Ford Is Bringing Back the F-150 Lightning — But in a Very Unexpected Way

The new truck should deliver tremendous street performance, but it won't pack a V8.

ford electric f 150 teaser image
Ford

If you love tire-shredding, torque-laden pickup trucks that accelerate like a bat out of hell, you're probably familiar with the F-150 Lightning. Well, good news: it seems Ford may be reviving the F-150 Lightning name...though perhaps not how most of us anticipated.

Car and Driver is reporting that a source provided them with a Ford planning document to confirm that the F-150 Lightning name returning to the Ford lineup. But it won't be a traditional sporty, street-focused edition of the F-150 pickup. Instead, "Lightning" will apparently be the name for Ford's upcoming electric F-150, which should make an appearance next year.

Lightning, of course, is made of electricity, so the name certainly makes sense in an obvious way. But the Lightning name could be a great fit for the new EV even beyond that. Ford says it'll be more powerful than any F-150 in the present lineup, which will mean more than 450 horsepower. The electric F-150 should also be quicker than other F-Series models, which should mean a sub-5.0-second 0-60 mph acceleration time. The primary driving difference between the electric F-150 and the standard model, besides emissions, should be how ludicrously quick the electric vehicle feels on the street.

That said, for traditionalists, it would also be an odd choice. Naming the brand's electric crossover "the Mustang Mach E" arguably added caché and pushed Ford to make it perform better. But harkening back to a niche, rad-era 1990s truck adds little to the F-150 branding, which already has broad mass appeal. Prospective truck buyers already found the mere idea of an electric F-150 preferable to all other options.

Choosing the eye-catch F-150 Lightning name would also contradict the approach Ford took with the F-150 hybrid. The name – Powerboost — subtly nods to electrification. But there's almost no visual identifier, beyond the generator, that the hybrid truck differs from the standard F-150 pickup.

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