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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

First Look Review: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

There's a chance you, dear reader, haven't driven a Tesla yet, but odds are you've spent some time in a Ford F-series. The Ford F-150 is all things to all people; the market leader in a field of also-rans. This YouTube of vehicles offers a seemingly endless combination of bed, powertrain, interior and technology options [...]
https://www.hagerty.com/media/new-car-reviews/first-look-review-2022-ford-f-150-lightning/
72 REPLIES 72
Redline09
Pit Crew

How can the truck have an independent rear suspension and a 2300lb payload at the same time? If it was doable why wasn't this setup used before now?
Sajeev
Community Manager

I have pondered this very notion! I suspect it has to do with customer expectations of value and durability (i.e. leaf springs and stick axles are best) but that goes out the window because of 1) trucks being so expensive these days and 2) EV powertrains open up the F-series to a world of customers who likely hate leaf springs and stick axles. 

Redline09
Pit Crew

But, I mean from an actual engineering perspective how did they do an IRS with a 2220lbs payload?
The Rams and Tundras that use coil spring/link suspension (but still a solid axle) gives better ride and handling but the tradeoff is a lower max payload rating and suffering more squat when loaded compared to the leaf spring competition.
So what did Ford do here?
crm114
Intermediate Driver

I wonder if it is because the added weight of the battery pack means that the difference between fully loaded and unladen is proportionately smaller?
Sajeev
Community Manager

This is what I am wondering too. The range available in a progressive rate springs might work a lot better when they have to carry this much more load in an unladen truck. 

JoshHoward
Intermediate Driver

I believe they distributed the weight better. The suspension is relatively simple and seems to be heavier duty than needed. While the truck itself is heavy, the weight is relatively low and towards the middle of the chassis just by the looks of how it is set up. That would lend to more payload capacity if done properly. At the end of the day, you're talking about possibly 200-400lbs more payload in the rear at most or am I missing something? That can be accomplished on even a midsized truck by doing some simple parts swapping(at least it can be on my Frontier).
Redline09
Pit Crew

400-500lbs is two or more adult passengers. That can also be a big help on tongue weight if you are approaching max tow.
But, I think the bigger thing is that the Lightning has a high payload despite using a suspension that one would expect to give lower results. If this used the "max payload" setup from the ICE truck it wouldn't be notable.
hyperv6
Racer

Large progressive coil over struts and forged arms. Coil Springs are doing it. 

JoshHoward
Intermediate Driver

Very interested in more technical knowledge of the truck. The filter is for what... coolant? I didn't really notice what it was for.

The basic truck is very compelling. I'm interested in how viable even the basic truck would be for a northerner who has to drive in snow.
Sajeev
Community Manager

It's an external transmission filter, as part of the motor/transmission pack. I will revise the caption to make that clearer. 

hyperv6
Racer

The rear suspension on this truck is using a forged aluminum control arm with a progressive coil over strut. Nothing fancy like the Hummer with the adjustable suspension. 


The spring does all the work be it electric or gas so it is not anything crazy. 

 

This truck is not going to age very well as it was Fords way to rush a EV model to market before the Chevy and Ram Appear. Ford is behind in their eclectic vehicle program. All their models are one off where the others are working on shared adaptable platforms that will reduce cost and increase sharing of components. 

 

Ford has that shared platform coming but they are still about 3 years out. 

 

The Platform I speak of is similar the GM Ultium platform and is adapted to different models in size and shape but contains the batteries. It is a very stiff platform. They will share motors and have various number depending on the vehicle and need. 

 

This truck is a hint at what is coming but it will not age well as these trucks using the new platforms will be much better. 

 

 

JoshHoward
Intermediate Driver

Ford is being smarter. If the Lightning isn't popular or if it gets supply constrained, much of what they learned or are using on it CAN actually be put into a normal F150.

I'd say that's damn smart.

The Mach E for the many enthusiast complaints is class competitive and often at the forefront of customers minds when shopping for an EV. Recently a study was done and the majority of America doesn't even know GM makes an EV. It was in the 20-25% range. For Ford, those same people were at 70+%. I'd say they're doing just fine.

Nissan did the shared platform thing. While it does decrease costs, it also can eliminate a ton of character. Ford is doing both: Using much of an F150 that it's an expert at building AND a unique platform that it can continue developing in the MachE.

Don't get me started on the commercial ambitions of Ford and their electric vans. Let's just say there is a good reason why they're likely to dump Rivian.

Hint: It isn't because "they're behind".
hyperv6
Racer

It is not about being smart as Ford just is behind due to cash issues. 

This was simply something thrown together on a converted platform to try to prop up stock sales as their stock has been struggling. 

Their purchase of of Rivian has back fired and contributed greatly to their $3.1 billion loss in the first quarter. 

