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What Could This Ford F-150 Lightning Prototype Be Testing?

Ford F-150 Lightning deliveries have been underway for months now, with the EV pickup reaching all 50 U.S. states at this point. However, that doesn’t mean Ford Authority spies aren’t still coming across Ford F-150 Lightning prototypes, though most of them haven’t presented anything particularly new or revolutionary over the past few months. That isn’t the case with this newly-spied prototype, however, which has some truly interesting features that indicate something is being tested here.

For starters, there is a small amount of camo placed around the truck’s charge port, which is taped shut for some reason. There are also two small sensor-like devices placed on the roof, as well as some sensors taped to the bed with wires protruding from the rear door. It’s unclear what all of these strange features might indicate is being tested here, but it’s possible that it could be something autonomous – either a future version of Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free highway driving assist software, or perhaps even Argo AI’s self-driving tech. Previously, Ford Authority spies spotted an ICE-powered F-150 testing autonomous hardware, as well as an F-150 Raptor decked out with similar equipment.

Whatever might be happening here, it certainly isn’t the first time Ford Authority spies have spotted something strange affixed to a Ford F-150 Lightning prototype. Back in March 2021, a prototype was spied wearing a “Machoman” sticker, and Ford Authority later learned all F-150 Lightning prototypes were given the names of professional wrestlers to help engineers distinguish between them during the development process while also having a little fun in the process.

Some other F-150 Lighting prototypes recently spied with unique features including one with a sport bar accessory, a toolbox (which many thought was a portable generator at first), and most recently, a video recording system that could be testing future updates for Ford’s new Canopy vehicular security joint venture.

We’ll have more on the F-150 Lightning soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series newsFord F-150 newsF-150 Lightning news, and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. NCEcoBoost

    Who knows or cares? At this point, we’ve seen so many new pickup variations/new models from manufacturers in the past year or so, that many of us just ignore pickup announcements any longer. It’s called oversaturation and enough is enough.

    Reply
  2. Steve Ketterer

    Hopefully they’re testing a hydrogen-powered drivetrain.

    Reply
  3. John

    Good on Ford if this is an ADAS feature! I hope it’ll make its way into the ICE F-150 too.

    Reply
    1. JDE

      err, nope, night driving crashes and phantom braking on freeways seem like a really bad idea.

      Reply
  4. Eddie

    I have NO faith in an ALL Electric Vehicle. I foresee many problems with providing the power to charge them without fossil fuel power plants, negating the lowering of the carbon footprint. Costs with repairs, batteries, fires, etc, etc, I think this is opening a can of worms. Solar panels, wind turbines, etc. are just going to open another can of worms. If forced to buy a new electric vehicle I would rather have a Hybrid then an ALL electric. JUST SAYING!

    Reply
    1. Kenny D

      EDDIE. I Agree with ya. Wonder what’s gonna happen to ALL of the CAR’S that Travel to the CAR SHOW’S around the US of A???? “IE” GOOD GUY’S, Monterey Concourse, Mechum Auction, Barrett Jackson, ETC, ETC….. I for One WON’T buy an EV till they knock on my Door and Force me to give them the Key’s to my ICE “Vehicle’s”!!! At that POINT, It will be, Go Ahead PUNK, MAKE MY DAY “TIME”!!! Ya Follow Me EDDIE????

      Reply
    2. DDR

      I have had a Mustang Mach E for about a year. It took about six months to decide if a BEV was going to work for my use. Well, it does. I use it for 90% of my driving. The cost to charge the batteries compared to the gasoline I was buying for my six cylinder Dodge Durango is about 1/3 the cost of the gas.
      I am so impressed with the BEV experience that I ordered an F150 Lightning. To be built in September with tentative delivery in October. Also, there are several solar panel suppliers that have assembled kits for the DIY market. I purchased one a couple of months ago and got it up and running in less than two weeks of spare time. The system I got has a battery that’s just large enough to power my home when there is an outage for about two hours. And when I get the Lightning I will be OK for an outage of several days. And even longer as long as the sun shines. The average outage I have experienced in the twenty years I have lived in my home is about two hours. Since I did most of the solar kit installation my self my cost was about $7,500.00. The inverter for the F150 will be added once I take delivery of the Lightning. That will be an additional $3,800.00. So my impact on the electrical grid will be less with two BEV’s not more.

      Reply
      1. Stu

        Compliments from the north DDR!
        I also own a Mach E since mid March 2021. Mine is the Premium AWD extended range battery model. My range in summer is averaging 460 to 477km (280 to 290 miles) using air con and one pedal drive most times.
        My electricity costs average $35 to $40 CDN ($27 to $31 USD) per month by charging at home and at night time hydro rates.
        Most trips are 155 miles or less and daily driving is stop and go around the city. With regular gas costing $1.97 / litre ($7.66 per US gallon), my mind is made up on what my daily driver choice is.
        I love all cars, BEV and ICE. I grew up in a car service and parts work environment and have owned many since my first 1964 Fairlane. My previous Mustang was a 2010 Shelby GT500. Great car but I was making the oil companies rich.
        I shake my head at the critics who have much to say, but I would bet none of them have ever driven a North American BEV.
        Everyone has the right to an opinion but until that opinion is based on facts and experience, it has little merit.
        Enjoy your Lightning, I have seen some up here already and they are sharp.

        Reply
  5. Kenny D

    TESTING, Look Close at the DRIVER’S Forehead, he is profusely SWEATING Looking for a CHARGING STATION!!!! Hope the Drivers Seat has a Plastic Seat Cover on it???…

    Reply
  6. Anders Nyquist

    Ford needs to make a basic version with a long box. This massive crew cab and tiny 5 foot box isn’t a real truck. It’s meant for suburbanites to pick up kids and groceries in. Anyone that actually uses a truck like a truck won’t be interested in going electric until an option that can actually work is made available and without all the technology and screens that make it stupidly expensive. Not to mention being able to drive an equivalent length of time under load without needing to be charged. I’d personally consider an XL trim version if it was available with a regular cab long box configuration and was heavy duty enough.

    Reply
    1. JDE

      except you are the exception, and not the norm. even the majority of “work” trucks these days are 4 doors or in some case the clamshell style. I did not even think they still made that cab config, but a bunch were in a fleet just last month.

      Reply

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