As part of a presentation outlining its return to Formula 1 with Red Bull, Ford has teased what’s believed to be a one-off, high-performance version of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup.
Despite the fact the Blue Oval is readying this hotter F-150 Lightning, it’s unlikely a production version will make it into showrooms as it will be exclusively a “performance demonstrator”.
Ford has previously shown a range of one-off EVs intended to showcase the high-performance potential of electric powertrains.
These vehicles include the Ford Pro Electric Supervan unveiled at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Mustang Mach-E 1400 drift car, the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 drag car, and the F-100 Eluminator retro-styled pickup.
At this stage it’s unclear what this high-performance F-150 Lightning one-off will look like, and how much power it will produce.
The most-powerful production version of the F-150 Lightning to date is the top-spec Platinum which has a dual-motor setup producing 420kW of power and 1050Nm of torque.
“We are entering an exciting new age for Ford Performance,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley.
“We will be competing to win in F1, the pinnacle for motor sport, with Red Bull Racing. You will see the world’s most popular sports coupe, the Mustang, race from the grass roots to Australian Supercars to NASCAR to Le Mans.”
“And will build our off-road leadership in the World Rally Championship, King of Hammers and to the Baja 1000 and more,” he added.
“All the while, we’ll continue to excite the world with cool demonstrators like SuperVan 4 and Mustang Mach-E 1400.”
Ford recently detailed a 2023 model year update to the F-150 Lightning range which brought a number of small changes, including more range, a Ford Pro Special Service Vehicle package, and higher US prices.
The Ford US website now says this 2023 model year is no longer available to order.
In April last year Ford said it had a total of 200,000 reservations for the F-150 Lightning, aiming to ramp up its annual production rate to 150,000 this year.
The Blue Oval has now invested more than $US1 billion ($A1.44 billion) in Michigan for the F-150 Lightning alone, with 1700 jobs created among five Ford plants.
It’s unclear if the F-150 Lightning will be coming Down Under, but Ford Australia has previously said it’s bringing at least five electrified vehicles by 2024. It’s also bringing the petrol-powered F-150 to market in 2023.
Given the massive North American demand for the F-150 Lightning, don’t expect it to come here any time soon.