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The electric Ford F-150 Lightning officially entered production on April 26, marking one of the most significant milestones in the history of America’s best-selling vehicle. But it’s far from the first.

Ford built its 40 millionth F-Series in January.
(Ford)

Since it was launched for the 1948 model year, the F-Series has gone through 14 generations and added several innovations along the way.

Here’s a look at some major developments the F-Series has seen on the road to electrification:

1948 F-1

The F-1 was the first F-Series model.

The F-1 was the first F-Series model.
(Ford)

Ford made pickups before World War 2, but the 1948 F-1 was the first that was built on a dedicated chassis not shared with its passenger car models. It was offered in models named F-1 through F-8 with increasing levels of capability and built until 1952.

1959 4×4

The 1959 F-Series introduced a four-wheel-drive option.

The 1959 F-Series introduced a four-wheel-drive option.
(Ford)

Ford added a 4×4 option to the F-Series for the first time in 1959 that helped usher in an era of recreational off-roading.

1965 Twin I-Beam

Ford's Twin I-Beam independent front suspension helped refine the F-Series. 

Ford’s Twin I-Beam independent front suspension helped refine the F-Series.
(Ford)

The Twin I-Beam independent front suspension improved the ride and handling of the two-wheel-drive F-Series, broadening its appeal as an everyday driver.

1980 Twin-Traction Beam

the Twin-Traction Beam independent front suspension was designed for 4x4 trucks.

the Twin-Traction Beam independent front suspension was designed for 4×4 trucks.
(Ford)

The Twin-Traction Beam brought an independent front suspension to four-wheel-drive F-Series trucks.

2011 EcoBoost

Ford's first turbocharged F-Series engine was the 2011 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.

Ford’s first turbocharged F-Series engine was the 2011 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
(Ford)

The 2011 Ford F-150 was the first F-Series be offered with Ford’s EcoBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, which promised V8 power with V6 fuel economy. EcoBoost powertrains now account for the majority of F-150s sold.

2015 Aluminum Body

Ford made the radical move in 2015 to replace the steel body of the F-Series with an all-aluminum design in an effort to reduce weight and improve both efficiency and capability.

2021 PowerBoost Hybrid

The PowerBoost hybrid powertrain was added with the F-150’s most recent redesign and was the most powerful and efficient option until the F-150 Lightning entered production. It also can also double as a 9.6 kilowatt generator for powering electrical equipment.

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2022 Lightning

The all-electric F-150 Lightning features a standard all-wheel-drivetrain and the F-Series’ first independent rear suspension. Top models are rated at 563 hp, which makes them the most powerful F-150s ever built.

 

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