without Being Spotted Stealthy Ford F-150 Lightning Conquers Pikes Peak Undetected

Revised: Updated F-150 Lightning Switchgear: A Closer Look from Earlier This Year

At Ford’s highly-anticipated event in Charlotte to launch the 2024 racing season, CEO Jim Farley made a surprising announcement about a new “EV demonstrator” that will be taking on the challenging Pikes Peak race. While no specific information was given about the vehicle, that remains largely unchanged. What we do know is that it will be a F-150 Lightning, but it won’t be available for purchase at your typical Ford dealership.

Ford unveiled a sneak peek of their latest vehicle through a single image on social media on Friday. The picture only showed the front of the car, hidden under covers. Its design exuded an impression of being low and wide, with a striking wild wing at the back reminiscent of the one found on the outrageous electric SuperVan. If Ford did not explicitly mention that this was the F-150 Lightning, we would have immediately thought it to be a new interpretation of the SuperVan, perhaps an improved version of the existing 4.2 model. However, as it turns out, this is a truck, and it is clear that Ford has incorporated some ideas from its remarkably fast van into this new creation.

The hillclimb racer presented here may bear resemblance to the Lightning Switchgear, an exclusive experimental model created to push the limits of both on- and off-road capabilities for electric trucks. We had the opportunity to closely examine the Switchgear in January, as we were taken for a thrilling ride by Vaughn Gittin Jr. in its off-road iteration. The name Switchgear signifies its versatile nature, as this truck can handle both paved turns and dirt leaps with ease, thanks to minor adjustments in its suspension and tires.

Ford did not produce two variations of the Switchgear. Instead, they designed a single prototype that is capable of fulfilling both roles. As a result, we only had the opportunity to see the off-road version during the event. According to a Ford representative, the vehicle will be converted at a later time, which conveniently coincides with the upcoming Pikes Peak competition.

The image above is taken from Ford’s Switchgear press kit, providing a glimpse of the potential appearance of the street version. There are several noticeable discrepancies between this image and the teaser released earlier, particularly the inclusion of a large wing and possible strakes extending from the cab to the rear, resembling those seen on the SuperVan. If this latest Lightning prototype is derived from Switchgear, then Ford is undoubtedly pushing the boundaries with its design.

Whether it pertains to Switchgear or an entirely different category, we anticipate that this F-150 will possess impressive speed as it conquers the hill. The annual Pikes Peak Hillclimb will take place on June 23, so we can anticipate learning more about this electrifying Lightning model in the coming days.

Source: Ford


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