The Volkswagen Beetle had its trunk up front when it came out in the 1930s, but it took the Tesla Model S in 2012 to make the word “frunk” part of the vernacular. As in, a front trunk—combined helpfully into a single, catchy word.
With more and more electric vehicles entering the market, and fewer engine bays needing to hold engines, frunks are here to stay, and we can quickly see them becoming competitive battlegrounds. And the new Ford F-150 Lightning has one.
The F-150 Lightning comes only in four-door SuperCrew configuration with a 5.5-foot bed. But up front, in the nose where a large internal combustion engine would normally reside, there is a large and deep cargo hold offering 14.1 cubic feet of space. For context, the Lightning’s bed is 52.8 cubic feet; the Rivian’s frunk is 11.0 cubic feet; the average midsize sedan offers about 13-15 cubic feet of (traditional) trunk space.
The Lightning is only being offered in that one body and bed configuration when it goes on sale in May 2022 in part because Ford considers the additional cargo space offered by the frunk makes a longer bed unnecessary.
Ford F-150 Lighting Frunk Offers Easy Access, Practical Storage
Many will find the frunk extremely practical—a much better and easier place to put groceries or golf bags than the back seat or the bed.
The frunk locks with the rest of the vehicle. It can be opened any one of six ways: using the key fob, pressing the button under the frunk lid, pushing the button inside the cab, tapping the 15.5-inch touchscreen, using the keypad on the door, or through the FordPass app on your smartphone.
The cool blacked-out chrome grille is attached to the hood and they open as a single piece (again, like a trunk lid facing forward). There are LED lights embedded on the underside of the grille (which look curiously like the headlights on the new Rivian R1T pickup, albeit pointed into the F-150 instead of out… ) that throw light down into the cargo area. How far the hood raises is adjustable.
One of the niceties of the Lightning’s skateboard chassis it that it presents a lower load floor which makes it easier to use the frunk.
Lightning Frunk Can Handle Items Wet or Dry
The frunk offers sealed dry space but can accommodate wet and dirty items with a drain in the floor of the deeper sub-frunk bin. The non-skid mats are removable and reversible if you prefer the flat surface up. The cover to the underfloor bin can be propped upright to create a divider in different positions—even on an angle to act as an easel with an tablet device propped up on it.
Inside are grocery hooks, tie downs, and a cargo net at the back that works well for tall bottles. Or, toss in bags of cement; the frunk has a stout a 400-pound payload rating.
Being an electric vehicle, there is power to be had. The frunk can supply 2.4 kW of juice to four 120-volt outlets and two USB ports (one USB-A and one USB-C). It’s enough for the ultimate tailgate party complete with lights, music, maybe a TV, crockpot, and more. Another 7.2 kW is available from the power ports in the rear of the Lightning, for a truckwide total of 9.6 kW. With this latest truck, Ford is ready to party—or, dare we say, get frunky.