Ford Needs to Release an F-150 Lightning Raptor Electric Off-Road Truck

The Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck is a top choice for off-roading enthusiasts. With its numerous off-road enhancements, such as beefy all-terrain tires, it gives drivers the ability to conquer challenging terrain. The F-150 Lightning also looks to be a success, with sky-high demand for the electric truck. As Ford expands its Raptor lineup with the Bronco Raptor and Ranger Raptor, it should go one step further. The Blue Oval needs to release an F-150 Lightning Raptor electric off-road truck.

Will there be a Ford F-150 Lightning Raptor electric off-road truck?

Orange 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor jumping on sandy terrain, highlighting possible release of F-150 Lightning Raptor
2022 Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

Ford hasn’t indicated one way or the other whether they will release an F-150 Lightning Raptor off-road truck. The next step for the F-150 Raptor lineup is the high-performance F-150 Raptor R, which will likely be released in late 2022. As detailed by Edmunds, the F-150 Raptor R is Ford’s direct answer to the high-performance Ram 1500 TRX off-roader, which has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. The F-150 Raptor R will feature a variant of the Predator supercharged 5.2-liter V8 that’s in the Shelby GT500.

Since Ford and Ram are longtime competitors, it makes that Ford would want to one-up the Ram 1500 TRX with the F-150 Raptor R. However, a new competitor recently emerged: the Rivian R1T electric truck.

Rivian R1T shows that electric trucks are superior to gas-powered ones for off-road capabilities

Orange-red 2022 Rivian R1T driving off-road, highlighting advantages of electric vehicles vs. gas-powered cars
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

For the F-150 Raptor to be the best performing off-road pickup truck, it needs to go all-electric with an F-150 Lightning Raptor. The Rivian R1T opened people’s eyes to the possibilities of electric trucks. Electric motors in EV trucks have an inherent performance advantage over the internal combustion engine. The R1T features a quad-motor system, which delivers an incredible output of 835 hp and 908 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine in the Ram 1500 TRX generates 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. 

The biggest performance advantage for electric motors over gas engines is torque. With an EV, the electric motors provide instant torque delivery, while there is a lag in torque delivery for a gas engine. As a result, the acceleration for an EV is much quicker. When the Ram TRX was first released, its 0-60 mph acceleration time of 4.5 seconds astounded many pickup truck enthusiasts. However, the Rivian R1T blows that away with a 0-60 mph time of only three seconds. 

Ford should also release the F-150 Lightning Raptor to maximize the off-road capabilities of the F-150 Raptor. The R1T demonstrates the off-road advantages of electric trucks. The instant torque delivery of EVs is very beneficial for driving over challenging terrain, especially rock crawling. 

Also, with its quad-motor system, with a motor for each wheel, the R1T can channel power to wherever it’s needed for optimum traction. Furthermore, since an electric powertrain takes up less space than a powertrain in a gas-powered truck, an EV truck can have higher ground clearance. With the R1 T’s adjustable air suspension, the ground clearance can reach a height of 14.9 inches. In comparison, the ground clearance of the F-150 Raptor is 13.1 inches.

Ford F-150 Lightning Raptor can use the Rivian Adventure Network for charging

Gray 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning driving off-road, highlighting possible release of F-150 Lightning Raptor
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

RELATED: 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2022 Ram 1500 TRX: Off-Road Truck Battle

One of the most important factors for electric vehicles is charging. For off-road use, Rivian addresses this with its Rivian Adventure Network, which will have charging stations in many remote natural locations. Since Ford has an ownership stake in Rivian, an F-150 Lightning Raptor could utilize the Rivian Adventure Network. 

While Ford benefits from the financial success of the R1T, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t release a competitive off-road model with the F-150 Lightning Raptor. Ford has a loyal customer base with the best-selling F-150, so it makes perfect sense to release an F-150 Lightning Raptor — and give these loyal customers the best-possible off-road pickup truck.

RELATED: Guide to New and Upcoming Electric Pickup Trucks