In the evolving landscape of electric vehicles, Ford Performance has unveiled an addition to its lineup: the F-150 Lightning Switchgear. This high-performance on- and off-road demonstrator vehicle, grounded in the fame of America’s top-selling electric truck, emerges as a robust testament to Ford’s innovative spirit.
Collaborating with RTR Vehicles, Ford Performance has reimagined the 2016 F-150 RTR Ultimate Fun-Haver, culminating in the F-150 Lightning Switchgear. This vehicle flaunts a custom carbon exterior, adorned with a striking Ford Performance 2024 livery. It’s not just about looks; this model boasts significant off-road enhancements, propelling the F-150 Lightning into uncharted territories.
The Switchgear is the newest member of the Ford Performance Demonstrator program. This initiative, which includes marvels like SuperVan 4.0 and 4.2, Mustang Mach-E 1400, and more, serves a dual purpose. It not only exhibits the vast potential of electric vehicles but also provides a fertile testing ground for engineers. These learnings are vital for the advancement of future electric models.
In terms of design, the Switchgear extends the track width of the standard F-150 Lightning for improved off-road stability. It features enhanced ground clearance and suspension travel. The FOX 3-inch internal bypass shock absorbers are pivotal for terrain management, augmented by custom front and rear bumpers to optimize approach and departure angles.
The vehicle’s suspension system is a marvel in itself, with a custom independent double-wishbone setup at the front and a multilink independent configuration at the rear. This is complemented by coil-over shocks, a stabilizer bar, and bespoke control arms.
Durability is a key factor in the Switchgear’s design. It boasts carbon composite front fenders, bed sides, and rear bumper cover. Adding to its ruggedness are steel fabricated rock rails and a front skid plate, ensuring readiness for challenging terrains. Limit straps are thoughtfully integrated to manage suspension and wheel travel effectively.
The F-150 Lightning Switchgear is fitted with NITTO Ridge Grappler 37×12.5R18 tires, and features a unique chase rack holding two spare wheels. This vehicle, a testament to Ford’s commitment to electric vehicle innovation, is set to make its public debut at the challenging King of the Hammers off-road racing event on January 25 in Johnson Valley, California, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of electric vehicles in off-road scenarios.