RTR-Enhanced Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear Escapes the Pavement Scene at Last

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RTR-Tuned Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear Finally Ditches the Pavement

Electric trucks have predominantly demonstrated their capabilities on city streets, with notable attempts by Rivian and GMC to enhance off-road performance, although the Tesla Cybertruck faced challenges in this aspect. RTR Vehicles aims to challenge the conventional perception of electric trucks, expanding the off-road potential of the Ford F-150 Lightning with the introduction of an all-electric Raptor-level vehicle named the Switchgear.

The Switchgear represents the latest evolution of Fun-Haver trucks developed by Ultra4 Championship-winning driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his RTR Vehicles team. While the battery pack and motors remain unchanged, the Switchgear features customized carbon fiber bodywork, including wider bedsides, front fenders, and a rear bumper cover. Additional protective elements include steel rock rails, a front skid plate, and a custom steel front bumper, enhancing safeguarding for essential components and underbody areas.

RTR-Enhanced Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear Escapes the Pavement Scene at Last
RTR-Enhanced Ford F-150 Lightning Switchgear Escapes the Pavement Scene at Last (Credits: YouTube)

The off-road capability is further emphasized by a specialized suspension system designed exclusively for the ultimate Ford F-150 Lightning off-roader. Longer control arms provide a broader stance, increased travel, and stability, supporting the 37×13.50R18 Nitto Ridge Grappler tires mounted on 18×9 RTR Tech 6 forged beadlock wheels. The independent rear suspension design in the back, combined with a Wilwood brake package and the regenerative system from the Lightning, ensures optimal performance.

The Switchgear’s suspension is controlled by four Fox Racing Shocks Factory Performance Series coilovers with three-inch diameter bodies, an internal bypass system, and reservoirs. The front damper reservoirs are ingeniously mounted inside the frunk due to the absence of a front engine. A set of stabilizer bars has been incorporated to accommodate the new suspension’s width and travel.

In the truck bed, a custom chase rack is equipped to carry a pair of full-size spare tires secured by tire straps. Above it, a distinctive body-mounted wing adds a racing touch reminiscent of number plates seen on off-road race trucks. The interior maintains a resemblance to higher trim Lightning, but specific modifications have been made for Gittin Jr., such as the ASD Motorsports hydraulic handbrake and Wilwood master cylinder for controlled drifting and turning.

Contrary to expectations, the name “Switchgear” does not solely refer to its electric power. The truck is designed to transform seamlessly from an off-road powerhouse to a street-ready vehicle. Lowering the ride height and replacing the off-road bumper with a more aerodynamic carbon fiber one, along with other adjustments, transforms the Switchgear into a sleek, all-electric street truck.

Presently, these modifications are unique creations from the collaboration between RTR and Ford Performance. The hope is that these enhancements may eventually become available for production or inspire Ford to develop an all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning Raptor based on this impressive demonstrator. The debut of the Switchgear at the 2024 King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California, from January 29th to February 3rd, sparks anticipation for electric truck owners to explore off-road adventures inspired by this innovative vehicle.


By Park-Shin Jung

I am Park-Shin Jung. I am a professional content writer for cars.

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