Electric Vehicles

Ford to limit initial F-150 Lightning production

Top trims will cost considerably more than the $39,974 base price.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Earlier this week, Ford debuted the F-150 Lightning, its first all-electric pickup truck. As an electrified version of one of the world's best-selling vehicles, the truck immediately made news. Buyers were watching, too, and if the early numbers are any indication, The Blue Oval is about to deliver a winner.

Ford has already collected 44,500 reservations for the new truck, which debuted earlier this week. It took just 48 hours for the automaker to accumulate that total from customers who lined up by placing a $100 refundable deposit for the trucks. In comments to the media, Farley said that Ford will limit production during the Lightning's first year, but declined to put a number on that limitation.

All-electric Ford F-150 LightningThe trucks might be in limited supply at first.Ford

According to Automotive News, production won't fully ramp up until 2023. The approach is similar to the one that Ford took with the Mustang Mach-E, which was limited to just 50,000 units in its first year. The number of reservations might lead you to believe that the truck is already sold out, but it's worth noting that reservations don't always convert to actual orders. People that do choose to pursue an order will have the chance to do so this fall.

When, exactly, the trucks will actually end up on dealers' lots and in driveways across the country is anyone's guess, as vehicles of all types have been delayed over the last year for various reasons ranging from a global pandemic to a worldwide shortage of microchips.

The F-150 Lightning will cost just $39,974 for a commercially-oriented version of the truck. The models consumers will most likely end up purchasing start with the mid-range XLT model, which will start at $52,974, but top trims can reach up to $90,474. When it finally arrives, the F-150 Lightning will already be neck-deep in competition.

All-electric Ford F-150 LightningA spacious frunk is standard.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Rivian R1T is expected to begin hitting buyers' driveways in June 2021, while the Chevrolet Silverado EV will go on sale in 2023 or 2024. General Motors' other EV, the GMC Hummer, is expected to enter production in fall 2021.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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