Revolutionizing the Ford F-150 Lightning: Can a Fastback Roof Enhance Aerodynamics?

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The Ford F-150 Lightning, a staple in the electric vehicle (EV) sector, has been a topic of significant discussion, especially in the context of its highway range capabilities.

Our experiences with the Ford F-150 Lightning XLT, particularly at high-speed Michigan highways where traffic flows at around 80 mph, prompted us to delve into potential enhancements for its aerodynamic performance.

Exploring Aerodynamic Enhancements: A Community Effort

Aerodynamic Enhancements Discussion

Intrigued by the real-world range limitations of the Ford F-150 Lightning, we turned to online forums, specifically, for potential solutions.

A post by a user named Lightning_Bob, referencing AirShaper’s CEO Wouter Remmerie’s insights, caught our attention.

AirShaper, known for its cloud-based computational fluid dynamics studies, had previously analyzed the Tesla Cybertruck, suggesting their expertise in this field.

Potential for Significant Drag Reduction

The focus was on a range of aerodynamic improvements for the Ford F-150, as suggested by global benchmarking firm A2MAC1.

These included lowering the truck, removing mirrors, applying flat wheel covers, and more notably, adding a slant-back cap to the bed.

AirShaper’s analysis, based on A2MAC1’s 3D model of the F-150 hybrid, indicated a possible 25.05% drag reduction, with the slant-back cap alone contributing a staggering 14.82%.

Michigan Vehicle Solutions’ AeroX: A Stylish and Functional Solution

Michigan Vehicle Solutions AeroX Cap

Our quest led us to Michigan Vehicle Solutions (MVS), particularly to their AeroX fastback truck cap.

Designed primarily as a styling element for models from 2015-2020, the AeroX had not undergone extensive wind-tunnel or CFD analysis.

Nevertheless, its potential to enhance the aerodynamics of our Ford F-150 Lightning was undeniable.

The AeroX Cap: Features and Functionalities

Range Testing the Ford F 150 with AeroX Cap

The AeroX cap stands out with its hydraulic-strut-supported hatch, maintaining cargo height limits while offering a sleek design.

Though the hatch limits bed access to some extent, its design ensures secure cargo transportation.

MVS’s integration of the cap with the F-150’s wiring loom for additional lighting and a sliding window for easy cleaning further showcases its practicality.

Anticipating Results: A Combined Effort with Ford

Interestingly, the second prototype of the AeroX cap was sent to Ford, hinting at the automotive giant’s interest in possibly conducting official wind-tunnel tests.

Our efforts to gain insights from Ford’s testing have been ongoing.

Upcoming Test Results and Analysis

AirShapers Computational Analysis

Our test team has conducted variable-speed range testing to compare the performance of the F-150 Lightning with and without the AeroX cap.

We plan to provide a comprehensive analysis, including AirShaper’s review, in our forthcoming update.

Conclusion: A Leap Towards Enhanced EV Range

This exploration into enhancing the Ford F-150 Lightning’s aerodynamics is more than a quest for increased range.

It symbolizes the collaborative spirit of the EV community, the intersection of style and functionality, and the potential for aftermarket products to significantly impact vehicle performance.

Stay tuned for our detailed analysis and results in the upcoming update.