On this episode of the Ike Gauntlet™ – the world’s toughest towing test – a new Ford F-150 Lightning tows a 9,600 lbs trailer and challenges a Ram HD 2500 Cummins turbo-diesel to a tow-off. Here is what happens.
The Ike Gauntlet is the world’s toughest towing test because it is an 8-mile stretch of a 7% grade interstate highway with a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level. At the top of the continental divide, the air density is 32% less than at sea level. This is where engines struggle for oxygen and the brakes can overheat on the way down the mountain.
Ram HD 2500
A heavy-duty diesel-powered pickup truck is the gold standard for towing heavy trailers. Diesel engines offer plentiful torque and impressive highway towing efficiency and driving range. This 2022 Ram 2500 HD 4×4 is powered by a standard output 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel I6 engine with 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque. It has a payload of just over 2,000 lbs and a maximum towing capacity of up to 20,000 lbs. It has a 31-gallon fuel tank that has an equivalent of 1,176 kWh of energy reserve. This is using a conversion factor: 1 gallon of Diesel #2 fuel is equivalent to 37.95 kWh of energy.
This Ram truck weighs just about 8,000 lbs with all of the accessories and equipment.
Ford F-150 Lightning
The F-150 Lightning pickup uses two electric motors to provide AWD/4×4 capability and 580 horsepower of power. The combined torque rating is 775 lb-ft of twist. This Lightning Lariat extended range battery is equipped with a maximum towing package. It enables a maximum towing rating of 10,000 lbs. This fairly well-optioned truck has 1,685 lbs of payload. The Lightning’s larger battery offers 131 kWh of energy reserve.
This Lightning truck weighs in at 6,800 lbs in stock form.
Check out all the results in the video below!