Since its teaser video in May of 2021, the hype for the Ford F-150 Lightning has been building, and for good reason. The prototypes garnered plenty of excitement through promotional videos exhibiting its intense towing capabilities as well as getting the presidential seal of approval. But, the hype for America’s favorite truck doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon, because Ford has projected that the Lightning will be available for sale very soon, and the first of the more than 150,000 reserved units are already on the road.
In many respects, the F-150 Lightning is still the same truck that Americans everywhere know and love.
While the Lightning enjoys a noticeably lower profile and in some ways a sleeker design, the utilitarian bulk that the F-150 line is known for still very much remains.
Instead of the curved, fluid design language that is being adopted in current electric vehicle (EV) design trends, the Lightning looks to long undeviating panels and deliberate angles that give a stark, futuristic look to a car known for its everyman appeal and fairly conventional styling. The lights and grille have also been given a few modernizing touches. Like many EV models, the Lightning exchanges the functional grilles used for air intake, with a grille panel that’s much more aesthetic in nature. In addition, the Lighting also employs the use of a light bar that connects seamlessly to the crook-shaped side headlights, in a similar fashion to the light bars used in the Rivian R1T and Hummer EV pickup.
However, Ford’s new electrified F-150 also offers plenty of performance. Every F-150 Lightning is outfitted with a dual-engine all-wheel-drive powertrain that produces between 426 and 563 horsepower depending on whether the car has the Standard-Range or Extended-Range Battery pack. On either setup, the maximum torque output is a massive 775 lb-ft of torque for a lightning-fast 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds. In addition, the Lightning enjoys a towing capacity of 7,700 lbs and a payload capacity of 1,800 for the Standard-Range, or 10,000 lbs of towing and 2,000 lbs of payload for the Extended-Range. While it’s not the million-pound towing capacity they showed in the prototype videos in the early days after its announcement, it’s certainly plenty for a truck of that caliber. However, because towing chews up battery life significantly faster, it’s best to look at the 300-mile range of the Extended-Range battery pack instead of the 230 miles on the Standard-Range. Fast charging stations will get you from 15 percent to 80 percent in about 45 minutes. The truck’s powertrain is also based on a skateboard design that gives it a low center of gravity and a sportier feel, yet despite this, the F-150 Lightning is still very much a truck built for a do-it-yourself lifestyle.
The interior is as you’d expect a Ford F-150 to be, with all the regular trappings: large seats, and even a large center console, and a very functional dashboard and control center. However, unlike previously, the Lightning features a generous touchscreen infotainment center that controls everything from GPS, climate control, music, and phone calls. The Lightning also features an all-electric dashboard that, along with the usual driver stats, provides an accurate reading of how many miles are left on the charge thanks to Ford’s “Intelligent Range” figure. In terms of storage space, the Lightning has plenty. In addition to the 5.5 bed, it also features an extra-large front trunk space dubbed the “Mega-Power Frunk” that enjoys 14 cubic feet of space, big enough to easily fit golf clubs or supplies for a pretty sizable tailgate.
The Ford F-150 is also packed with technology. The Lightning features a variety of different driving modes that optimize the vehicle for cruising, speed, towing, or off-road terrain. It also features Ford’s BlueCruise semi-autonomous driving features and a host of driver assistance safety features.
The Ford F-150 Lightning starts at $41,669 for its bare-bones base model, but it also offers a variety of different packages to add some of the more desirable technical features and comforts.
While this is no doubt the most exciting EV release from Ford in recent years, there is plenty more in the pipeline. With Ford’s recent announcement that they would split their internal combustion engine and EV operations into two different companies, it’s certainly clear that they’re focused on staking a claim on this wide-open EV market.