Ford has unveiled a new concept vehicle that showcases the potential of the F-150 Lightning, the company’s first all-electric pickup truck. The Switchgear is a performance demonstrator that combines the power, torque, and technology of the Lightning with a range of off-road enhancements and features. The result is a truck that can tackle any terrain, from sand dunes to snow trails, while also offering a comfortable and connected cabin.

What is the Switchgear?

The Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear is not a production vehicle but rather a proof of concept that demonstrates the capabilities and versatility of the F-150 Lightning platform. Ford says the Switchgear is “a glimpse into the future of what’s possible with the most innovative, intelligent and connected F-150 ever”.

Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear

The Switchgear is based on the Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum trim, the top-of-the-line model offering a range of luxury and technology features. The Switchgear adds several modifications and upgrades to enhance the off-road performance and appearance of the truck, such as:

  • A custom suspension system that increases the ground clearance by 6.7 inches, for a total of 13.1 inches. The suspension also features Fox shocks and air springs that can adjust the ride height and damping according to the terrain and driving mode.
  • A set of 37-inch BFGoodrich tires mounted on 17-inch Method wheels that provide more traction and stability on rough surfaces. The tires also have a self-sealing feature that can repair punctures up to 0.25 inches in diameter.
  • A front skid plate that protects the battery and other components from rocks and debris. The skid plate also has an integrated light bar that illuminates the road ahead.
  • A rear bumper that incorporates a winch and a tow hook for recovery and towing purposes. The bumper also has a spare tire carrier that holds an extra wheel and tire.
  • A roof rack that can carry up to 500 pounds of cargo, such as bikes, kayaks, or tents. The roof rack also has a solar panel that can generate up to 1.1 kilowatts of power, which can be used to charge the battery or power accessories.
  • A snorkel that allows the truck to ford water up to 39.4 inches deep, which is 11.8 inches more than the standard F-150 Lightning. The snorkel also improves the airflow and cooling of the battery and the motors.
  • A custom paint job that features a matte black finish with orange accents and graphics. The paint also has a self-healing feature that can repair minor scratches and scuffs.

What are the specs and features of the Switchgear?

The Switchgear inherits the impressive specs and features of the F-150 Lightning, which is expected to launch in mid-2024. The F-150 Lightning is powered by a dual-motor system that delivers up to 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful F-150 ever. The truck can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds and can tow up to 10,000 pounds. The truck also has a frunk (front trunk) that can hold up to 400 pounds of cargo.

Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear

The Switchgear has an extended-range battery, which offers an estimated range of 300 miles on a single charge. The battery can be recharged using a variety of options, such as:

  • A Ford Charge Station Pro can provide up to 19.2 kilowatts of power, adding up to 30 miles of range per hour. The station can also act as a home backup power source, supplying up to 9.6 kilowatts of power to the home in case of a blackout. The station can also be controlled and monitored using the FordPass app or the Alexa voice assistant.
  • A Ford Intelligent Backup Power feature that can use the truck’s battery to power the home for up to three days, or up to 10 days if the power is rationed. The feature can also automatically switch between the grid and the battery, depending on the availability and cost of electricity.
  • A Ford Intelligent Range feature that can estimate the remaining range of the truck based on various factors, such as weather, traffic, payload, towing, and driving behavior. The feature can also suggest the optimal route and charging stations, and alert the driver if the range is insufficient to reach the destination.
  • A Ford Power-Up feature that can update the software and firmware of the truck over the air, without the need to visit a dealership. The feature can also add new features and functions, such as the BlueCruise system, which is a hands-free driving assistant that can operate on certain highways.

The Switchgear also comes with a host of technology and convenience features, such as:

  • A 15.5-inch touchscreen that runs on the SYNC 4A system, which is a user-friendly and customizable interface that can access various apps and services, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Spotify, Waze, and more. The system also supports wireless charging and wireless updates.
  • A 12-inch digital cluster that displays the vital information and stats of the truck, such as speed, battery level, range, driving mode, and more. The cluster also changes its appearance and color according to the selected driving mode, such as Sport, Normal, Tow/Haul, or Off-Road.
  • A Bang & Olufsen sound system that delivers a premium and immersive audio experience, with 18 speakers and a subwoofer. The system also has a sound cancellation feature that can reduce the noise and vibration inside the cabin.
  • A Zone Lighting feature that can control the exterior and interior lights of the truck, such as the headlights, taillights, light bar, roof rack, frunk, and more. The feature can also create different lighting scenarios, such as Camp, Work, or Drive.
  • A Phone As A Key feature that can use the smartphone as a key to unlock, lock, start, and drive the truck, without the need for a physical key or a fob. The feature can also store the preferences and settings of the driver, such as seat position, climate control, radio station, and more.

How much does the Switchgear cost?

The Switchgear is not for sale but rather a one-off concept vehicle that showcases the potential of the F-150 Lightning. However, Ford has announced the pricing and availability of the F-150 Lightning, which is expected to start at $39,974 for the base model, and go up to $90,474 for the Platinum trim. The F-150 Lightning is also eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, as well as state and local incentives, depending on the location.

Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear

The F-150 Lightning is currently available for reservation with a refundable deposit of $100. The truck's production is expected to begin in spring 2024 at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan. The first deliveries are expected to start in mid-2024.

Why is the Switchgear important?

The Switchgear is important because it demonstrates the potential and versatility of the F-150 Lightning, which is a game-changer for the electric vehicle market. The F-150 Lightning is a powerful and capable truck and a smart and connected device that can offer a range of benefits and solutions for customers, such as backup power, software updates, and hands-free driving.

The Switchgear also shows that the F-150 Lightning can be customized and modified to suit different needs and preferences, such as off-road performance, cargo capacity, or aesthetic appeal. The Switchgear is a glimpse into the future of what’s possible with the most innovative, intelligent, and connected F-150 ever.

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