2023 Lordstown Endurance Review: Underdog exceeds expectations


Cinderella is parked beneath a little white tent in the parking lot of Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, surrounded by dozens of stepsisters. Not evil stepsisters, but certainly much richer ones. This parking lot is ground zero for test drives of the 26 candidates for the 2023 North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year, judged by 50 independent journalists from the U.S. and Canada.

Cinderella is an electric pickup truck, the Lordstown Endurance. It has four doors and is painted white with a black interior, which is pretty much the ideal spec for what this rig is meant to be: a fleet vehicle. The Endurance is made to work and work hard, built at the former Lordstown General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio. You may recall that this facility was shuttered by GM after years of building Chevrolet Cobalts and HHRs, after which time it was bought and reopened by Lordstown Motors.

The odds of the Lordstown Endurance being voted North American Truck of the Year are long, as the very fancy Ford Lightning likely has it in the bag. But the Lordstown Endurance is here, and of such interest to journalists that reservations were required for a 30-minute drive. Chi Yip, a mechanical engineer who worked on the Ford F-150 and Transit before joining Lordstown as the director of vehicle integration, knows the company is facing an uphill battle against giants, but the challenge appeals to him. “I like the idea of building something from scratch,” he says.

So does Darren Post, who spent 30 years at General Motors before joining Lordstown as chief engineer. “With the fleet and commercial aspect, we are developing a niche,” he says. “And we have a product that’s different from anyone else’s.”

Lordstown Endurance front three-quarter action

Indeed they do. The Lordstown Endurance, instead of being powered by one or two electric motors, has four, one at each wheel. Very visible through the spokes of the wheel is a big drum; that’s the motor, identical at all four corners. The regenerative brakes are inside the motors. Four-wheel-drive, all the time.

Inside, the Lordstown Endurance is plain-Jane. Front seats are comfortable and snug enough, whereas the back seat is thinly padded and a bit too upright. Controls are simple and straightforward, and yes, there is both air conditioning and a stereo.

2023 Lordstown Endurance

    • Price: $64,000 (est.)
    • Powertrain: Four wheel-in-hub motors; 109kWh lithium-ion battery
    • Output: 440 hp; 4971 lb-ft (claimed, likely a multiplication of final drive)
    • Layout: Four-door, body-on-frame pickup truck
    • Weight: 6450 lbs.
    • Range: 200 miles
    • 0–60 mph: 6.3 seconds
    • Top Speed: 118 mph
    • Rivals: Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, Chevy Silverado EV
Lordstown Endurance front three-quarter action

Outside, the body is steel and aluminum, and at present you can have any color you want so long as it’s white. Situated beneath the body is a 109 kW-hour lithium-ion battery. A DC fast charger will take it from 20 to 80 percent in 45 minutes. Range is 200 miles, horsepower is 440. Lordstown claims a top speed of 118 mph and a 0-to-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds. Like most all electric vehicles, it’s heavy at 6450 pounds. It can, however, tow 8000 pounds.

On the road, the Lordstown Endurance just feels like an electric truck; nothing would tell you that it’s powered by four hub motors. It’s quiet, with a trace of whine from the motors. It moves along at a smooth clip—very buttoned-down. Honestly, it’s much better sorted and fully realized than I was expecting.Despite that, the Lordstown Endurance has a tough road ahead. Ford is doubling down on the fleet market for its electric F-150 Lightning, and while no one at Lordstown wanted to go on the record regarding the Endurance’s ultimate price, rumors are that it might cost about $64,000. That’s more than a fleet Ford, which starts at about $40,000. Lordstown is actively building trucks, but the initial plan is to lease them to customers rather than sell them outright.

Lordstown Motors bought the GM Lordstown plant in 2019, but earlier this year, sold the plant, but not the company, to Taiwan-based Foxconn. Yes, the company that builds iPhones in China. Foxconn has big plans to build electric vehicles globally, producing, the company chairman said, five percent of the world’s electric vehicles by 2025, and eventually 40 to 45 percent of the electric vehicles—about the same share it has of the smartphone business.