Ford has already announced they will be doing a dedicated platform as VW, GM, Stelantis and others are doing.

 

EV models are like ICE models and can save much in costs by using shared components. With EV it is easier to adapt them to more variations vs ICE. 

Cars like the Mustang Mach E is not adaptable to anything and in the big picture not real cost effective. 

Ford has already gone to VW for some EV help and may do more partnerships in the future. 

The sharing and character thing is not the fault of the parts but poor design and engineering.

 

The Hummer and the coming Cadillac Lyriq are worlds apart in style and character but yet they share the same basic Ultium platform. 

 

With electronics they can be programmed to do many things over ICE that has to be re engineered to deal with the changes. 

As for power the motors can be placed in size or in numbers. These are what the leading companies are now doing. 

Chevy has shown their truck and the Ram that is coming will show how basic the Lighting is. 

Ford just announced the networked platforms in March while most other mfgs are already in production of their first models. 

Here is a story that outline what I am saying and shows this is not just my opinion. I want Ford to succeed but things are pretty tough in Dearborn right now. Stock is back to $12 and they still have loans to pay off. A lot is banked on the Bronco but delays and production issues have held up money they need. 


Read the link and compare it to where others are and you will see about 3 years min difference. 

Please note this is not a race to change to EV. This is a marathon and each mfg needs to get it right or they risk much in reputation and image. You mess this up it could be difficult for any mfg to come back. It literally is a reset for all. 

Toyota wanted to focus on a hybrids only but now found they will have to go full EV. They are a bit behind but they have the cash and tech to catch up fast. 

Even Hyundai and Kia are in a good place moving ahead. Honda to save money and time is using GM tech. 

We will see more partnerships and mergers in the future. 

 

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1135207_ford-model-e-unit-will-develop-ev-platforms-and-softwar...

 

As for GM many models will be coming fast in the next few years. The Equinox EV and Blazer SS both will be out next year and the Nox will be $30k. It also will decently equipped for that price. The Dodge line also will bring a number of EV now they merged with Stelantis. . 

 

 

TingeofGinge
Intermediate Driver

Yeah, well, well, what if I need to tow a 20' horse trailer 4 states over in a pinch? HUH?

Who am I kidding. 90% of buyers out there will find even the base model's capabilities to be more than enough. Hell, I use my truck to run to the hardware store (4 miles) and the nursery for soil (400 feet.) I would like to see an 8-foot bed though.... then it'd be a "real" truck. Tossing a few sheets of 8x4' ply in the back and then slinking off... can't complain.

Also, +1 to the Filter reference.
Sajeev
Community Manager

I am glad someone enjoyed that fact that I took a picture, cause I wouldn't otherwise remember. 

 

 

CoreyG
Intermediate Driver

The few of us who still do our own maintenance appreciate it.
Jimc1
New Driver

Many of us do travel long distances hauling travel trailers, and an extra 50 miles gives us another hour of running. I agree, an 8' bed would be great for those hauling material, contractors or pulling a 5th wheel.
Snailish
Instructor

Pabst switched from making beer to a cheese product during prohibition. Experts, people on the board all thought it was nuts. Saved the company. The detailed story is quite interesting.

EV mandates are like prohibition. Whether you like it or not you got to live (or do business) with it.

Ford Lightning F150 seems like an "alrighty then how you like these apples" from Ford.


Good on them.

Sajeev
Community Manager

I like that, it's probably better than my YouTube analogy. I am jealous! (kinda) 😁

hyperv6
Racer

Bingo. The auto industry is not out to save the planet, they are out to save themselves. 

 

Just look around at the last 40 years and see how the landscape has changed. Just look at the loss of models and brands, Mergers and failures of companies. 

 

The decline in all the markets accept China and the increase in the complexity of todays cars to meet regulations has really made it a tough business to be in. 

 

Even with better built cars today people are keeping them longer as they can and they can't afford to buy every couple years anymore. 

 

The automakers just finally had to make the call and make the change as they could no longer fight off the changes. Even with a recession coming I see no breaks being made to delay this. 

 

With Billions now invested they will not walk away. 

 

It will be interesting to see just who merges and who partners up. It may get a little weirder yet. 

 

As my old Pappy Maverick used to say 

 

"A man does what he has to do - if he can't get out of it."


This applies to corporations too. 

