The Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear Is Essentially An EV Raptor

This off-road-ready F-150 Lightning one-off is set to debut at the King of the Hammers next week. 

For those who are looking to tackle the dunes while still going green, Ford may just have the answer to that now in the form of its recently revealed F-150 Lightning Switchgear. Essentially an all-electric counterpart to the Blue Oval’s highly accomplished Raptor, this one-off concept nets all the right kit to make it go extreme off-roading in the most eco-conscious way possible. 

Starting right from the ground up, the Switchgear concept nets massive 18-inch wheels wrapped in even bigger 37-inch Nitto Ridge Grappler tires. Hiding behind said beefy rubber meanwhile is a completely revised suspension setup utilising custom components on both ends of this truck, which includes 3-inch Fox internal bypass shocks and a stabiliser bar on the front axle.  

Thanks to all these aforementioned changes, this off-road-ready all-electric pickup picks up an additional 80-inch increase in its track (2,032 mm) to complement its overall increase in ground clearance of 13.5 inches (343 mm) of clearance up front and 11 inches (279 mm) out back. Though just in case anything still manages to come into contact with the Ford’s underbody, the Switchgear also packs a full steel skid plate as well as custom rock on either side for some added protection. 

This one-off F-150 Lightning further features too bespoke slim-line front and rear bumpers, which along with its extremely-flared fenders were constructed from carbon composites. The exterior enhancements made on the Switchgear is then rounded up with a sizeable spoiler and two spare tyres mounted on a chase rack in its bed, in addition to the addition of a number of ventilation ducts that supposedly smooths airflow over its Ford Performance-liveried body.

Moving along within the Switchgear now, this concept sports a five individual Recaro Sportster ORV seats with each having its own six-point harnesses. There is also to be unique dash, a rear bar presumably for added rigidity and a drifter’s favourite hydraulic handbrake that should see this F-150 pull some wicked moves off-road.

Interestingly however, Ford did not actually mess with any of the Lightning’s powertrain in creating this one-off. So to that end, powering the Switchgear is the stock EV’s dual motors that outputs a combined with 580 hp and 1,050 Nm of torque, which is fed by a 131 kWh battery pack. 

Developed by the Blue Oval’s Demonstrator Programme in collaboration with specialist tuner RTR Vehicles, Ford highlights for the Switchgear concept to serve as a showcase of the possibilities that can be had with an EV. The automaker also admitted that this eco-conscious Baja-basher was concocted in part to be a ‘playground for its engineers’ to push the boundaries of this new technology, which is certainly in line with its other prior mad fully-electric creations that included the Supervan and Mustang Mach-E 1400. 

The Switchgear will celebrate its public debut at the King of the Hammers race on January 25. And while Ford has emphatically stated it will not be pressing this particular concept into production, the Blue Oval will be likely soon be concocting plans to milk the Baja-bashing EV pickup market alongside its wildly-successful fuel-drinking counterpart. 

Almost as an aside too, the F-150 Switchgear also incidentally has a road-biased twin that utilises much the same beefy suspension components, but with its chunky tyres replaced instead by street-friendly rubber wrapping around 20-inch wheels. Different to its Baja-bashing counterpart as well is a significantly lowered ride height, carbon composite front fascia and fitment of a tonneau cover.  

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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