The F-150 Lightning Switchgear will make its debut next week in California
F-150 Lightning Switchgear is a “playground for engineers” with beefed-up suspension and tyres
It’s said to provide a “playground for engineers” to experiment with and optimise Ford’s future electric cars.
It has been developed by Ford’s Demonstrator Programme in collaboration with specialist tuner RTR Vehicles.
Over the standard F-150 (Ford’s long-time best-seller), it gains a “significant” increase in track width to improve off-road stability, better ground clearance, double-wishbone suspension at the front, a multi-link arrangement at the rear and beefier dampers.
It also gets bespoke front and rear bumpers and a stabiliser bar on the front axle for steeply undulating surfaces, as well as better approach and departure angles.
Its swollen wheel arches accommodate the wider tracks, 37in off-road tyres and more ventilation ducts to smooth airflow over its body and thus make it more stable off-road.
It also gets a Ford Performance livery, as seen on the Mustang GT3 race car.
To keep weight down and rigidity up, the truck’s front wings and bumper cover are made out of carbon composites.
These are joined by a skidplate made out of steel and limit straps attached to the suspension to provide protection after the vehicle lands from a high-speed jump or when driving quickly over rough terrain.
Performance figures are unknown, as the Switchgear has been optimised for off-road capability, rather than outright performance potential.
However, we expect it to deliver at least the same sort of performance as the most powerful F-150 Lightning, which has a 563bhp motor for a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec.