Despite Ford's promises to incorporate hybrid technology into the Mustang by 2020, as-of September 2019 we're officially giving up hope on a hybrid Mustang. Though this news is likely sad for anyone who was looking forward to a Mustang with e-torque, there's some good news. It would seem that the push for hybridization has been replaced with a desire to go electric instead.
While there are no known plans to alter the internal combustion engine (ICE) version of the Mustang, and the Mustang has always been at its best when there was a V8 option, Ford is looking to dispel some of the rumors about going electric in preparation for their electric lineup, which appears to include a four-door Mustang-inspired SUV. This combines several of the rumors we've been looking into and makes a lot of sense. Rather than expecting an AWD Mustang, a four-door Mustang, and a hybrid Mustang, it's much more likely that we're anticipating the release of a Mustang-inspired crossover that has optional AWD and is either fully electric or a plug-in hybrid.
Below is information to counter many of the myths that have persisted about electric vehicles as well as everything we knew about the now-canceled hybrid Mustang.
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Electric Car Myths
Mustang enthusiasts have certainly been skeptical of any attempt to hybridize or electrify the Mustang, and they're hardly alone. There are a variety of misconceptions about electric vehicles that have certainly slowed their popularity. Ford is working to clear up some of these rumors in advance of their mostly-electric line-up.
Myth: Electric Vehicles Won't Go in the Snow
With a large percentage of the United States spending at least part of the year under a snowy and icy layer, it makes sense for this to be a top concern. Honestly though, people worry entirely too much about this. Most cars can go well in the snow provided they're equipped with snow tires. Electric vehicles actually tend to go better in the snow because of the immediate torque that they're capable of.
An electric AWD vehicle would be more than equipped to handle the snow, and could probably even embarrass some traditionally fueled SUVs in the process. Rember, unlike combustion engines which have to reach a certain RPM to really come into their torque curve, electric motors are capable of torque from the first touch of the gas pedal.
Myth: Electric Vehicles Can't Go in the Cold
This is actually a pretty logical myth, given that cold is one of the top battery-killers. Fortunately, it also is untrue.
While an electric vehicle is less efficient in the snow, that's true of combustion engines as well. The cold doesn't appear to be any worse for electric vehicles than it is for traditional ones. It is likely you won't get as much range as you get in sunnier weather, but for most people, it won't be enough to notice.
Myth: Electric Vehicles are Slow
Formula E is the equivalent of Formula One, but with electric vehicles. Formula E cars can hit 174 MPH, which is more than enough to get a speeding ticket, and hopefully much faster than you're traveling on the highway.
"V8 power and even more low-end torque"
McLaren’s P1, Ferrari’s LaFerrari, and Porsche’s 918 Spyder all have more than 900 horsepower. These hybrids are capable of reaching these outrageous specs by utilizing hybrid technology's capacity for power in addition to fuel economy. Sometimes referred to as “hypercars”, these supercars use hybrid technology to receive power from both a gas-powered engine and an electric motor simultaneously, rather than one and then the other as traditional hybrids have functioned.
Myth: EVs Can't Tow
Towing capacity is primarily determined by torque and the weight of the towing vehicle. Up until now, most EVs have been extraordinarily small, so it makes sense that people would have equated them with a low tow capacity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Electric vehicles have mounds of torque and tend to be heavier than their ICE counterparts. Consequently, they can usually tow as well, or better, than their traditionally fueled alternatives.
In many ways, Ford made a smart decision by waiting until now to try to enter the electric vehicle market. The technology has improved substantially, and as electric cars become more mainstream, it's easier to see how they'll fit in many people's lives easily.
The electric Mustang-crossover is expected to get over three-hundred miles of range, which is more than enough to make it a commuter that's sure to have a lot of fans.
