If only Ford could make something like this.
Several changes had to be made to accommodate the off-road biased suspension. Alex Whitelaw of Saleen Performance explains that converting the electric pickup was rather challenging. "Nobody has a book or instructions on doing this to a new vehicle like the Lightning. There are a lot of changes [such as] getting rid of [the] traditional differentials."
Some of the suspension parts, however, fitted rather easily. "We had to do a lot of homework as far as axle shaft lengths and [having] custom axles made." Half of the parts came from a second-generation Raptor, but parts like the fully adjustable upper control arms are aftermarket items from Saleen Performance.
The rear end was more challenging, as the F-150 Lightning uses independent rear suspension, meaning everything had to be customized. "The rear shocks are the main part of what makes everything work," explains Whitelaw. "They allow the rear end to keep up with the front."
Elsewhere, bead-lock wheels were fitted to the battery-powered pickup, and are wrapped in chunky 35-inch off-road tires. Lastly, Raptor fender flares have been equipped, giving the Lightning the looks to match its new-found capabilities.
Out on the Rally Ready test track, the instant torque afforded by the electric motors sends the Lightning forward with gusto, while the new suspension dismisses the rutted, sandy surface with ease.
The one-of-a-kind Lightning flies over the gravel with ease, leaving behind a trail of dust as it flies by. The Lightning even catches some air over one of the course's jumps, but it would be great to see this capable electric F-150 hit tougher terrain, like dunes or a hardcore off-road course.
We've already imagined a Lightning Raptor, and we're guessing an official version would sell exceptionally well. After all, the standard Lightning continues to prove popular with consumers across the country. An off-road-focused version would attract adventurers with an environmental conscience.
After all, the Blue Oval recently introduced the V8-powered Raptor R, so another addition isn't out of the question. If not, you'll have to wait until 2030, when the next-generation Bronco is rumored to be introduced in ICE and EV forms.