Ford previews Pikes Peak Hill Climb-bound F-150 Lightning

Ford has released additional details about the heavily-modified F-150 Lightning it's entering in this year's edition of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Built as a follow-up to an electric, Transit-like van raced in 2023, the truck will help the Blue Oval learn how EVs withstand tough conditions.

We'll need to be patient to find out the Lightning's technical specifications, such as its power output and battery capacity, but two preview sketches give us a better idea of what it looks like. It seemingly shares very little with the model that's currently in showrooms. Instead, it's low, it's fitted with a massive rear wing, and it gained a huge air diffuser that looks like it's made with carbon fiber. Some of the drivetrain's components, including a motor and wiring, are visible between the rear wheels, and it looks like there's a tubular structure beneath the body.

It's not just bragging rights at stake. Ford stresses it's racing at Pikes Peak to gain valuable information about how an electric powertrain performs in in the extremes. It will use the lessons learned to develop parts such as motors and battery packs for future electric cars.

French pilot Romain Dumas will race the truck in this year's Pikes Peak Hill Climb. He's no stranger to driving powerful EVs in the grueling, 12.5-mile event: He averaged 90.5 miles per hour to set a new fastest overall time of 7:57.148 in 2018 behind the wheel of a Volkswagen ID.R. He also won the 2016 hill climb, and he was part of the three-man crew that won the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans for Porsche.

The 2024 edition of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb will take place June 23.

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