The F-150 Lightning Switchgear Is The Electric Raptor That Ford Didn’t Give Us - SUV VEHICLE

The F-150 Lightning Switchgear Is The Electric Raptor That Ford Didn’t Give Us

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For over two decades, the Ford F-Series trucks have reigned supreme in the pickup truck realm. Synonymous with power, capability, and a no-nonsense attitude, these vehicles have carved a deep niche in the hearts of drivers seeking both utility and rugged performance. But the landscape shifted with the introduction of the F-150 Lightning, Ford’s foray into the electric truck market.



While the Lightning’s instant torque, impressive towing capacity, and futuristic features garnered widespread acclaim, a yearning remained among a certain breed of truck enthusiast. The F-150 Raptor, a high-performance off-road variant known for its Baja-ready suspension, aggressive styling, and go-anywhere attitude, is conspicuously absent from the electric revolution.

However, Ford has refused to let the electric off-road torch remain unlit. Enter the F-150 Lightning Switchgear, while not officially declared an electric Raptor, the Switchgear’s DNA is unmistakably Raptor-infused. Its widened stance, knobby tires, and aggressive approach angles are optimised for its off-road prowess. Its custom suspension, lifted ride height, and protective skid plates further solidified its intentions to conquer unforgiving terrain.

The Switchgear transcends mere specifications, it represents a glimpse into Ford’s vision for the future of electric trucks. It embodies a spirit of exploration and the insatiable thirst for pushing boundaries that has defined the F-Series legacy for generations. While the F-150 Lightning Switchgear may not be a full-fledged electric Raptor, to be released into the wild, it serves as a potent reminder that the electrifying journey of off-road trucks has only just begun.

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In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Ford.


The Switchgear Blurs Lines Between Rugged and Refined

The Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear is a fascinating concept truck that pushes the boundaries of what an electric pickup can be. One of the most intriguing aspects of the Switchgear is its powertrain and performance paradox. Electric trucks are already known for their impressive acceleration thanks to their instant torque.

The F-150 Lightning, for example, boasts 775 pound-feet of twist, which is phenomenal for launching you off the line. However, this instant torque doesn’t necessarily translate to off-road prowess. Modifying suspension and ride height play a crucial role in tackling tough terrain, often an expensive endeavor for average consumers.

Ford F-150 Lightning Performance Specs

Standard-Range Battery

Extended-Range Battery

Drivetrain

Four-wheel Drive

Four-wheel Drive

Horsepower

452 horsepower

580 horsepower

Peak Power

337 kW

433 kW

Peak Torque

775 pound-feet of torque / 1050 Nm

775 pound-feet of torque/ 1050 Nm

(Specs sourced from Ford)

Rugged Monster Truck Persona For Conquering Terrain

F-150 Lightning Switchgear
Ford

The F-150 Lightning Switchgear takes a different approach. This truck boasts two distinct personalities, offering both off-road domination and on-road agility. When equipped for the wilderness, it transforms into a monster truck with 37-inch Nitto tires, Fox 3.0 internal bypass shocks, and a custom double-wishbone suspension setup in the front.

This aggressive configuration grants a whopping 13.5 inches of ground clearance and 11 inches of wheel travel, allowing it to conquer challenging landscapes with ease. Steel rock rails and skid plates provide additional protection for the undercarriage, while the widened track (80 inches) enhances stability on uneven terrain.

This Ford Embodies The “Can Do It All” Spirit

But, the Switchgear isn’t solely confined to dirt paths. For those who prefer pavement playgrounds, the Switchgear sheds its rugged attire and embraces a street-focused persona. Gone are the knobby tires and high-clearance bumpers, replaced by 20-inch performance wheels wrapped in street-friendly Nitto NT420Vs and a lowered suspension with different springs for a sportier ride height (7.0 inches in front and 5.0 inches at the back). Carbon fiber body panels, including a sleek front fascia and rocker skirts, contribute to a more aerodynamic profile, while a tonneau cover adds a touch of practicality.

Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear Dimensions

Wheelbase

145 inches

Front track

80 inches

Rear track

80 inches

Front ride height

  • Street configuration: 7.0 inches
  • Off-road configuration: 13.5 inches

Rear ride height

  • Street configuration: 5.0 inches
  • Off-road configuration: 11.0 inches

Front wheel travel

11 inches

Rear wheel travel

13 inches

Cargo capacity

  • Frunk: 14.1 cu. ft.
  • 5.5 ft Styleside pickup bed: 52.8 cu. ft.

