Toyota and Ford Part Ways With RWD Truck, SUV Hybrid R&D

Toyota and Ford are going their separate ways when it comes to developing a rear-drive SUV and truck hybrid system. Originally announced in August 2011, the now-dissolved collaboration means future hybrid-powered light-duty trucks and SUVs from the two brands will each boast unique technology.

Though it's unclear exactly what vehicles would have benefited from the hybrid partnership, a rear-drive hybrid for trucks and SUVs could help the high-volume Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra meet increasingly strict fuel economy regulations. While The 2014 Ram 1500 will be the only vehicle in its segment offered with a diesel engine, a hybrid F-150 or Tundra could offer better mileage in the city.

A hybrid system that doesn't significantly impact towing or payload capacity ratings could be of interest to truck buyers who already spend serious money on luxury-trimmed pickups. Though Ford and Toyota are no longer working together on the rear-drive truck and SUV hybrid project, such technology could also make a difference on rear-drive-based SUVs such as the Toyota 4Runner and Ford Expedition.

Ford says its own truck and SUV hybrid system will be available by the end of this decade. Before then, we're guessing the automaker will be paying close attention to EPA ratings and mileage, given recent reports of some C-Max and Fusion hybrid customers not achieving the EPA-rated mileage.

Toyota and Ford aren't breaking ties altogether: Toyota notes that the companies will continue to examine the possibility of collaborating on "next-generation standards for telematics."

Though Ford and Toyota are developing rear-drive truck and SUV hybrid systems independently, tell us: Which Ford and Toyota are in most need of a hybrid option?

Source: Toyota, Ford

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