Ford has worn the crown for the best-selling pickup in the United States for decades thanks to the F-Series. It’s also the maker of the best-selling all-electric pickup in America, the F-150 Lightning, and now the blue oval company wants to set the record straight when it comes to racing–with a pickup, of course.

Enter the Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck, which will have a go at this year’s grueling Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this Sunday with French driver Romain Dumas at the wheel. Last year, the American carmaker set a new record in the Open class with its battery-powered SuperVan 4.2, so it knows a thing or two about racing an EV in arduous conditions.

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Race tech eventually trickles down to consumer cars

A 1,400-horsepower powertrain doesn't make much sense on public roads, but all the tech that makes that happen might have big packaging and efficiency benefits when engineers figure out a way to make them work on daily drivers. Until then, though, let's admire what Ford did with the very impressive F-150 Lightning SuperTruck EV.

But what does it take to make a record-setting race EV? Quite a lot, as it turns out. The F-150 Lightning SuperTruck is a battery-powered monster, as we learned from the one-hour-long Out of Spec Reviews video at the top of this page.

Everything has been made to squeeze out as much power and torque as possible and to be as robust as possible. The lithium-polymer nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery pack only has a 50-kilowatt-hour capacity but can discharge a whopping 1,500 kW of power to the three electric motors that make more than 1,400 horsepower. When decelerating, the regen system can send up to 600 kW of power back to the battery. For the 12.5-mile Pikes Peak course, that’s plenty.

The two motors at the rear are connected to a single limited-slip differential, which is different from traditional dual-motor setups with torque vectoring in the sense that all of the torque can be directed to a single wheel through the mechanical diff. In contrast, a torque vectoring system can only direct the maximum torque of the motor that powers a particular wheel.

Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck
Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck

As a reminder, the 156-turn course at Pikes Peak is a public road, so the surface is far from perfect, with bumps and small potholes. With this setup, the SuperTruck can put down the maximum power output of the two rear motors to a single wheel when needed.

The powertrain's motors and inverters are dual three-phase units, essentially making it a six-phase setup. This improves the power density and can help manage the immense torque figures.

The battery and the electric motors are cooled using a water-glycol solution similar to regular antifreeze. After a trial run, the truck’s electrical components can be force-cooled using an external dry ice box that feeds the integrated fan. This helps the team recharge the battery much faster than if it had to wait for the integrated cooling system to do its thing.

Gallery: Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck

The charging equipment is also external. Using a 500 kWh mobile DC fast charger, Ford can top up the SuperTruck’s battery at a rate of up to 400 kW thanks to a 900-volt capable charging box that’s hooked up directly to the high-voltage battery. Lightness is of the essence with any race car, so there is no onboard charger here.

Furthermore, Ford uses a stock F-150 Lightning to warm up the tires for the race truck through the 240-volt outlet in the bed, which is pretty cool.

Check out the video above and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Do you think Ford can get another win this year at Pikes Peak?

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