(Specs sourced from Ford)

Same Heart, Different Soul

The F-150 Lightning Switchgear presents a fascinating paradox. It’s an electric truck that can be both a capable off-roader and a nimble on-road performer, all while utilizing the same powertrain. The Switchgear shares the same 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque as the stock Lightning. However, the real magic lies in the Switchgear’s suspension upgrades and configurations. This demonstrates the potential of electric vehicles to cater to a wider range of needs and preferences than ever before.

Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear Dimensions

Drive system

Dual motor, 4×4

Motor control system

IGBT Inverter & AC control

Electric motor type

Permanent Magnet Synchronous

Horsepower

580 hp

Torque

775 lb.-ft.

Battery capacity (useable)

131 kWh

(Specs sourced from Ford)

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Spartan Functionality Meets Racing Inspiration

The Switchgear’s interior might surprise some. Unlike the luxurious appointments found in some high-end trucks, the focus here is on pure functionality and performance.

  • Five Recaro Sportster ORV seats: Designed for both comfort and support, these seats dominate the cabin. The hard-mounted brace behind the front seats serves a dual purpose: a handle for passengers and a tethering point for the front seats’ six-point Schroth harnesses.
  • Unique gauges and controls: The dashboard features bespoke gauges and controls, likely tailored for off-road and performance driving. This reinforces the truck’s focus on functionality and driver engagement.

The entire interior prioritizes driver engagement and control. This is evident in the choice of seats, gauges, and e-brake, an emphasis on performance and active driving.

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The Switchgear Goes Beyond The Hype

F-150 Lightning Switchgear
Ford

While the F-150 Lightning Switchgear is a demonstrator vehicle not available for purchase, its existence holds significant implications for the future of electric trucks. It pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of performance, suspension design, and configurability.

The dual-personality aspect, with its off-road and street-focused setups, caters to a wider range of enthusiasts. It also serves as a platform to experiment, gather data, and ultimately refine future electric truck offerings. The Switchgear serves as a glimpse into the potential of electric trucks, paving the way for more capable, versatile, and exciting options for consumers in the years to come.

  • Performance Potential of Electric Trucks: The Switchgear demonstrates that electric trucks can offer exhilarating performance, comparable to their gas-powered counterparts. With its 580 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, the Switchgear is no slouch, both on and off the road. This bodes well for the future of electric trucks, as performance-oriented options become increasingly available.
  • Pushing the Boundaries of Suspension Design: The Switchgear’s bespoke suspension system, with Fox shocks and custom control arms, showcases the potential for innovative suspension design in electric trucks.
  • Configurability and Versatility: The Switchgear’s dual-personality setup, with interchangeable components for on-road and off-road use, highlights the potential for increased configurability in electric trucks.
  • Experimentation and Data Gathering: For Ford, the Switchgear is a valuable platform to test and refine new technologies and designs for future electric trucks. The data gathered from the Switchgear’s performance and consumer feedback can be used to inform the development of more refined and marketable electric truck offerings.

The F-150 Lightning Switchgear is a testament to the exciting future of electric trucks. It demonstrates that electric trucks can be powerful, versatile, and capable of tackling a variety of terrains and driving conditions. This paves the way for a new generation of electric trucks that are not only practical but also fun and exciting to own and drive.

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The Future Of Electric Trucks And Ford’s Role

Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear
Ford

The F-150 Lightning Switchgear offers a tantalizing glimpse into the future of electric trucks and Ford’s potential role in shaping that future. It pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of performance, suspension design, and configurability.

  • Growing appetite for electric trucks: The market for electric trucks is booming, driven by factors like environmental concerns, rising fuel costs, and the increasing availability of capable options like the F-150 Lightning. Consumers are increasingly receptive to the idea of electric trucks, especially if they offer comparable performance and utility to their gas-powered counterparts.
  • Demand for diverse truck capabilities: The Switchgear’s dual-personality design (street and off-road) caters to a wider range of truck enthusiasts. Consumers are no longer confined to choosing between a rugged off-roader or a street-focused truck. This flexibility can be a major selling point for electric truck manufacturers.
  • Focus on performance and innovation: The Switchgear’s impressive performance upgrades demonstrate the potential for electric trucks to match or even surpass gas-powered trucks in terms of capability. This focus on innovation and pushing boundaries is crucial for attracting performance-oriented consumers to the electric truck segment.

Ford’s Commitment To Electric Vehicles

  • Investing in the future: The Switchgear serves as a platform for Ford to experiment, gather data, and refine its electric truck offerings. This investment in R&D demonstrates Ford’s commitment to leading the electric truck revolution.
  • Building on existing strengths: Ford has a long history of producing popular and reliable trucks. Leveraging this existing brand recognition and expertise will be crucial for Ford’s success in the electric truck market.

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