In a move all but guaranteed to ruin many, many monitors via surprised spit-takes, Ford has announced that there will be hybrid versions of some of their most iconic cars, including a hybrid Ford Mustang and a hybrid F-150. These would have been punchline-grade ideas in the very recent past, but Ford seems committed to electrification across the board.
Forget V8s and EcoBoost turbos: America’s best selling vehicle and one of its best-selling sports cars are getting electric power.
Ford said the truck and Mustang are both due out by 2020, built in Dearborn and Flat Rock, respectively. A press release from Ford announces seven new global electrified vehicles:
• An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia
• A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America. The hybrid vehicle will debut in 2021 and will be built at the Flat Rock plant
• A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator
• A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid, built at the Flat Rock Plant, debuts in 2020 and will be available in the North America to start
• A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets
• Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. One of the two new hybrid police vehicles will be built in Chicago, and both will be upfitted with their police gear at Ford’s dedicated police vehicle modification center in Chicago
With a hybrid Mustang and F-150 coming, I think these two cars effectively are the death blows to the idea that hybrids are niche-market cars for lecture-happy tree-embracers. Hybrid technology has proven its worth as a performance enhancer in high-end supercars for years now, and, much like turbocharging, hybrid technology is now being normalized to be something that can be a part of any car, regardless of that car’s character, expected owner, or how it’s driven.
A hybrid Mustang would likely be the first hybrid muscle car. (Or pony car, if you want to get all fussy about it.) Either way it’d be one of the first affordable hybrid sports cars to be actually any good, unlike the Honda CR-Z, which was... not.
The hybrid F-150's ability to act as a mobile generator adds a great deal of extra utility to a work vehicle; while efficiency and fuel economy are obviously goals, it’s notable to see how hybrid technology adds other less expected benefits to what a vehicle is capable of.
To build all these new, more complex vehicles, Ford is investing $700 million into its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, and will be adding 700 new U.S. jobs. Ford’s press release also states that, in addition to the “high tech electrified and autonomous vehicles,” the plant will produce “the iconic Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental.”
Still, holy shit. A hybrid Mustang? A hybrid F-150? Do chairs sit on people now?