At the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ford announced seven of thirteen new electrified vehicles going on sale in the next five years including an F-150 Hybrid and a Mustang Hybrid.
The announcement is a sign of the times, with the breadth of future product initiatives at Ford to include either Hybrid or fully electric vehicles. And in a move to please the locals to accomplish the new goals, they’ve canceled plans for a new plant in Mexico and will be expanding the Flat Rock, Michigan plant to produce many of the new vehicles.
Right at the front is the big shocker, Ford will build a Mustang Hybrid. Yes, Mustang Hybrid. Let that sink in a moment. They tell us it will have V8 power with exceptional torque that comes with the addition of an electric motor.
The new Mustang Hybrid will go on sale by 2020, base on the next generation-seven pony car due out by that time. It will be built at the Flat Rock plant along side all the traditional Mustang variants so don’t worry you will still be able to get a V8.
Also sending ripples across the water is the announcement that there will be an F150 Hybrid. Offering the same power and efficiency benefits the Mustang Hybrid promises, Ford says it will also be able to act as a generator that can power and an entire work site. Think about that.
Both vehicles will likely use the same new hybrid powertrain which has yet to be specified. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest it may be an EcoBoost V6 engine with a transmission that has integrated electric motors. Power is likely to be in the 400 horsepower range. Just an educated guess.
Also announced were two hybrid Police Interceptor models, one built at Chicago and one elsewhere. Without any specificity from Ford, I would have to surmise this would most likely be an Explorer based Interceptor Utility and an F150 Hybrid based Police vehicle.
Ford followed up these juicy morsels with the new they will also build by 2020, a fully electric compact SUV with a stunning drive range of 300 miles. Likely the size of the Ford Escape, the new all-electric SUV will be built alongside the Mustang and Lincoln Continental at the then newly expanded Flat Rock plant.
Also coming off the line at Flat Rock will be what Ford calls a “high-volume autonomous vehicle” designed specifically for commercial ride services like Lyft or Uber. The hybrid autonomous vehicle will have no driver, no steering wheel or controls and begins production in 2021. The Ultimate Riding Machine it might be called.
The Ford Transit Connect will also gain a hybrid taxi variant, a vehicle now testing around the country in various large cities. Ford boasts they built the first hybrid taxi with the Ford Escape Hybrid, many of which are still on the streets with 350,000 plus miles on them and using their original batteries.
We may learn more this coming week at the Detroit Auto Show but for now Ford has given a lot to chew on over the next few years, fuel for the rumor mills indeed.