In case you haven't heard, Ford F-150 Lightning production is now underway. It kicked off April 26 with a livestream event from the Lightning assembly line in Dearborn, but Ford has a welcome surprise for customers awaiting their new truck. Regardless of the trim level, all Lightnings exceed original estimates for horsepower and payload capacity.

Trucks fitted with the standard-range battery pack now have an official rating of 452 hp. That's an increase of 26 ponies over Ford's original estimate of 426 hp. For Lightnings with the extended-range battery, power increases from 563 hp to 580 hp. Regardless of the battery pack, torque remains the same at 775 pound-feet for all applications. The Lightning's estimated range is still 320 miles for the larger battery, though that figure was also increased from initial targets back in March.

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Along with more power, F-150 Lightning owners can also haul a bit more than expected. Ford targeted a 2,000-pound payload capacity, but that's been revised upward to 2,235 pounds. The automaker is keen to note the payload limit applies to properly equipped trucks.

"We were seriously focused on raising the bar on this truck, including after we revealed it, so we can deliver more for our customers," said F-150 Lightning Vehicle Engineering Manager Dapo Adewusi. "And our drive for continuous improvement will get a big boost when we start getting feedback and ideas from customers when they receive their Lightnings."

Gallery: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

The official announcement comes amid all kinds of unofficial chatter about Ford's next electric truck. During the Lightning production launch party, Ford CEO Jim Farley directly referenced "another electric pickup that’s different than this one" which will be built in Tennessee. Last September, Ford announced the construction of a sprawling new manufacturing center in Tennessee that will build batteries and the next-generation electric F-Series.

A Ford spokesperson confirmed with that Farley referenced a next-generation Ford electric truck, but stopped short of calling it an F-Series. Earlier today, our electrified colleagues at InsideEVs learned that Farley also mentioned this truck having active aero components, and a range that could far exceed the current F-150 Lightning. Everything points to a next-generation electric truck from Ford that could be very different from anything currently offered in the F-Series family.

For now, new Lightnings will reach dealerships soon but unless you already have an order, you likely won't be buying one. Barring the cancelation of existing orders, all 2023 F-150 Lightnings are sold out.

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