Hold Your Horses
On the same day as the Tesla Y's reveal, Ford tweeted out a bright blue Mustang emblem, essentially the same design we saw at the end of Bryan Cranston's commercial spot back in October. Ford's message? "Hold Your Horses." That, combined with the spy shots of the recent benchmark testing, definitely indicate that a big announcement is coming, including, if we're lucky, some actual specifications, pricing, and date of availability. Even though Ford has rolled back the launch of the next-generation Mustang, they've maintained that the Hybrid Mustang will be available in 2020.
Mustang Hybrid Spotted
We've seen patents for the Mustang hybrid and gotten promises, but this might be our first view of the actual car, and it confirms a few of the more exciting rumors that have been circulating about it since the first announcement.
The first thing to note is the prominent GT badging and GT brakes. Ford promised a V8 hybrid, and they patented for a V8 hybrid, but we've still had more than a few people doubting that the Mustang hybrid would end up being the supercar that had been promised. Hopefully this dispels some of those rumors and people can start getting excited about the potential of a hybrid muscle car that lives up to the name. The grille is also crucial since it indicates that this Mustang does still rely on airflow and combustion, hence a hybrid and not an electric.
The one thing that potentially shines a little doubt on this reveal is the color of the Mustang. Not only is it sporting a mismatched rear bumper, but also it's rocking a 2018 Mustang color: Royal Crimson. There are a couple of ways to take this. It's not uncommon for Ford to use "mule" cars to test out new technology. It's possible that what we're looking at is an engine testing mule of all colors. It's highly unlikely that 2020 will see the return of Royal Crimson given the announcement of Red Hot Metallic.
Ultimately, it's tough to tell for sure, but we certainly hope that Ford's progressed to the point of preparing to test and show off the Mustang that's expected to launch in less than a year. We'd be willing to bet that this is a test of the hybrid engine though. As to why Ford's camouflaging the hood of a body that's been out for two years, we don't know. It could be to hide new hood sculpting, or because Ford gets a kick out of it when we get all excited about seeing a camouflaged car out in the wild and they want to reassure us that they are in fact still planning to deliver the hybrid Mustang we've been waiting for.
Engine Patent Filed
It's been over a month since we last had any new information regarding the hybrid Mustang, but on January 24th, 2019, Ford filed an interesting looking patent. Like most people, we'd assumed that when Ford said that this Mustang would provide V8 power they meant that the horsepower that this vehicle would be capable of would be roughly equivalent to the output of an equivalent V8 engine. Apparently, Ford meant an actual V8. But a V8 with hybrid components providing additional power.
The patent is dense, but in it are engine diagrams and an explanation of how this hybrid might also provide all-wheel drive. This would help shine a new light on the AWD Mustang rumors we've been hearing for almost exactly as long as we've been hearing about the hybrid Mustang. On page 2 of the patent in the "Detailed Description" section, Ford begins with "The following description relates to systems and methods for an all-wheel-drive system of a hybrid electric vehicle, such as the hybrid electric vehicle shown above."
In short, this might be it. The rest of the patent goes on to describe the potential for two electric motors, one for each front wheel, and how the electric machine may gain power through braking (like most hybrids). The full hybrid Mustang patent is worth dissecting, whether you're pumped about a hybrid Mustang, interested in how to make a V8 even more ridiculous, or just really into engines.
Is it possible that the name of Ford's electric crossover has been discovered? Thanks to a trademark filing...maybe!
On November 26, a law firm filed official trademark paperwork with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The names they were "reserving?" The "Mach E" and "Mach-E." The only thing we know for sure is that the category the names were filed under relates exclusively to "motor vehicles."
It's hard to imagine what else the Mach E could be if not Ford's much anticipated Mustang Hybrid, but Ford's playing this one pretty close to the chest. They faced harsh criticism from fans when it appeared that the "Mach 1" nameplate would be assigned to the hybrid, and Ford backed off quickly. Ford guaranteed earlier this year that the Mach 1 nameplate would absolutely not be attached to the electric crossover. To be fair, they didn't say anything about whether or not Mach-E was off limits though.
The Drive contacted a Ford representative about the matter and all they would say was that "Trademark applications are intended to protect new ideas but aren't necessarily an indication of new business or product plans."
