Not quite with the quickness of its name, the all-electric 2022 Ford Lightning arrived a year after it was announced. There was much fanfare and an avalanche of deposits, and now there’s an estimated three-year backlog for delivery.
Teased at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Ford beat all the others—Tesla to GMC, Chevrolet to Rivian—to the streets to further add to Ford’s truck legacy. The industry’s best-seller for decades, hadn’t Ford already offered every conceivable truck necessary to maintain its sales advantage? The Lightning only adds to the mix; a luxury-oriented, full-size electric pickup truck with top-level performance and a 300-plus-mile range.
Available in Pro, XLT, Lariat and Platinum trims, the F-150 Lightning splits its battery’s prowess. The Pro trim is available with a smaller-capacity battery; the Platinum is offered only with a higher-capacity battery. The XLT and Lariat are equipped with the smaller-capacity standard, and the higher-capacity optional. The standard-range battery has a 230-mile range; the extended-range battery is 320 miles.
The standard all-wheel-drive system has selectable Normal, Sport, Off-Road and Tow/Haul modes. The reviewed top-line Platinum trim adds features from lower trims and the luxury-loaded Lariat trim, including the 15.5-inch tablet-style Ford SYNC 4A touchscreen infotainment system, an upgraded front grille, 22-inch all-season tires and aluminum-alloy wheels.
That’s plenty, but a tow technology package, max trailer tow package and Ford BlueCruise semi-autonomous driving system are all also in the mix.
Perforated luxury leather-trimmed seats, a twin-panel panoramic moonroof and a Bang & Olufsen 18-speaker amplified surround sound audio system take the Lightning into a higher luxury category. Along with a few other luxury pickup trucks, the new Ford is a small, richly appointed apartment on wheels.
But despite its high-end look, the new Lightning isn’t just for show. It has workhorse capabilities with as much as a 2,235-payload limit (with a standard-range battery) and a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds.
Also helpful for buyers keen on gadget versatility, the Lightning has two 120-volt outlets in the cabin, four 120-volt outlets, one USB-C and one USB-A outlet in the front truck, four 120-volt outlets in the bed and one 240-volt outlet in the bed. It’s all part of a 2.4-kilowatt Pro Power Onboard package (a 9.6-kW version is optional).
The Lightning is replete with surprises, starting with a $50,000 difference between the base-level Pro model and the top-line Platinum. Yet there’s only one cab option, the Super Crew, and one bed length, 67.1 inches.
Ford calls its front trunk a Mega Power Frunk. It features power outlets, drain plugs and a 400-pound limit for cargo. It’s enough space for two medium-sized, soft-sided suitcases.
For mobile work, the large console workspace easily unfolds and expands flat when the gear shift is tucked forward and flush. When the tailgate is lowered, a built-in ruler stretches across the interior of the gate.
Exterior surprises include the LED light bar above the front non-grille grille and integrated side steps. There’s also a rear step assist that emerges from the tailgate and snaps back when no longer needed.
The new Lightning is quick, quiet, comfortable and innovative. Is its top-line model worth $93,000 before state and federal rebates? If Ford’s tallies are accurate, more than 200,000 customers are waiting to find out.
Facts & figures
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 4.0 seconds
Fuel economy: 73 MPGe city, 60 MPGe hwy
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $90,474
Manufacturer’s website: ford.com
Price As Tested: $93,509
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Battery, 8 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited mileage; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/60,000 miles