Ford‘s innovative approach to off-road vehicles with the F-150 Lightning Switchgear intrigues me. The unique vehicle is the result of a partnership between RTR Vehicles and Ford, aiming to demonstrate that electric vehicles can match the off-road capabilities of traditional gasoline-powered cars.
Ford determined that the powertrain in the F-150 Lightning XLT, with its impressive 580 horsepower, was more than capable of the job. Although the gas-powered Raptor boasts a higher horsepower of 720, the torque figure reveals a contrasting narrative. The F-150 Lightning Switchgear has an impressive 1,051 Nm of torque, which is more than the Raptor’s 868 Nm. And any experienced off-roader will explain that torque is always more important than horsepower.
The suspension and bodywork of the F-150 Lightning Switchgear received significant attention. The suspension is enhanced with Fox off-road dampers, ensuring the vehicle maintains excellent stability on rough terrain. With its massive 37-inch tires, this truck showcases an impressive ride height that effortlessly conquers even the most challenging landscapes.
Ford and RTR have incorporated a specialized double-wishbone front suspension and a multilink rear suspension. There are stabilizer bars and limit straps in place to maintain control over the suspension and wheel travel. The Switchgear features Fox 80-mm-diameter internal bypass dampers, providing 280 mm of front wheel travel and 330 mm at the rear. That’s just 1 inch shorter than the gas-powered Raptor. Finally, the front ride height of 343 mm, rear clearance of 280 mm, steel fabricated rock rails, and a front skid plate, along with two spare wheels and tires in the bed, ensure that you are well-prepared for any situation.
Compared to your F-150 Lightning, the Switchgear catches the eye with its vibrant motorsports design and unique body modifications. The more robust carbon-composite fenders hide a wider track width. The off-road-ready Switchgear measures 2,030 mm at the front and rear, providing an additional 80 mm compared to the standard model. This enhancement ensures enhanced stability when navigating challenging terrains.
For those who have a passion for automobiles, there’s also a street-spec Switchgear with a carbon-composite front end. The vehicle is equipped with Nitto NT420V 305/55R20 tires on flow-formed aluminum alloy wheels, providing a comfortable ride height of 178 mm in the front and 127 mm in the rear. You won’t need a ladder to get in.
Inside the cabin, you’ll discover five Recaro sports seats equipped with six-point harnesses and a substantial hydraulic hand brake, perfect for executing exhilarating tire-squealing drifts. Ford’s objective is evident: to demonstrate to customers that electric trucks can be enjoyable. Passionate about all things automotive.