2022 F-150 Lightning EV | Driving Impressions & First Look | Game Changer
Ford is moving full steam ahead with its plans for vehicle electrification. The Blue Oval’s modern EV era kicked off last year with the launch of the Mach-E SUV. It was a ground up design that Ford poured untold millions of development dollars into. However; when it came time to pivot to Ford’s bread-and-butter market segment, full-size trucks, the crew in Dearborn took a different approach. They took the already stellar 2021+ F-150 cab, tweeked it a bit around the edges, and bolted it all to a unique EV chassis.
Ice Blue Silver Metallic may be may current favorite F-150 color option.
The result is the all-new 2022 F-150 Lightning. I know many of the SVTP faithful may not be thrilled with this latest application of the legendary Lightning nameplate, but I’m going to ask you to put those feelings aside and come at this one with an open mind. This Lightning packs a 131kWh battery pack, dual motors with a locking rear differential, 580HP & 775TQ, and 330 miles of available of range. Those specs barely scratch the surface.
This is a longer video, but these Ford engineers go in depth on the Lightning's electrical architecture/systems/capabilities.
Independent rear suspension with coilover shocks is a new setup for the F-150. I like this version much more than the setup found on Expedition.
You also over a ton of payload capacity, 10,000 pounds of towing capability, and a mid-4 second 0-60 time. That’s all before we talk about any of the Pro-Power On Board feature. Essential, the Lightning can be used to conservatively power a typical house for well over a week. Everywhere you look, both inside and out, you will find a variety of electrical outlets. There’s an entire panel full of them inside the frunk, which can also hold several hundred pounds of cargo and doubles as an ice chest.
We explored every Lightning model Ford had on hand. I found the lower trim level interiors quite impressive for the money.
You can fit a lot of stuff in the space formerly occupied by a DOHC V8.
I know a lot of you guys are interested in the trucks range while towing, but the basic answer is that it’s highly variable. You have consider the weight and aerodynamic drag of the load, the terrain you’re traversing, speed you’re running, traffic conditions, temperature, etc. Luckily, Ford has developed a cloud based system that takes all those data points from you, and potentially many many thousands of other Lightning owners, to accurately predict your range while towing. That’s one of many software features loaded into the Lightning that helps make the ownership experience simple.
Though my time behind the wheel of the new Lightning was brief, I was able to get a feel for certain characteristics that impressed me. I'm looking forward to the chance to perform a more detailed review.
All the frame componentry seems to be very heavy duty. This lower control arm bolt is huge.
I really feel that it is something Ford spent quite a bit of time striving for, and they accomplished it. Anyone who has spent any time at all in a newer F-150 will be instantly feel comfortable behind the wheel of a Lightning. While I was only able to get a very limited amount of seat time, I do feel I was able to get a decent grasp on some of the driving dynamics. First; other than the Gen 3 Raptor, the Lightning is easily the best riding and driving new F-150 you can buy.
That's a somewhat different warning message...
I realize that’s a strong statement, but that was my major takeaway. The Lightning Exclusive independent rear suspension is tuned to perfection for general on road use. I’ve not hesitated to critique the ride of the main-line F-150s over the past several years. I feel those spring and shock packages have been tuned too softly. All that changes with Lightning. The suspension feels firm and substantial without being harsh. I’ll tentatively say that the chassis dynamics engineers should be proud, but I’m going to withhold my final judgment until I get more real-world miles under me in this truck.
I like the styling of this new badge.
After my brief drive, I switched off with one of Ford’s professional drivers to take a ride-along highlighted by a full throttle (maximum potentiometer???) blast. Ford has made a point to tout the acceleration performance of the Lightning EV, and it is impressive for what it is. No; you’re not going to challenge a Mach-E GT with it, but it is quickest currently available F-150. There’s something to be said about that, especially considering that the Lightning has a 6,900 pound curb weight. You’re looking at a sub-5 second 0-60, and a nearly silent ride getting there.
You'll notice that all the Lightning exclusive wheels have been designed with aerodynamic efficiency in mind.
I thoroughly enjoyed my limited time in San Antonio with the new F-150 Lightning. The presentations were quite in-depth, and I’m really just scratching the surface of the details surrounding Ford’s latest EV. However, I can guarantee you that I will be bringing you a much more detailed assessment of the truck in the hopefully near future. Until then; all I can say is that if you get a chance to drive the new F-150 Lightning, take it. I think you’ll be surprised how good it really is.
The Lightning Pro is the base model, but it still has a very nicely appointed interior.