 

bradfa
Advanced Driver

It'd be nice if the Pro trim came with a cloth seat option like the XL trim on the normal F150 has. I'm not a big vinyl seat fan, but $40k (before state and federal rebates!) for a full size cloth seated truck is a damn good deal.
Being from somewhere it's cold half the year, it would have been nice to see a heat pump in there, too, but my cold weather driving is almost entirely less than 100 miles per day or trip. Summer is a different story and then the 230 mile range could then become a problem, but if more public charging stations pop up that would mitigate it a bit.
crm114
Intermediate Driver

I think the lack of a cloth option on the Pro trim is a very deliberate choice. With the Pro being cheaper than a comparable gas truck and the jump to the XLT being a massive $13K, I think that the Pro is a loss leader. I think Ford wanted to publicize a low entry price and encourage fleets to adopt the truck to burnish the credibility of the electric models. Selling the Pro at $40K accomplishes both. Making the Pro's seats vinyl only is a deal-breaker for a lot of people buying a truck as a personal vehicle, so they force you to step up into a profitable model to get cloth.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Re: deal breaking...get a Pro and install Katskinz leather seats for like a grand. A local upholstery shop can probably do cloth seats for about the same price, which saves you big money over an XLT. 

crm114
Intermediate Driver

That's my plan. Get a Pro and add leather seats with warmers, upgraded speakers, an amp, and a subwoofer enclosure under the back seat. Maybe some Dynamat in the doors and under the roof. I'd probably still be at least five grand under the XLT, with a truck I would like much better. I just want it quick, quiet, and with a good stereo.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Wise choice. While I am a big fan of dynamat, you might not need it in the doors...the roof might be another story (nobody ever silences the noises going over the roof, except me). 

 

Pretty sure the subwoofers currently available for the F150 will have zero issues being added to the Lightning. 

DaveB
Detailer

very interesting article. Thanks for the insights. Next time there is an even near hill country / San Antonnio / Austin, let me know. First round is on me.
Sajeev
Community Manager

My man. Much appreciated. 

richard2
Intermediate Driver

What I really wonder about all the e-vehicle hype and hysteria is how exactly these things (all manufacturers here) are going to actually appear at dealerships...

IS THERE NOT A HUGE CHIP SHORTAGE RIGHT NOW? Do not electric vehicles need even MORE chips than regular fuel autos? (maybe /maybe not but it's still a question I'm not seeing asked by any of the media types drooling over e-vehicles).

Two days ago the media reported locally that there isn't a new e-auto on any car lot on our entire island (Vancouver Island). The wait for a new e-auto is anywhere from 6mo to 2 years (this from a dealer speaking on camera). So the revolution may indeed come, but methinks the hype and hysteria is a bit premature.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Well, the dealership model is gonna change significantly thanks to the pandemic. Big inventories are a thing of the past. Some manufacturers were threatening to go to more of a "build to order" model in the past, and now it's happening. Funny you mention it, because I was talking to one of my friends who is a dealership general manager and he's fully preparing to have much less inventory for the rest of his career, and instead catering to customers who build their vehicles and choose his dealership to deliver it. 

 

I doubt electric vehicles need more chips in their processors, everything is run by computers now. Look at a cutaway of a Tesla motor, it's more like a glorified alternator. All the chips are outside the motor, and some chips are more available than others. 

Snailish
Instructor

Yes, instead of scrambling to incentivize people to buy lots of things they don't really want they are going to carry low inventory and sell at max to the fewer people that are serious enough to put in the deposit and order what they want.

 

More money and less hassles at the end of the day, and cuts a ton of dealership overhead (inventory, financing said inventory, staff, etc.).

TingeofGinge
Intermediate Driver

I, for one, am all for this dealership model. Let the haggling settle to the used car lot.
hyperv6
Racer

The truth is the EV models may use the same or even less chips. ICE uses a ton of them any more. 

 

Keep in mind the transition to EV is over the next 15 years not next year. It is just starting and keep in mind the end date for ICE is not carved in stone. 

 

With advances the end date could be sooner with economic issues it could be later. 

 

This is a long term transition not an immediate one. 

 

The media is reporting on it as this is a big change but the trouble is many enthusiast fail to read all the fine print and over react to this not being an overnight deal 

CitationMan
Gearhead

I heard a chip expert say that since automotive chips are not advanced chips like other products use, they have lower profit margins for the chip makers. So when capacity became limited, chip makers shifted to the higher profit margin chips. Plus he said that auto manufacturers always played hard ball with the chip manufacturers thinking they had price leverage due to the volumes they purchased, so it was easy for the chip makers to cut out the auto manufacturers when they had to.
TingeofGinge
Intermediate Driver

Maybe it's already happening, but when will we see a major automaker pull a Henry Ford and vertically integrate? Imagine owning the lithium production, the chip production, the rubber production, and the steel production, not to mention the assembly and franchising. You'd have a license to print money.
hyperv6
Racer

No Mfg’s are making deals with chip makers to buy direct for their needs. They are taking links out of the supply chain. 

They are also requesting that the chips be made here so they will have better control over the supply in country. 

I know GM revamped their whole process and I expect others are following. 

To do this in house would be expensive. 

The Ford process is gone for a reason. It no longer works as it did back in the day.  Higher wages, taxes, health care costs property etc is all too expensive to do it all anymore. 

