Ford shows off its EV crate engine in a 1978 F-100 Resto-Mod
Ford announced its electric crate motor, the Highlighter, a few months ago, and teased that they would reveal more in the days of SEMA, that magical time of year when the leaves change color and automakers paint their cars in fun colors that they won’t normally sell to you. Well, the SEMA season has arrived, and Ford has kept its promise by inserting a (well, almost) pair of Illuminators into a Fun and restored 1978 Ford F-100 truck.
The F-100 Eluminator Concept avidly takes parts from Ford’s Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition, where its engines came from (and battery, and the center console display inside and probably a bunch of ‘other things), one for each axle and producing a combined output of 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft of torque.
The familiar square-jawed F-100 body has remained remarkably intact, with most cosmetic changes confined to the color scheme, which are pale grays and bronzes, including chrome parts, which have been painted here. I especially like the use of the old stamped metal dog plate hubcaps.
The lighting has also been tweaked, with frosted white lenses used for the indicators, side markers, and taillights, and some interesting custom rectangular sealed beam units with fabricated bronze trim for the headlights.
Under the hood, Ford thoughtfully managed to cram a bit, but a usable trunk / trunk area, and there’s a see-through window under the hood so you can admire the electrical inverter hardware and all that other fun stuff that doesn’t budge:
This inner cowl also pops up if you want a better view of your brake booster, 12V battery, shock tower, and other exciting items:
The battery is probably mounted under the bed of the truck, which should leave enough room for a nice, heavy battery.
Based on Ford’s interior picture, this battery should be good for over 227 miles, if we trust this dashboard display, which along with the central iPad-with-a- infotainment screen knob seems straight out of a Mach -E.
It is not clear, however, how people are supposed to obtain cash registers. Ford hasn’t announced a battery pack plan at the crate so far, letting the manufacturers get the packs from the destroyed Leafs and whatever they can get hold of, I guess?
If Ford is going to sell EV transmissions at checkout, they should also sell battery solutions at checkout, and I am not the only one to suggest it. You can buy a gas tank when you buy a V8 engine at the checkout, and it really shouldn’t be much different. I mean, other than a battery, it’s a lot more expensive than a tank of gasoline.
Overall I think this truck looks fantastic, and it’s a good reminder that charming old vehicles could have a new lease on life with these electric crate motors. It is all very attractive, modern and nostalgic. They better be able to get batteries for people if they are serious about builds like this.