Ford unleashes the F-150 Lightning Switchgear – an electric Raptor in all but name

It leaps, sprints and skids without the tailpipe emissions

Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear
(Image credit: Ford)

Ford is on a mission to prove that electrifying its most famous models doesn’t necessarily mean giving up the giggles, as a number of new 'demonstrator' concepts neatly highlight.

Once such build is the F-150 Lightning Switchgear - a concept co-developed with RTR Vehicles (renowned Ford tinkerers) that takes a base electric F-150 Lightning and gives it the "Raptor" treatment without actually giving it the Raptor treatment… if you see what we mean?

"It showcases the possibilities of what an electric vehicle can be and provides a playground for engineers to advance learnings quickly for future electric vehicles," Ford says, in an attempt to justify blowing the budget on FOX three-inch diameter internal bypass shock absorbers, carbon composite body work and monster 37x12.5 R18 tyres.

Designed to wow crowds at the upcoming King of the Hammers off-road racing event in Johnson Valley, California, later this week, it’s essentially a dream build for anyone into jumping, sliding and generally muddying their pick-ups at breakneck speed, while showing they care for the planet.

To cater for this sort of clientele, Ford and RTR have added three bucket seats in the back - placed in a row and sporting full race harnesses - as well as a gigantic hydraulic handbrake in the front for initiating those epic, dirt-spraying drifts.

Engineers didn't have to mess with the electric propulsion system, as it's already an impressive thing: 580hp and 1,051Nm (775lb ft) is delivered by a potent the twin-motor setup. Although expect this high-riding monster to drain batteries a bit faster than the bog standard model - but you'll be having too much fun to notice.

Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear

(Image credit: Ford)

So there you have it. A mere concept for now, but we are sure if the crowds shout loud enough, Ford might buckle and put a long-awaited electric Raptor into production.

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.