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Ford F-150 Lightning Conquers the Ike Gauntlet

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2022 F-150 Lightning endures the Ike Gauntlet towing test in Colorado
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning crushed the Ike Gauntlet in 2 inches of snow
Photo: Ford

When it comes to pushing trucks to their limits, TFLtruck throws down the gauntlet. Specifically, the Ike Gauntlet — a brutal towing test that proves a pickup’s worth in terms of pulling power. And lo and behold, the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning done went out there and took Ike’s best shot.

Ford Punches Up: First-ever F-150 Lightning is a heavy-hitter in terms of towing, horsepower

Back in February, Ford took preproduction extended-range F-150 Lightning electric trucks out to Colorado for a radical rite of passage. The Ike Gauntlet towing test covers 8 miles on I-70 and includes a 7 percent incline to reach 11,158 feet above sea level.

Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough, the windchills dipped well below zero. When the team set out, the temperature registered at minus 6 degrees. Over the course of the gauntlet, around 2 inches of snow fell. Yet the F-150 Lightning trucks towed SAE-grade test trailers maxed out at 10,000 pounds and met the challenges head-on.

Watch: Ford F-150 Lightning towing tests go to the extreme

Linda Zhang, the chief program engineer for the F-150 Lightning, said that taking on the Ike Gauntlet is yet another example of her team’s obsessive quest to perfect Ford’s first electric truck.

“We’ve spent hundreds of hours conducting real-world towing testing in this truck, but we want F-150 Lightning to set the bar for an all-new EV towing experience,” said Zhang.

2022 F-150 Lightning endures the Ike Gauntlet towing test in Colorado
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning tops out at 10,000 pounds max towing
Photo: Ford

Another prime example took place last summer when Ford conducted similar towing tests at David Dam. Davis Dam climbs from 550 feet to 3,500 feet above sea level in 11.4 miles, making the location challenging enough. Add in highs of 118 degrees during testing, and the F-150 Lightning once more proves its ability to handle extreme temperatures.

“From sweating in the desert to freezing in the Rocky Mountains, we have gone there to help prove what this all-electric truck can do for customers who want to tow,” said Ford F-150 Lightning Vehicle Engineering Manager Dapo Adewusi.

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is set to hit dealerships this spring, and with reservations already well into the hundreds of thousands, it’s fair to say that all that hard work is paying off.