiency, and lower maintenance costs.

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