It’s time to put the all-new 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning on the Ike Gauntlet™ – the world’s toughest towing test. This time we compare the new Lightning EV truck to its brother – a Ford F-150 Hybrid. Is it time to switch to all-electric towing, or is the gas/electric powertrain still vastly superior? We find out by towing a heavy 9,600 lbs trailer.
The Ike Gauntlet™ is the world’s toughest towing test because it’s a winding Rocky Mountain interstate highway that tops out at 11,158 feet above sea level. It’s an 8-mile stretch of rough pavement at a 7% grade.
This F-150 Lightning video is brought to you by our friends at Magna International. Check out their Youtube channel to see the future of automotive! Also, we could not complete this important test without our friends at GenY Hitch and Aluma Trailers.
Our F-150 Lightning Lariat trim is very well equipped. It has a larger (extended range) battery, a maximum towing package (for up to 10,000 lbs), a large 15.5-inch infotainment screen, panoramic sunroof, Blue Cruise hands-free driver assistance technology, and much more. It also has an independent rear suspension (unlike all other full-size half-ton pickup trucks that have a solid rear axle).
We weighed our truck at 6,800 lbs and it has a near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution. Before this test, I was concerned that the new rear suspension would allow the truck to sway a bit with a heavy trailer. It was not the case. Our Lightning was as stable as a train on rails.
After testing a new Rivian R1T electric truck with an 8,100 lbs trailer – we did not see very impressive downhill regenerative braking performance. The R1T gained about 2% of its battery on the way down the mountain. The Lightning gained up to 7% of its battery on the same descent. This is very impressive.
On the way up the mountain, the F-150 Lightning used 16% of its battery (over the 8-mile climb). The acceleration was very impressive as was the cabin comfort and overall stability. The Rivian R1T also used 16% of its battery for this same climb.
In the end, the F-150 Lightning crushed the Ike Gauntlet™ – the world’s toughest towing test. How far can the new Lightning go with a 6,000 lbs camping trailer on a flat-ish highway? We will find out very soon. Please stay tuned.