Today, Ford made it official: The world will see a Hybrid Mustang by 2020. The news came buried in a press release that also says we’ll see a hybrid F-150 pickup, a small SUV and two hybrid “pursuit-rated” police vehicles. While an electrified pickup and small SUV would be nothing new for the market, the green ‘Stang would be the first production muscle car in history to be a plug-in hybrid.
If you think Ford is going soft in a bid for more MPGs, trust that the hybrid Mustang is more in the spirit of the Porsche 918 than it is a Toyota Prius. Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche have all proven that the word “hybrid” can be synonymous with high-performance.
In the release, Ford cryptically states it is developing “a hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque.” With that wording, Ford seems to be hinting the V8 Mustang GT probably won’t be the model that’ll get hybrid power — so, breathe a sigh of relief.
The real question, then: Is Ford really retiring the V6 for good, or is the Blue Oval simply taking it off the shelf, temporarily, to develop a hybrid version? Or is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder set for bigger turbos, using the hybrid system’s torque to fill in the low-end power gaps?
Whatever Ford has planned for the first hybridized Mustang, this should be looked at as a win for fans of performance. Unless you had $1 million to spare, the benefit of low-weight, high-power batteries was only available in hypercars. Ford is bringing that to the masses. If the internet has anything to say about it, the last thing Mustang owners need is more low-end torque. So this coming hybrid era could do the same for sports cars that turbos did in the ’80s.