 

Sajeev
Community Manager

This reeks of monopoly like, anti-competitive businesses that will be busted up by the government over time. 

RallyRaid
Detailer

Tesla have discussed buying a lithium mine. It’s not really about maximising profits - more supply chain stability and certainty. Which is why the current manufacturer that comes closest to your vision is Tata. India suffers from brown outs, so Tata built their own power plants, allowing them to both keep the lights on at the car plant and produce the steel that’s sent there…

AG1962
Instructor

Folks across the street here in Victoria (on Vancouver Island) waited 8 months for their Tesla Y. Their neighbours waited 4 months for an Audi A4 Allroad, to be fair. Vancouver Island has a mild climate, short driving distances, and a lot of rich people, so demand is off the charts.
hyperv6
Racer

Actually if they were easy to buy that would be an issue. Production and models available are low. And demand is out stripping it much like the C8 Vette. 

There is no real histeria as there is just marketing and media just reporting on the change. 

Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

It is definitely a more conventional feeling truck so it will scare some people less. For the average suburban mall crawler types this could be perfect. I'll take a non-ecoboost Coyote powered F150 myself.
TheModelCitizen
Intermediate Driver

One thing I've been wondering is whether anyone has figured just how much more wear and tear the roads are going to suffer from EVs (in general) as EVs seem to carry a notable weight penalty over their ICE counterparts. I am not any EV, but 3 ton F-150s and 5 ton Hummers are going to take their toll on the roads, no?
Snailish
Instructor

More weight will eat up tires faster too.

 

Don't worry, rubber particle pollution will be the next revenue tool via taxation.

hyperv6
Racer

New tires are coming to address the wear, weight, noise, rolling resistance and grip.  Very high tech products. 

TingeofGinge
Intermediate Driver

Well, for a somewhat limited comparison:
Tesla Model 3: 3600 - 4200 lbs
BMW M340i: 3800 lbs
Tesla Model S: 4500 - 4700lbs
BMW 740i: 4200lbs
1966 Plymouth Fury (just for funsies): 3500lbs
BMW M550i: 4200lbs
KIA EV6: 3900 - 4500lbs
BMW X5: 4800 - 5200lbs
Honda Civic: 2800-3100lbs
Chevy Volt: 3500lbs
Dodge Charger: 3900 - 4500lbs

So: heavier? Yes, ish. But not orders of magnitude. EVs seem to be on the heavier end of the window, but given 5-6 or even 10 years and I'd wager you'll see EV curb weights drop once battery tech advances (think solid state batteries like GM's Ultium https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a36877532/general-motors-ev-ultium-battery-electric-future/)
hyperv6
Racer

Yes roads could be a factor in some areas. But with even heavier trucks on most it will be a slight factor. 

Many SUV models are 5,000 to 6,000 pounds including the Porsche Cayenne. 

As for tires the tire makers are already addressing this. They need to adjust for weight, wear, noise and rolling resistance. It will take sone isl tires. 

Many people are ignorant of all the parts of the puzzle that are in motion here to deal with the changes. Much is in play in and around the auto industry working on this. 

Jason_H
New Driver

It will have almost no effect on roads. The vast majority of road damage due to vehicle weight is done by commercial vehicles (more than 90%). Road damage is equal to axle weight to the 4th power. A fully loaded semi has 17,000 lbs per axle vs 3,000 for a 3 ton F-150 Lightening.
SJ
Technician

"The power comes on seamlessly and strong, and the ride quality provided by the fully independent suspension is superior to any full size pickup’s … except for the $112,495 GMC Hummer EV, which also has one, but is a high performance off-road monster that weighs approximately a ton more than the Lightning and targets a different market."
"But the Lightning does, and can improve its towing performance over time as it learns the different trailers you use, the roads you drive on them with and adjusts the drivetrain accordingly. Ford is even pulling anonymous data from the Lightning fleet and creating a library that each one can draw from when it approaches an unfamiliar road with a trailer of a certain weight."
MadMac
Intermediate Driver

There is a $100 reservation with my name on it.
But I have... reservations.

Why would anyone want to drop fifty grand on a vehicle
that could not be used on a cross country trip
and travel 600 miles a day.
CoreyG
Intermediate Driver

I like the dwindling few who actually need a truck for towing and not a status symbol, I mean come on 120K plus F250's still wonder what the battery drain would be like with my camper or race trailer? Love to see the fun that would ensue when needing to charge it while traveling. I have only read a handful or articles of people trying to take trips with a trailer using a EV and almost all of them canceled it because the battery drain was too much after a day or so or recharging was too difficult with the trailer. I would be more excited about the lightning if it was a Plug in Hybrid with a real electric range, keep one of those battery packs between the frame rails and get me to 100 miles on Electric and a tow capacity of 10K with the Gas engine and you have a useful real truck for the masses.