Electric Raptor: First Look at Ford F-150 Lightning Performance Switchgear

Eco-friendly Adventures: Conquer the Wild without Compromise

Ford Performance has teamed up with RTR vehicles and Vaughn Gittin Jr. to produce the ultimate version of the F-150 Lightning, known as the widebody Switchgear. To the rest of us, this could be seen as a concept for a Lightning Raptor.

The Switchgear stands as a tough, high-powered electric vehicle built for pushing the boundaries of future EV technology. It belongs to the prestigious group of Ford Performance Demonstrator cars, which features noteworthy and unconventional prototypes such as the Mach-E 1400 Mustang, SuperVan 4.0 and 4.2, and the F-100 Eluminator restoration.

With an array of adjustments, Switchgear boasts a notably expanded distance between the wheels, enhancing its off-road steadiness and providing increased space between the ground and the vehicle’s underbelly. These features are essential when navigating rough landscapes at accelerated velocities. Incorporated into the design are three-inch internal bypass shock absorbers from Fox and updated bumpers by Ford Performance, enabling more improved approach and departure angles.

The height of the vehicle changes depending on the specific setup used. In the street configuration, the ride height measures seven inches at the front and five inches at the rear. In contrast, the off-road setup provides taller heights of 13.5 inches at the front and 11 inches at the rear.

The front suspension of this vehicle features a unique independent double wishbone design, including a stabilizer bar and droop limit straps. The rear suspension also consists of independent semi-trailing arms, providing similar functionality. In terms of power, the Switchgear boasts an impressive 580 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, matching the output of the highest-end Lightning models.

Depending on its setup for either street or off-road use, the Switchgear can be fitted with various wheel and tire options. When driving on paved roads, the electric truck comes with 20-inch RTR Tech 6 flow-formed wheels wrapped in 305/55 Nitto NT420Vs. However, when blazing through rough terrain, it sports 18-inch RTR Tech 6 forged wheels equipped with beadlock rings and Nitto Ridge Grappler tires. For the off-roading version, a chase rack is installed to carry two extra tires in case things get a little too intense.

Mark Rushbrook, the Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports, stated that the F-150 Lightning Switchgear has been meticulously crafted to serve as a “testbed for challenging the norms of what is typically anticipated from electric trucks.”

The Switchgear boasts a striking Ford Performance design, with the name emblazoned on the upper portion of the windshield. Additionally, the front fenders, bumper cover, and bedsides have been swapped out for lightweight carbon composite panels. To safeguard the underside from obstacles, the vehicle features rock rails and a front skid plate, adding a touch of intimidation to its appearance.

The looks of this vehicle transform depending on its setup, with the city-centric variant sporting a Ford Performance truck bed cover and carbon fiber side panels, among other additions. The off-road edition boasts a steel-forged front bumper and limit-straps at both the front and back to counter any sagging.

Ford Performance has continued to push the boundaries, not content with their current accomplishments. As soon as you enter the Switchgear, you will notice various performance-focused enhancements. The dashboard retains its original design, but now features a vinyl accent inspired by the exterior livery. However, the most noticeable addition is the high handbrake lever protruding from the center console, similar to what you would find in a drift or rally car. It is presumed that this lever is connected to Ford’s patented electric drift brake system.

The standard seats have been swapped out for Leather-wrapped Recaro bucket seats, complete with race-inspired safety harnesses and ample side support. Thanks to the spacious interior of the F-150 Lightning, Ford Performance has managed to fit three bucket seats in the back row, allowing for a total of four passengers to experience the thrill of the Switchgear. Of course, all seats are equipped with harnesses for maximum safety. Furthermore, a harness bar has been added to enhance the car’s overall stiffness, a crucial feature for a vehicle of this nature.

The highly anticipated F-150 Lightning Switchgear by Ford Performance is set to make its debut at the King of the Hammers off-road race on January 25. It will showcase its capabilities with impressive jumps and stunts, proving that it is a match for the powerful Raptor pickup available for purchase by consumers like you and me. This event will mark the first public appearance of the F-150 Lightning Switchgear, adding to the excitement and anticipation surrounding this renowned vehicle.

Anticipate the arrival of a fully-functional F-150 Lightning Raptor in the near future.

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