Saleen F150

Modified Saleen Ford F-150 Lightning appears at historic off-road race

Credit: @omg-Tesla/Rivian Twitter

A Ford F-150 Lightning, modified by the performance shop Saleen, has made an appearance at the King of the Hammers off-road event.

The King of the Hammers off-road event has quickly gained prominence in the world of off-roading and is a prominent location for manufacturers and performance shops to show off their newest projects. While this has mostly been dominated by gas and diesel trucks, that is beginning to change as electric trucks, like the Ford F-150 Lightning, have entered the mix.

Saleen wasn’t exactly keen on sharing the details on their newest electric truck with Teslarati, but the modifications seen on the F-150 Lightning test vehicle seem incredibly extensive, leading many to call it a new Raptor competitor.

Immediately apparent is how the truck has been dramatically lifted to increase ground clearance and articulation in the challenging rocky terrain of California. Further, the electric truck has a new set of off-road tires and requisite fender flares. Many have also hypothesized that the performance brand has included more underbody protection to ensure rocks and debris don’t damage the battery. Still, at this point, those estimates are pure conjecture.


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It remains unclear if any performance upgrades to the motors or battery have been done to make the Lightning quicker off the line. Still, thanks to its already adequate 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque from its dual-motor system, it may not need any.

Ford wasn’t the only brand represented at the King of the Hammers event. A strong contingent of Rivian R1Ts and R1Ss shows that owners are staying true to the “adventure” ethos of their electric truck brand. And while the Rivians at the event were potentially less modified than the Saleen seen at the event, they were no less impressive.

According to event sponsor OPTIMA Batteries, “More than 40 EV owners cast aside their range anxiety and made the trek out to Hammertown, where OPTIMA had several chargers waiting for their arrival. OPTIMA Brand Ambassador, Tanner Foust, helped pace the group in a very capable Volkswagen ID.4 and a poker run took place at three runs.”

But perhaps most surprising was the appearance of a modified Tesla Model Y that was tackling the dunes right alongside its more off-road-y counterparts.

With Ford’s history within the offroad performance truck market, there is no doubt that a higher performance off-road ready variant of the Lightning is on its way. Thanks to hints from Ford CEO Jim Farley, newer performance editions may be closer than we anticipate. Not to forget, with the Tesla Cybertruck just around the corner, Ford will likely be facing pressure from consumers to introduce higher-performance models to compete. The performance electric trucks we have all been hoping for are finally just around the corner.

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Modified Saleen Ford F-150 Lightning appears at historic off-road race
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