Ford has unveiled some very significant cars in recent times, including but not limited to the Bronco and Mustang Mach-E. But, in the grand scheme of the brand’s future, yesterday’s reveal of the new F-150 Lightning might be the brand’s most important release of the decade.
In revealing the new fifty, Ford confirmed that it’s done plenty of work to make the model handy in a multitude of ways, while simultaneously making it look … normal. Many a punter has already labelled the ute the antithesis to the Tesla Cybertruck.
Ford is releasing the Lightning as a ‘standard range’ model or a ‘extended range’ model, both featuring dual motors and all-wheel drive. The former gets a ‘targeted’ 318kW of power and 1051Nm of torque, with range rated at 370km per charge according to EPA testing.
The extended range variant, meanwhile, spits 420kW and 1051Nm, with a range of 483km and a 100km/h sprint time of around 4.5 seconds. This makes it a second quicker to the mark than the current Ford F-150 Raptor.
Plugged into a DC fast charger, those who opt for the ute with the best charging option (four are available) will be able to get it from 15 per cent charge to 88 per cent charge in just 15 minutes.
Those concerned about towing need not be. Despite its EV status (many EVs don’t come with tow ratings, even though most are perfectly capable of doing so), Ford has said that the big truck can tow 4536kg, and a payload of 907kg.
These are both max figures that can only be achieved with certain models. That tow rating only comes if buyers get the extended range model with Ford’s trailer tow package, and the payload can only be achieved if buyers get the standard range model with the 18-inch wheels.
Tech is a predictable talking point with the Lightning. It gets a new portrait 15.5-inch screen with Sync 4A, which features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets BlueCruise, Ford’s equivalent of Tesla Autopilot or GM’s Supercruise.
The F-150’s two big convenience party pieces are its ‘frunk’ and its power supply capabilities. The frunk under the bonnet is a full storage area, capable of hosting 181kg of payload, of 400 litres of cargo (more than a Ford Focus boot). It comes with four power outlets, and a drain plug if you want to hose it out.
Then there’s what Ford calls its ‘Pro Power Onboard’ system. The optional feature can send up to 9.6kW of power to electrical appliances while owners are, for instance, at a camp site. There’s also the Ford Intelligent Backup power system, which claims to be able to power a house for three days, based on an average daily power usage of 30kWh.
This may sound a little gimmicky, but when you consider the recent spate of power issues in the US (including the Texas storms that saw hundreds of thousands of people going without power for days), it’s understandable why this is a big deal for American buyers.
Yes, American buyers, not Kiwi ones. Unfortunately the F-150 Lightning is not being produced in right-hand drive. For now, New Zealanders who are keen on one will have to get one the old fashioned way; as a grey import.