Will the Mach E name be different enough from Mach 1 to appease Mustang enthusiasts? Time will tell!
Bryan Cranston’s Future is Built Advertisement (Oct 19, 2018)
Though it hasn’t been confirmed that the all-black Mustang shown in Bryan Cranston’s ( Breaking Bad and Malcom in the Middle) ad is the new Ford Hybrid, eager fans have found an assortment of clues that indicate that yes, this is the hybrid Mustang.
The bright blue Mustang emblem is the only spot of color on the otherwise blacked-out Mustang. Blue has been Ford’s color of choice for all their promotional materials featuring the “electrification” of their vehicles.
Some believe that this Mustang’s simplified fascia and lack of a proper grill actually indicate that it’s the (much more rumored, much less confirmed) electric Mustang. But it seems unlikely that Ford would promote an electric Mustang before the hybrid is released.
Hopefully, this ad puts some of the die-hard enthusiast’s lingering fears to bed. The lines of this Mustang are as gorgeous and powerful as the gasoline-powered version, and the engine we’re shown before the blue Mustang light is a V8.
All a Ford representative has offered is that this image is a “glimpse of the future. We are excited to show you more at the right time.”
Hopefully the right time is approaching soon, Ford has been impressively tight-lipped about what’s in store for the next generation of Mustang and with this level of secrecy, you just hope the payoff is worth it.
The hybrid Mustang was first announced in January 2017, nearly two years ago, and as we near 2020 hopefully more rumors will start to leak in soon.
We do have more details on the 2020 Shelby GT500 which can hopefully give us some clues as to the appearance of the hybrid Mustang as well.
Ford’s Police Interceptor Testing (Oct 4, 2018)
Though not a Mustang update per se, Ford’s Police Interceptor is running a V8 hybrid engine and the SUV is capable of reaching 150 mph. The Interceptor went up against other vehicles frequently purchased by police departments, and it bested all of them.
The other vehicles were the Dodge Charger, the Chevy Tahoe, the Dodge Durango, the Ford F-150, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
This has improved a lot of skeptics’ views of Ford’s initial claims that the hybrid Mustang would be more powerful than a V8.
S650 Launch Pushed Back (August 27, 2018)
The seventh generation of Mustang has been pushed back to 2021, but the hybrid Mustang is on pace to be launched in 2020.
Though the pushback of the next generation of Mustang is obviously a disappointment to hardcore fans, it disperses the much worse rumors that the seventh generation of Mustang would either be pushed back to 2023 or else be axed along with the rest of Ford’s sedans.
Thankfully, the Mustang’s future seems assured, with Ford executives referring to the Mustang as the “heart and soul” of Ford.
The first hybrid Mustang will be part of the S550 Mustang platform.
As if Ford executives anticipated that Mustang enthusiasts might be disappointed by the delay, they threw two juicy tidbits of information into the press release.
First, the next generation of Mustang will not be restricted to a rear-wheel-drive platform, giving the AWD Mustang rumors some legs.
Also, the electric crossover will absolutely not be called the Mach 1, an announcement that allows Mustang fans to all sleep a little easier, knowing that the Mach 1 nameplate will stay reserved.
First Announcement of Hybrid Mustang (January 13, 2017)
The S650 generational platform changeover is a great opportunity to offer new surprises and capture the attention of new Mustang enthusiasts.
During the North America International Auto Show, Raj Nair shared a few details about the future hybrid Mustang.
Mr. Nair was the first to promise that the Mustang would have the performance of a V8 and more low-end torque.
Perhaps most promisingly though, Nair promised that the hybrid Mustang would be a “very, very fun hybrid to drive,” demonstrating that he understands exactly what attracts people to the Mustang in the first place: The sheer fun of driving one. Essentially, this Mustang is going to be closer to the Porsche 918 than to the Prius.
Sources: Free Patents Online | Cnet | Ford | Motor Trend | Slashgear | Mustang 6G | The Drive | Image Credit: Free Patents Online