A ride in the new electric Ford F-150 told me everything I needed to know

Earlier this year, Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning.

It’s an all-electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck, and it’s set to reshape the entire electric vehicle industry.

Electricity is revolutionary not for what it is, but for what it is not. this is No try to be anything Apart from For a pickup truck. Ford representatives insisted when they revealed the truck that it was an F-150 first and electric second. Any F-150, even one with a plug and multiple batteries, first needed to live up to the company’s “Built Ford Tough” mantra.

It sounds like a mere marketing slogan, but Ford’s truck designers and engineers see it as a mantra to live up to a decade. The F-150 Lightning won’t start shipping until the next 2022, but when Ford asked if I wanted to take a closer look at one, I jumped on a flight to Detroit.

The Lightning has a redesigned grille and head- and taillights, but it’s unmistakably the F-150.Jordan Golson / Inverse

go inside Ford’s Dearborn Development Center isn’t easy. Formerly known as Dearborn Proving Ground and even before that as Ford Airport (the airport was the first in the US to have concrete runways, scheduled passenger service, an airport hotel and more), Ford’s on-campus The test center is highly secure.

Automobile manufacturing is a cutthroat business, and it is common to spy on development vehicles undergoing testing. Dedicated automotive photographers will be photographing looking for camouflage vehicles in common test areas. The need to engineer vehicles away from prying eyes is why these private development facilities are essential to car makers.

After passing through several security checkpoints and boarding a van that is meant solely for visitors plying around the facility, I finally make it to the inner sanctum and find a preproduction F-150 Lightning. This is my first time getting up to date with the truck, and perhaps unsurprisingly, my first reaction is that it looks an awful lot like a Ford F-150 pickup truck.

This is intentional. Ford outraged Mustang fans when it released the Mustang Mach-E, which is Lightning And, perhaps even worse, there are four doors. Truck buyers are a protective and loyal group, and the company wanted to make a truck that was electric, but it did everything F-150 buyers had come to expect and more.

The “and more” bit is what makes Lightning so interesting: One of the coolest features is the ability to plug your Lightning into a special residential charging station that can refill Lightning with energy, but, when the power is lost. If so, it might even power your entire house for days. Some other electric cars allow owners to plug in one or two devices at a time, but none have gone so far as to juice up an entire house.

A preproduction F-150 Lightning chassis at the new electric vehicle assembly facility at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant.Jordan Golson / Inverse

i knew all that when I went inside. I came here to take a ride – Ford doesn’t allow anyone outside the company to drive an F-150 Lightning except President Biden. his decision? “It’s sucker quick!

POTUS is right. It’s lightning-fast, to excuse the pun. It reminds me of the first time I rode a Tesla Model S performance more than half a decade ago. It takes a second for your brain to adjust to something that is moving so fast.

The F-150 takes off like a Lightning rocket… Silently.

In the hands of Chief Engineer Linda Zhang, the F-150 Lightning took off like a rocket… Silently. With 573 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, Ford says the Lightning can hit 0-60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. I didn’t time it, but it feels right. Maybe even faster. We topped 90 mph, and then Zhang informed me that there was a 90 mph speed limit on the test track, although it could have topped 110 mph if you pushed it.

After a few runs around the bend on the side of the bit of test track we could try, it was back inside to see another preproduction truck. I checked out the huge front trunk (with four 110-volt power outlets to charge all your gear) and the 12-inch touchscreen that looks torn from a Mustang Mach-E (or Tesla).

The F-150 Lightning can carry up to 10,000 pounds, and Ford engineers tell me they worked hard to make the dimensions of the bed similar to those of the internal combustion F-150. However, it’s very different at the bottom, thanks to a new suspension and those huge battery packs. The goal was to make it easy to swap between aftermarket accessories like toolboxes and trucks.

This is a pickup truck that is electric.Jordan Golson / Inverse

it will take more time Along with a 10-minute ride-along for me to declare the Ford F-150 Lightning the winner, and a quick peek at the preproduction model, but all the pieces are there. Buyers think so too: Reuters Ford says Ford has doubled its Lightning production target due to strong demand ahead of launch next year, with the company aiming to build more than 80,000 units in 2024.

Ford has already shown it knows how to build an awesome EV with the Mustang Mach-E, and I’m really excited to take the Lightning out for a spin. The company has made them electric by taking two of its biggest names, Mustang and F-150. And perhaps the biggest surprise about electricity is simply that it is so amazing.

Ford plans to begin deliveries of the F-150 Lightning next spring.

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