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Upcoming all-electric Ford F-150 may be called 'Lightning'

It's rumored Ford's battery-powered rig could be graced with this retro moniker, a name that's almost too perfect.

Ford F-150 EV teaser - all electric
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Ford F-150 EV teaser - all electric

Are the rumors true? Could the upcoming all-electric F-150 be called Lightning? 

Ford

Ford is hard at work on an all-electric F-150. This battery-powered pick-'em-up-truck is slated to launch around the middle of next year. Ahead of its arrival -- indeed, before it's even been unveiled -- rumor has it this rig will be called "Lightning."

Our friends at Car and Driver report that electrifying name will be resurrected. According to a document shared with the outlet, Lightning appears alongside Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit, two other Ford EVs, the former of which is available right now, though the latter is slated to go on sale later this year.  

When asked about the possibility of the Lightning name making a comeback, a Ford spokeswoman said, "We're excited to introduce the all-electric F-150 very soon, but we don't comment on speculation about future products." That's standard automaker boilerplate when pressed about upcoming vehicles or plans.

Aside from being just about the perfect moniker for an all-electric vehicle, Lightning is an important name in Ford history. It was applied to a series of high-performance street trucks from the early 1990s and 2000s. With powerful V8 engines -- in final form, the last generation was motivated by a supercharged 5.4-liter unit that belted out 380 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque -- these trucks offered serious performance and plenty of style to match. If this nameplate is applied to a new battery-powered truck, it better offer all that and more.

Delivering the goods, it's reported the electric F-150 will feature a dual-motor powertrain and all-wheel drive. It should also be the quickest member of the F-150 family, fleeter even than the high performance previous-generation Raptor, which was graced with a high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 cranking out 450 hp and a whopping 510 lb-ft of torque. This means the amped-up F-150 should be able to hit 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, but it will probably be even quicker given that electric vehicles offer tons of torque and respond instantly to driver inputs.

When it launches, Ford's latest and greatest will tussle with some stiff competition. Rivals include the reborn GMC Hummer EV Pickup, which offers four-wheel steering and 1,000 hp, Rivian's swanky R1T and the much-hyped Tesla Cybertruck. Today, the all-electric pickup segment is pretty much nonexistent, but it's about to get interesting in a hurry, especially if Ford applies the Lightning name to its upcoming offering -- doubly so if the product lives up to the heritage. 

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Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

Article updated on May 3, 2021 at 8:52 AM PDT

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Craig Cole
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Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
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