Skip to main content
Resto Lightning: We Drive Ford's All-Electric F-100 Eluminator

Resto Lightning: We Drive Ford's All-Electric F-100 Eluminator

A restored 1978 Ford F-100 with the heart of a Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

  • The Eluminator is a Ford all-electric concept truck.
  • Mach-E Performance GT underpinnings highlight Ford's new electric crate motor program.
  • It's crazy fast and quiet to drive.

Concept cars are usually shiny, unobtainable objects. Most of the time, they aren't even running vehicles. But Ford has bucked that trend with its all-electric F-100 Eluminator. It might not have your typical supercharged V8 upgrade under the hood, but this thing is definitely a hot rod. And it's more than just a showpiece. It's a running, driving electrified bat out of hell.

What? It's an EV?

Yep. The F-100 Eluminator is a Frankenstein project, but it's executed with far fewer staples and it's got a much more highly functioning brain than the deranged doctor's lightning-powered monster. This is a 1978 Ford F-100 but with its original gasoline powertrain swapped out in favor of one from a Mustang Mach-E GT. That means it's got two electric motors — one in front and one in the rear, for all-wheel drive — that combine for 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft of torque.

Power comes from the Mach-E's 88-kWh battery pack. Ford also customized the Eluminator's interior with Mach-E parts, including the 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, the front seats and the steering wheel.

From the outside, it looks every bit the part of a classic pickup truck. Painted in a subtle and classy combination of colors called Avalanche Gray and Cerakote Copper and sitting on fabulous color-matched 19-inch Forgeline wheels, the Eluminator would garner attention at any classic car show. The excellent color combination and the low-slung stance attract plenty of attention on their own. Park it anywhere for longer than 60 seconds and you'll draw a crowd of curious bystanders. Their curiosity then kicks into overdrive when you start it up and, instead of the expected V8 rumble, there's only EV silence.

F-100 Eluminator

F-100 Eluminator

How does it drive?

This isn't a flawless blue-ribbon car. It's a functional resto-mod that is equally concerned with curb appeal and functionality. Build quality from the Ford Performance team and their build partners on this concept vehicle is excellent. There are a few misalignments here and there, and the occasional wobbly panel, but from the driver's seat, you won't likely care. 

At slow speeds the Eluminator feels remarkably like a Mustang Mach-E GT. It's whisper-quiet movement is slightly disconcerting at first, but just like any modern EV, you get used to the power delivery pretty quickly. Once you've settled in and you begin to trust it a bit, that's when things get fun. While we didn't have time for a fully instrumented test of the Eluminator, it's obvious that 0-60 mph acceleration is much improved over the original F-100.

Press on the accelerator pedal and the Eluminator delivers a giant serving of torque immediately off the line. The power feels hilariously mismatched with the old steel-bodied pickup, but it's thrilling nonetheless. It might be heavier than a modern Mustang Mach-E GT, but it feels just as fast from behind the wheel. And the best part? Nobody around you knows what's just hit them. Want to scoot away from a stoplight in a hurry? Anyone within earshot will wonder how you got away so quickly and so silently. Handling is surprisingly flat too, much like the Mustang Mach-E it's based on, the Eluminator changes direction quickly and feels agile when you consider its size.

F-100 Eluminator

F-100 Eluminator

Can I buy one?

Sort of. Ford is using the F-100 Eluminator concept truck to highlight its new electric crate motor program. You can now buy the same kind of motors that power a Mustang Mach-E, individually and directly from Ford Performance. They currently cost $4,095 each. So, yes, you can buy one. Each motor has a maximum output of 281 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque and weighs 205 pounds. Problematically, you'll have to source the batteries and some of the other essential electrical hardware yourself. It's not exactly plug-and-play yet, but Ford says it will offer batteries in the future.

F-100 Eluminator

F-100 Eluminator

Edmunds says

While the e-crate program won't be truly viable until Ford can offer complete EV powertrains, it's a promising start. The F-100 Eluminator proves that building a classic hot rod doesn't necessarily mean you have to use a gasoline-powered V8.