Lordstown Endurance front three-quarter

That leaves Lordstown Motors as a tenant in its own plant, with Foxconn agreeing to build its truck for some undisclosed period of time. One of the prototype electric vehicles Foxconn has shown is an electric four-wheel-drive pickup developed in Taiwan, completely different from the Lordstown Endurance. And Foxconn has already cut a deal with Fisker to build a small car at Lordstown. Foxconn has no interest in building Foxconn-branded vehicles; it plans to exclusively produce electric vehicles for other companies.

Back in Ann Arbor, Lordstown Motors will literally fold its white tent today and head back to Ohio. The little company put on a good show, holding the attention of journalists who walked by vehicles from Rivian, BMW, Genesis, Lexus, Cadillac, and Volvo to drive a longshot. Everybody loves a Cinderella story.

2023 Lordstown Endurance

Price: $64,000 (est.)

Highs: Smooth powertrain. Impressive wheel-in-hub motor setup. Clean interior design.

Lows: High price compared to F-150 Lightning. Uncertain manufacturing future

Takeaway: A pleasant, surprisingly polished EV fleet truck, especially from a startup company on such seemingly rocky footing.

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    Great article! Love reading an unbiased one for once from a real journalist.

    Heads up the Lightning Pro price has been raised by Ford by $12,000. Minimum is now $52,000 I think.
    (Also Lightning Pro has just 18″ wheels and the Endurance has real 20″ truck tires.)

    There are several errors in this article. They are: The HP is 550 not 440 as stated. Also, the starting price of the F 150 Lightning Pro is NOT $40K. It is currently $52K as listed on Ford’s own website. $63,500 has been mentioned by Lordstown for their price. BTW, I built a Lightning Pro to equal the specs as close as possible to the Endurance, and the price was $59K. To get the 20″ wheels that the Endurance has, one has to jump up to the higher trim level which puts it closer to $80K just an FYI.

    I see that LMC changed their specs on their website today on me and do indeed list their HP at 440HP. My mistake. They originally listed it at 600HP, then 550HP and now 440HP. Sorry for the misinfo.

    One of the big benefits of the in-wheel motors is that they leave room to maintain a solid axle and leaf springs. The only reason that of OEMs are going to IRS’s for their pickups is because they need the room for they EV’s.

    “One of the prototype electric vehicles Foxconn has shown is an electric four-wheel-drive pickup developed in Taiwan, completely different from the Lordstown Endurance” – don’t count on it being “completely different” from the Endurance.

    The pickup you were talking about is the Model V and we don’t know yet what chassis it’s going to be on yet. Foxconn said back in August, they would be revealing a pickup in Oct that – “the most important core is the motor technology it has developed, which consists of electric motors to form an electronic four-wheel drive”. The prototype that was shown on the 18th clearly had a rear differential and a driveshaft. There is no way the chassis they showed the Model V on is the powertrain they described in August.

    Also, they said the Model V was build on the MIH platform, the MIH platform does not even have an option for a differential.

    On Nov 8th MIH is releasing a new MIH platform. It’s possible that the Model V was designed to live on this new MIH platform, but they did not want it shown on the platform before they revealed it. So, Foxconn was forced to put the Model V on a temporary platform that included a rear differential.

    We don’t know what this new MIH platform will be, but Foxconn has stated that they want components manufactured locally when possible. So it very well could be based on the components available for manufacture in Lordstown, the frame, battery pack and hub motors.

    Thanks for this article, I was excited to read a first-hand review of the Endurance. I drive through ice and snow for half the year where I live in Canada, and five years ago I would have been drooling over the Silverado ZR2 with the front and rear lockers. These days though, you can get almost all of the benefits with the new quad-motor EVs like the Endurance and the Rivian without the handling drawbacks that come with diff locks. I hope we see more quad-motor EVs on the market, and I can’t wait to drive one myself. Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Doesn’t the F-150 Lightning Pro have vinyl seats and interior compared to the cloth seats on the endurance? Since I sit inside my truck waiting for inspectors I’ll take a comfortable seat any day of the week.

    This is one truck that will either get bought out or vanish as the major players enter the market.

    They will never be able to deal with the investment money of the larger companies.

