The Ford Mustang Hybrid Might Offer All-Wheel Drive

The front wheels would be powered by electric motors.

Early last year, Ford announced plans to introduce a hybrid version of the Mustang in 2020. Since then, we've learned a little bit more about the hybrid pony car, but it's never been clear what kind of powertrain it would use. Thanks to a recently published patent application, we may have our answer. This application, originally discovered by the sleuths at AutoGuide, describes a system where an internal-combustion engine drives the vehicle's rear wheels, while two electric motors power its front wheels. It doesn't specifically mention the Mustang, but based on the description found on the first page of the patent, it sure sounds like an obvious application.

"Methods and systems are provided for a hybrid electric vehicle including a front-wheel-drive system and a rear-wheel-drive system. In one example, the rear-wheel-drive system includes an internal combustion engine configured to drive rear wheels of the vehicle, and the front-wheel drive system includes a first electric motor and a second electric motor mounted directly to opposing sides of the engine. The first electric motor is coupled to a first reduction gearbox to drive a first front wheel of the vehicle, and the second electric motor is coupled to a second reduction gearbox to drive a second front wheel of the vehicle."

What's even more interesting, is that if you look at the images Ford used in its application, they show a V-8 engine. If this really is the system Ford plans to use for the hybrid Mustang, then this is further evidence that it will use a V-8 instead of something smaller and more efficient. Unfortunately, there isn't enough information in the application to make any guesses about how much power it will make. But you'd think a V-8 hybrid would make more power than the nonhybrid V-8, right? Besides adding to the car's performance, using electric motors should make packaging all-wheel drive in a car like the Mustang much easier, although if the car migrates to the rear-drive Explorer platform as expected, mechanical all-wheel drive could also be an option at some point. The new-generation Explorer also offers a hybridized V-6 powertrain that could be of use in the Mustang.

Hopefully, we'll find out more as the year goes on. It may only be January, but if the Mustang hybrid is scheduled for a 2020 debut, we'd like to think official information isn't too far away.

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