Ford has made some interesting trademarks as of late, like the Maverick Lightning and Ranger Lightning, but there may be some Thunder editions coming too.
Ford has begun to get more of their debut electric pickup truck, the Ford F-150 Lightning, out to customers. The new EV truck had some hiccups to start, but the customers that have received their new truck seem to be happy with their purchase. There are also others that have been burned by some substantial markups at dealerships, but hopefully those prices will begin to fall as more of these Ford F-150 Lightnings become available.
With the general positive reception of their first electric truck and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford has begun to branch further into their lineup with electrification plans. Recently there have been a number of trademarks made by the blue oval brand that hint at which models are next on their docket for the Lightning treatment, plus there seems to be plans to bring out the Thunder with all this Lightning.
The Lightning nameplate originated on the Ford F-150 back in 1993 as a performance version. It’s now come back as a play on words to signify that the F-150 has been electrified into an all-electric truck, but there seem to be plans to expand the Lightning name past the F-150. Recently there were trademarks made by Ford for the other trucks in their lineup – Ford Maverick Lightning and Ford Ranger Lightning. Here’s what we could expect from both.
The Ford Maverick only recently hit the market last year as Ford’s entry into the blossoming compact truck market. The Maverick already comes available with a hybrid powertrain, so offering an electric one makes some sense in today’s market. In Lightning form, we could expect a similar EV setup to the Ford Mustang Mach-E under the skin of a Maverick Lightning in the form of the Global Electrified 1 platform. This platform shares some architecture with the Ford Escape C2 platform that the Maverick is based on. There may not be a performance GT version like the Mach-E, but the Select and Premium trims give us a pretty good glimpse of the Maverick Lightning’s potential.
RWD or eAWD drivetrains that can be paired with a standard range battery or an available extended range battery. Currently, the best EPA-estimated range from those potential setups is the extended range paired with RWD to achieve 303 miles on a single charge. On the performance side, swapping in the eAWD could launch the Maverick Lightning from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds based off of the Mustang Mach-E’s time. As for towing, the Mustang Mach-E can supposedly tow up to 2,205 pounds with the extended range battery, though it isn’t really promoted by Ford. That’s on par with the Maverick’s 2,000-pound towing capacity with the 2.5L I4 hybrid engine, but there’s room for tweaking the platform that may reside under the Maverick Lightning to exceed the Mustang Mach-E’s numbers.
As for looks, it’s easy to guess that the exterior will hold almost all of the same sheet metal from the Maverick with a futuristic twist at either end similar to the F-150 Lightning. There would also be the addition of the cargo saving frunk where the engine once resided. Inside will be a similar experience to the Maverick as well in terms of seating and materials, but a fully digital gauge cluster and the vertically oriented SYNC 4A 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system being installed at the base level is a possibility.
The Ford Ranger is the second longest running truck from Ford and sits right in the middle of the Maverick and F-150 in terms of size. A Ford Ranger Lightning would in theory also straddle this line as the middling electric truck option. Like the F-150 Lightning, the Ranger Lightning would likely come standard with a dual eMotor setup achieving AWD performance paired with either a standard range or extended range battery.
Max towing would more than likely stay close to the 7,500-pound maximum that the gas-powered Ranger currently possesses as that also keeps it below the F-150 Lightning in terms of towing capability. The max range that the Ranger Lightning could achieve would probably stay within the middle of the two as well, which we could speculate at around 310 miles of range on a single charge.
Similar to the Maverick Lightning design speculation, the Ranger Lightning would retain a lot of its exterior looks and gain a frunk plus a redesign of the front and rear bumpers to show off its electrified status. Inside is also a similar story where it would essentially look like the standard Ranger’s cabin with a high-tech twist featuring more screens and the large SYNC 4A infotainment system.
Ford also recently made trademark for a new Thunder name in reference to use on the F-150, Ranger, and Maverick. The Thunder name is actually not new to Ford as it was used as a special edition name for the Ranger over in Europe. So, there’s the potential that it is just a name for a blackout package on the Lightning trucks, but it could be a lot more too.
Thunder could be a new endeavor for Ford’s trucks that could go a number of different ways. The first is obvious from the trademarks of the new Lightning additions we already talked about. The Thunder versions could be a new moniker for performance electric trucks that are capable of hitting new levels of speed in a truck. The other potential option is an off-road oriented series of their electric trucks. An off-road package variant of the Lightning trucks like an electrified F-150 Raptor, electrified Ranger Tremor, and an electrified Maverick Tremor.
What I personally think Thunder could potentially be is a new plug-in hybrid series of Ford’s trucks. Thunder could be a direct competitor to Jeep’s 4xe line of vehicles and make a big impact with those that have range anxiety. The Maverick already features a hybrid powertrain and Ford has the capability to move plug-in hybrid technology they’ve already used with the Escape into the F-150 and Ranger.
It also makes too much sense from a marketing perspective to have Thunder be a hybrid since thunder is the loud boom that results from a lightning strike. Ford Lightning models all hit the market, then the rumble of the hybrid Ford Thunder engines come on the scene. I can already see the commercial in my mind featuring AC/DC’s Thunderstruck playing.
For now, we can all keep an eye on the rumor mill and see what potentially leaks about any concept trucks in the works. We’ll hopefully have a more solid foundation on what these trademarks could mean in the coming months or even maybe as soon as the Detroit Auto Show in September.