The development process of the frunk is fascinating.
The Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup comes with a lot of features that will be unfamiliar to owners of more conventional trucks, many of whom are transitioning to the Lightning. That's why Ford created a visual experience with Google to help new or potential customers get to know all the truck's secrets. Perhaps one of the Lightning's most useful features is the Mega Power Frunk, a front trunk found where a gas-guzzling V8 would normally live. It's claimed to be the largest front trunk in the truck industry.
Ford has now shared the frunk's fascinating development process which all began with a cardboard prototype dating back to 2018. A few young user experience designers went to California to find out how Ford truck and fleet customers may use a truck frunk.
Built in a day with scissors and hot glue, the cardboard box was used as a visual tool when meeting with customers. It had a liftable hood and a cutout front door. Ford's research team discovered that customers envisioned a space that could accommodate two golf bags, which could charge electric tools, and that was lockable and secure. All of these lessons were gleaned from the rudimentary cardboard box and applied to the design of the frunk. The frunk offers 14.1 cubic feet of space - more than many sedans offer - and has a 400-pound maximum payload capacity. That's also way more space than you get in the Mustang Mach-E's front trunk.
"Since the frunk was a new space, all the truck customers we interacted with got really excited about what it could be and what use they could get out of it in their daily lives," said design strategy director Greg Ardisana.
The team then got to work adding features that made the frunk as useful as possible. This included adding truck bed lamps in the frunk hood that prevented the common issue in normal trunks whereby larger items of cargo block out the light from the lamps. Four electrical outlets, two USB chargers, and 2.4 kilowatts of power were added, the latter able to power wired tools, speakers, and more. A rubberized, anti-slide floor, along with a drainable base, are other additions that make the space suitable for wet gear. Finally, Ford made sure that accessing cargo at waist height was possible which is why the waterfall grille was integrated into the hood.
"We put the customer first in every decision we made and were able to deliver on a Mega Power Frunk," said frunk feature supervisor Steve McInally. "And it's going to blow people's minds."
From a cardboard box to the carefully considered end product, Ford should be applauded in engineering such a useful space.