With 160,000 reservations already received for its F-150 Lightning, Ford has now introduced an “augmented reality experience” for interested customers to digitally explore the new electric pick-up truck.
‘Strike Anywhere’ features 13 interactive animations to introduce potential customers to facets like its whopping 400-litre front trunk (or ‘frunk’, if we really must use the expression), battery range, towing capabilities, and smart bed among several other items, all via their smartphones. The program is compatible with both Android and iOS devices and is available in the United States as of today, with Canada set to follow shortly.
As well as providing intel for the EV pickup – which re-introduces the ‘Lightning’ name to Ford’s line-up for the first time since the performance-focused SVT disappeared in 2004 – Strike Anywhere also marks a collaboration between the Ford Motor Company and Google. Research from Google and Ipsos claims that up to 58 per cent of US car shoppers are considering a new purchase inside the next six months, though a recent survey of Ford’s Lightning reservation holders found that almost 80 per cent have never owned an electric vehicle before. Furthermore, 83 per cent explained that they could spend up to three months researching their new car before purchase, and thus could benefit from what Ford terms an “immersive, informative experience”.
“There is a tremendous amount of intrigue about what electric vehicles can do,” explains Ford’s chief marketing officer Suzy Deering in an official statement. “At Ford, we want to show, not just tell since we believe educating customers on the full potential and capabilities of electric vehicles helps them make the transition from traditionally powered vehicles to all-electric ones. Nearly 80 per cent of our F-150 Lightning reservation holders have never owned an all-electric vehicle before, so we created this campaign for them to understand and feel confident in their vehicle while also be excited to join in on the electric revolution with us.”
Unveiled in May this year after a conceptual debut at the Detroit Motor Show in 2019, the new Lightning carries over most of the F-150’s exterior aesthetics and cabin design. Crucially though, the electric pick-up swaps out Ford’s gas engines for a pair of electric motors and a choice of two battery packs. When combined with the Standard-Range pack, said powertrain produces 426 horsepower, while the Extended-Range combination pushes 563 hp. The pair are capable of up to 370 km and 480 km of range per charge respectively.
Interestingly, both Dual eMotor combinations produce a mighty peak torque of 775 lb.ft., the towing capabilities of which were demonstrated in 2019 when a then-prototype Lightning pulled 10 double-decker rail cars loaded with 42 2019 F-150s, effectively a million pounds of load.