What the frunk is a front trunk? When automakers shifted to electric vehicles, they realized something: if they delete the traditional gas engine, they could put something else in its place.
Rivian R1T's frunk
The MotorTrend team made plenty of use of the R1T's
front trunkduring a weeks-long trip on the Trans-America Trail. At one point of the trip, that cargo included three duffel bags and a backpack-sized bag of snacks.
At another point, the team used the space to store two MaxTrax recovery boards, three backpacks, and a Pelican case, while at another time it was used to store three backpacks, a sleeping bag, an inflatable sleeping pad, and a box of food.
How does the frunk compare with the F-150 Lightning’s?
Of course, Rivian isn't the only truck maker to replace a space normally reserved for a V8 engine with something more fit for quite a few cases of V8 juice.
Ford's F-150 Lightning also features a frunk in place of its traditional engine compartment, but it's a bit bigger and more versatile than Rivian's offering.
Road & Trackcalled the F-150 Lightning's front trunk its best feature. The 14.1 cubic-foot, lockable trunk features four electrical outlets, two USB charging ports, and a floor drain, which means it can be used as a cooler for food or drinks. It also has a weight capacity of 400 pounds.
Couldn't you just store stuff in the bed, or the cabin?
Well, yeah, you definitely could. But having a frunk means items like luggage, groceries, and other things won't take up valuable cabin space that can otherwise be used for passengers.
It also leaves the truck bed open for more hauling, which makes combined trips to the wholesale store, lumberyard, and garden center a bit more practical.
A brief history of the frunk
Front trunks are nothing new, though automakers have revisited the idea since electric vehicles no longer require much in the way of a bulky combustion engine.
Rear-engine cars like the original VW Beetle and the Porsche 911 feature trunks in the front of the vehicle since the engines are—you guessed it—in the rear where the traditional trunk would go.
Then came the Tesla Model S, which made the front trunk a must-have for automakers playing catch-up in the electric vehicle game. It's not that popular of a feature with customers, however, as some owners report a lack of practicality when it comes to using it.
Cadillac, for instance, has opted to sacrifice the front trunk to increase the rear cargo space of its new Lyriq EV.
Will truck frunks be more useful? Probably, the alternative would be for the automaker to keep that space unused and empty—unless they move to a cab-forward platform for its consumer pickups (think the Ford Econoline or Chevrolet Rampside).
Time and buying habits will tell where automakers take these electric trucks next. But if you plan on buying a Rivian R1T or Ford F-150 Lightning, make sure you're getting the best deal on insuring it. Electric vehicles can be notoriously expensive to insure.
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