Ford F-150 Lightning, a “high tech” utility vehicle as powerful as a sports car

Ford’s historic pickup is becoming a connected and smart electric racing car with batteries so powerful they can recharge a house for 4 days, cars or mechanical equipment.

Attention, testing a historic vehicle: the Ford F-150. This pickup is considered to have helped build the United States. Not less. This vehicle, produced since 1948, is also the best-selling vehicle in North America, the United States and Canada. The F-150 now exists in an electric version under the name “Lightning”. Only sold across the Atlantic at the moment, Ford left us the keys to this monster for a test on the Utac-Ceram test track in Mortefontaine (Oise).

A really solid utility

Before turning on the ignition, a tour of the vehicle is essential. It is a monster of 2.8 tons, 5.9 meters long and 2 meters wide for a height of 2 meters. Up front under the hood, the powerful V8 is gone. Instead, there is a trunk equipped with electrical and USB sockets to plug in or recharge small devices. Best seller, the F-150 is above all a professional vehicle. Of course, these sockets are American standard because the tested model is not approved for Europe. “Made in USA” detail: a fluorescent button allows the trunk to be opened from the inside, as required by American law for several years.

At the rear, the platform is capable of supporting a load of almost one ton. It becomes a workbench once the side panel is lowered with places to fix vices and metal rulers for cutting and measuring. Ford even considered installing a bottle opener and cup holders.

And again, there are power outlets, but this time it’s more powerful to change the car to a small power station. They not only make it possible to connect tools, but also to recharge electric vehicles (up to 7 depending on the manufacturer), and even provide electricity for 3 to 4 days for a small chalet isolated from everything or for power outages). All it takes is a satellite WiFi connection to have a network in the middle of the forest or the desert.

Inside, the utility is a comfortable saloon with five spacious seats as in SUV where minivans top of the line. And even USB or conventional power outlets on the front and back.

As powerful as a sports car

But the metamorphosis really takes place when you’re behind the wheel. The utility will be a car capable of reaching 100 km / h from a standing start in just 4 seconds with 563 horsepower and a torque of 1050Nm. A performance usually reserved for sportswomen. This power allows it to tow up to 4.5 tons.

On the road, we forgot about its impressive size. It behaves (almost) like a city car whether on expressways, lanes or on cobblestones where we didn’t spare it. It becomes a real 4×4 capable of crossing or climbing a steep and very steep road. And if he accelerates hard, his braking is not brutal.

Connected and smart

The F-150 Lightning is also a connected and intelligent vehicle. It has a large touch screen – similar to the Mustang Mach-e – to adjust the driving parameters but also to monitor and illuminate the surroundings with cameras and 360° lights.

There are traditional driving modes to suit the terrain and even an autonomous mode if the law allows it. Practical gadget, a mode allows you to use only the accelerator pedal, a specialty of electric vehicles that promotes energy recovery during braking. The brake is activated by releasing it without having to press the brake pedal. And to suit all body types, the height of the pedals is automatically adjusted.

An award that is already attracting people

Given these characteristics and a situation that increases the prices of cars, the price is quite surprising. Ford offers this engine from 40,000 dollars HT. But depending on options, it can approach 100,000 dollars for the “Platinum” version.

In the United States and Canada, this new F-150 is already successful. And for good reason, this F-150 also benefits from federal assistance that is only applicable for “made in USA” vehicles with a value of less than 75,000 euros. Many professionals have adopted it, but also the police or even individuals to go on an adventure.

“Hopefully. The public is interested to know how we can modernize this pickup that is part of the history of the United States like the Ford T or Mustang. We made 150,000 of them and our order book reached 200,000 vehicles ” , a Ford official explained to BFM Business.

For Ford, this victory feels like a snub to the Rivian R1T and Tesla’s Cybertruck. These two pickups are trying – or will try – to force themselves into the electric utility market in the United States first, then the rest of the world.

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