Ford has officially announced a Mustang Hybrid for 2020. That's right, the all-American muscle, rear-drive coupe will be electrified and will likely be the first of its kind.
Now, before the purist's fume like a 1970s diesel, bear something in mind, hybrids have come a long way, evolving even supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1. The advantage of plugging in electric motors helps to achieve optimal performance without burning a hole through the ozone.
In fact, electrified powertrains are only going to become more popular and Ford understands it needs to embrace the future.
So, what do we know so far? Well, Ford claims the Mustang Hybrid’s powertrain will be more efficient than a V8 but will deliver V8 power with “even more low-end torque.” We surmise that Ford will likely use a traditional hybrid system, placing an electric motor between the gearbox and their EcoBoost 2.3 litre turbo-four powerplant. Most likely tuned to produce more than the 310 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque it currently makes.
We expect the Mustang will be a regular hybrid and not the plug-in type, which will deliver an all-electric driving experience when cruising at low speeds.
With the combined power the electric motor and the tuned 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine, the Mustang Hybrid could potentially produce about 400 hp and well over 400 lb-ft of torque – which is awfully close to the Mustang GT’s 460 hp, 420 lb-ft 5.0 litre V8. The key here though is that the electric powertrain will produce more torque much earlier in the powerband than the V8, meaning that the Mustang Hybrid could knock off about half a second from the above 0–60 and quarter-mile times. It's doubtful that Ford will let the Mustang Hybrid be quicker than its V8 GT though.
Another benefit to this hybrid powertrain is efficiency. Although not in the league of a Prius for instance, the Mustang will surely deliver better fuel economy than the EcoBoost Mustang’s combined 25 mpg – which is already much better than the GT’s 19 mpg. Expect regenerative braking and Eco mode, like other modern hybrids, to recharge the battery pack and improve fuel economy too.
The Mustang Hybrid will probably look the same as its gas-powered stablemates but with subtle hybrid badging and unique exterior details. Inside, one can expect unique, possibly green, hybrid-only accents and stitching.
Ford’s new Co-Pilot360 driver-assist technology will likely be standard on all Mustang's by 2020. The package includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, a lane keeping system, automatic high-beams, a rearview camera and an adaptive cruise control system with reverse automatic braking.
The big question will be whether Ford adopts a similar strategy to Porsche does with the Panamera and produce a Mustang Hybrid with their eight-cylinder V8. An electric motor connected to the outrageous 5.2-litre V8 in the GT350 will produce supercar power output and performance potential.
Now that would be something, we're licking our lips in anticipation.