    Sounds like a lot of unsprung weight at each corner with motors in each hub, wondering how that will effect ride combined with likely heavy tire and wheel assemblies. Also, no mention of traditional friction brakes, which I assume are also mounted in each corner, furthering unsprung weight.

    That was my thought as well. I have heard a lot of whining about the unsprung weight. I am very interested to see how the tech matures.

    Looks like an older Chevy Silverado with a modified front end and taillights. A lot of manufactures make that short short box, which I found unusable, instead of a 6 1/2 foot box. Drop the tailgate on a 6 1/2 foot box and you get 8 feet, great for hauling lumber. Load up an ATV and you can close the tailgate. Hauling a snowmobile in the box the center of mass of the sled is well inside the tip of the tailgate. In my opinion less than a 6 foot box and it’s just a bicycle hauler/grocery getter. I’m ready for the EV truck but need to be able to use it as a truck AND tow at least 200 miles, 100 miles into the mountains and a 100 miles out.

    On job sites, that ugly, IMO, front grill could be used as a white board. Maybe they should include a pack of dry mark pens with every vehicle. Why so many EV’s have to have those completely boring front profiles is beyond me. It’s as if the designers got tired of the project by the time the front facia was worked on.

    Shame the test course couldn’t show off the Endurance torque vectoring capability. As I understand it, a hundred times a second the computer takes driver inputs and converts this to wheel speed and torque to each wheel. For example it looks at driver steering vs actual yaw and produces differential speed and torque levels to each to maintain perfect balance. The system should work well on slippery surfaces and with surfaces with different friction at each wheel to adjusting speed and torque at each wheel to main superior control. The system should turn tighter than conventional trucks thanks to the torque vectoring. Torque vectoring plus greater articulation thanks to the solid rear axle and greater ground clearance resulting should perform well off road. Shame these features could not be demonstrated on city streets.

    BTW the torque figure is not after multiplication. The truck uses hub motors so no transmission, no reduction gears, no diff, just the in wheel motor. Each hub motor is a torque monster capable of 1500 nm or 1100 lb ft of torque.

    20% to 80% in 45 minutes on a DCFC (which make up only a small percentage of charging stations in the US) means 45 minutes for every 120 miles driven, if you can find a DCFC.
    As a fleet truck it’s probably perfect-unused overnight, it can charge for several hours on a Level 2 charger.
    Regarding the Lightning-Car and Driver’s test of EVs found that “your range may differ” is true with EVs as well as ICE vehicles. At a steady 75 mph cruise, the Lightning’s range was 230 miles. 70% of that is probably the usable range-drain to 10%, charge to 80%-for a usable range of about 160 miles. That’s unloaded. Towing a full-size trailer (not sure of the weight) at 70 mph, the Lightning had a 100 mile total range. Using the same 70% useful range formula means you can tow your trailer for an hour before searching for a DCFC-if you can find one.
    Bottom line for me: EVs are still limited-use vehicles. I travel several times a year where the total one-way distance exceeds the range of all current EVs. I don’t want to plan my trip around the location of DCFCs or the hope one is functioning and available. I could use one for my commute but don’t want to own separate cars for trips and for commuting. Hopefully by 2035 they’ll have the range and charging infrastructure issues resolved…maybe.

    Too many fan boys and girls to give this any serious consideration.

    1) no BEV truck has demonstrated reasonable, much less satisfactory towing or lid hauling capability.

    2) the price point is ridiculous for a truck with such limited utility.

    200 mile range? That’s it?!
    Don’t even bother with the HP and Torque numbers, they are meaningless.
    I drove 320 miles today up to the mountain and back, with gear, tools, 4 grown adults, and towing 7,000 lbs. I ran the AC most of the day. I did not need to refuel and only stopped for coffee this morning and soda this evening.

    When Rivian, Lightning, EV Silverado, or the Lordstown truck can do this, let me know.

    The Rivian, F-150 Lightning and Silverado EV were designed for retail customers such as yourself, the Endurance was not. The Endurance was designed for commercial fleets only. Commercial fleet pickups average 95 miles per day.

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