This is it. The all-new, 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. It revives a badge that has been synonymous with high-powered V8s, but now it’s all about high-powered electricity.
Ford is calling it the “smartest, most innovative truck” it has ever made. It manages to blend an eco-friendly fully-electric powertrain into one of the most renowned heavy-duty applications of the auto world. Everything from instant torque for towing, comprehensive connectivity with software update capability, and the biggest digital screen ever offered in a full-size pickup, the new model is certainly appealing.
It will be available in four series with two different battery options. A standard range version offers a full-charge range of 370km (EPA estimate), producing around 320kW and 1050Nm. An extended range version offers a range of 483km and develops around 420kW and 1050Nm, with 0-60mph (97km/h) projected in the mid-4.0 seconds range.
In terms of charging, the 2022 F-150 Lightning can go from 15-100 per cent charge on an 80-amp upgraded household socket in about 8 hours with the extended range battery. Using a 150kW DC fast-charger, users can expect to achieve 15-80 per cent recharge in 41 minutes in the extended range system.
Although the powertrain specs are obviously impressive, it’s the overall practicality that should also go down very well with pickup truck buyers. For example, under the bonnet at the front is a 400L storage area that offers four electrical outlets with up to 2.4kW available, a drainable floor, 181kg payload, and a bumper-height load level that’s also water-resistant. This space is only possible due to the electric powertrain, with no combustion engine.
Buyers will also be able to option up to a Pro Power Onboard system that provides up to 9.6kW of power, so it’s perfect for tools and appliances. Ford says the new Intelligent Backup Power system is capable of powering a house for three days during a blackout (based on an average usage of 30kWh per day).
Being a pickup, the load-hauling capability is very important. And so Ford has ensured the new model lives up to its heritage. The payload capacity is 907kg, while the braked towing capacity is a targeted 4536kg with the extended range battery and Max Trailer Tow Package option.
Inside, it is impossible to miss the whopping 15.5-inch central touch-screen on the dash. Ford says it has been designed to adapt to driver behaviour, featuring SYNC 4A running software, cloud-connected sat-nav, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There’s also a 12-inch digital instrument cluster for the driver. Darren Palmer, general manager, Battery Electric Vehicles, Ford Motor Company, said:
“It really is the smartest F-150 we’ve ever made. F-150 Lightning offers an immersive touch screen, giving our customers all the info they want in an instant – a real-time view of where they’re going, what they’re hauling or how much real-world range they’ve got banked. And with Ford Power-Up software updates, the experience is only going to get better.”
Other highlights include the first application of independent rear suspension for the F-150, which should help to optimise ride quality and handling, with a streamlined exterior design helping it become the most aerodynamic road-going F-150 ever.
There’s also Zone Lighting available which can light up either a specific or entire area around the vehicle with external LEDs, Onboard Scale option that can automatically weigh the payload, four driving modes (Normal, Sport, Off Road, Tow/Haul), and over-the-air Ford Power-Up software updates that are set to continually improve and evolve the vehicle’s functionality.
Production will commence next year at Ford’s updated Rouge facility in Dearborn, near Detroit. Buyers can place a reservation now with a $100 deposit. The official arrival date is spring 2022 (Australian autumn).