With a virtually unrivaled pedigree in the automotive world, the Ford Mustang series harks back the glory years of American muscle cars. Needless to say, this means the announcement that a Ford Mustang hybrid would be making its way to dealerships in 2020 came as a shock to many.
With hardcore petrolheads watching their every move, Ford knows full well that the first Mustang hybrid must pull out all the stops to win over purists and skeptics alike.
Ahead of the hotly anticipated release, let’s take a closer look at the information we’ve been given by Ford and begin to paint a picture of one of the next generation hybrid Mustang.
Keep reading for a breakdown of the engine, looks, performance, and handling of the 2020 Ford Mustang, as well as some speculation about a high-performance Shelby GT500 hybrid which may be seen further down the line.
The Mustang Hybrid’s Powertrain
Ford has been tight-lipped about the powertrain that will push the Mustang hybrid along the road. A recently released patent application gives us some clues though.
In the diagram attached to the patent release, we see that Ford has linked two electric motors to its V8 engine.
This format suggests that the combustion engine will power the rear wheels. Each electric motor will then provide drive to the front wheels.
This arrangement would make the Mustang hybrid an AWD car. That will help the drivers put the power down on the tarmac with confidence.
At this stage, it’s impossible to know what sort of power it will produce. Ford will undoubtedly offer a selection of hybrid options, derived from their current 2.3-liter Ecoboost and 5.0-liter V8s though.
It will be fascinating to see what the hybrid system takes. Will the car have regenerative braking, which recharges the batteries each time the driver brakes?
Another interesting question is whether the 2020 Mustang hybrid will be capable of running purely on electric power at low speeds. This may be beneficial to drivers living in urban areas. However, drivers used to the distinct roar of the Mustang’s engine will be put off.
The Ford Mustang Hybrid’s Engine Noise
Speaking of the engine note, this is one area where the 2020 Mustang hybrid will struggle against its combustion-based cousins.
Combustion engines are prized for their raw, aggressive engine noises. Because hybrids vehicles recover energy, the sound they produce suffers.
This is inevitable but still disappointing. Ford built the Mustang’s reputation on its distinct low growl. The sound engineers at company HQ will be working round the clock to make sure the engine noise is as good as it can be.
Ford’s current vehicles have the ability to adjust the engine noise levels. The Mustang hybrid will have this as well, and it could help compensate for the slightly less pure sound.
When Ford grabbed our attention earlier this year, it was clear that they had big design plans for their new vehicles.
The blue oval is forging a new path, with hybrid and electric technology at the center of their plans. Expect this to show in the design of the 2020 Mustang hybrid.
This will eventually lead to a fully electric F-150 truck, a hybrid crossover and other vehicles we’ve never seen from Ford before.
Don’t be surprised if these new vehicles, including the Mustang hybrids, are badged to reflect this.
This will be a balancing act for Ford. The Mustang is a truly iconic design that users will not want to see changed beyond recognition.
The company will look to split the difference by using small styling prompts and tweaks to make the Mustang hybrid stand out. Expect green accents and perhaps a special blue Mustang badge up front, like they showed in the teaser.
Any new design will give modifiers a chance to show off their unique style. Depending on what Ford offers, there could be a chance for painted covers to match the hybrid styling, as well as other options.
Other options for customization will include the rear spoiler, brake calipers, and interior. Many owners understand that these little projects increase their attachment to the vehicle. So Ford will not prevent customers from making these modifications.
These additional design elements will mean potentially no one car will be the same, which can only be a good thing.
The overall shape of the Mustang hybrid will remain the same though. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Unmatched Efficiency – The Fuel Economy of the 2020 Mustang Hybrid
Many potential Mustang customers over the years will have dreamt of owning the iconic muscle car, but been put off by the miserable fuel efficiency of its massive 5.0-liter petrol engine.
Ford quotes its fuel economy of its 2019 models as 22-31 mpg combined (14-23 city, 31-42 highway), which is certainly respectable. That said, it’s clear that the 2020 Mustang hybrid will boast significantly better fuel economy, regardless of it’s mated to the 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine or 5.0-liter V8.
Ford has the opportunity to deliver a powertrain that will far outperform these numbers. They will also have a close eye on rivals Chevrolet.
Hybrid technology should allow them to create a more efficient vehicle than the equivalent Chevy Camaro or Stingray models. This could deliver a much-needed market share for Ford in the long run.
2020 Mustang Hybrid – an Intriguing Value Proposition
Some will never accept a Mustang powered by electricity. To them, a Mustang should have a purely combustion-based powertrain.
Others, however, will appreciate the chance to enjoy the iconic looks and performance of Ford’s muscle car with a fuel economy that won’t break the bank. All the better for those long road trips along the coast.
This may represent a savvy move by Ford. It opens the prospect of drawing a new group of buyers to the marque, whilst also satisfying the tradition users the continued existence of the traditional engined Mustangs.
The reality is that many consumers will be forced to balance the purchase decision between the desire for the very best model and running costs. In the past, this put the Ford Mustang out of reach for many people.
In fact, a hybrid Ford Mustang with some version of the 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine may well become a gateway into the more powerful V8 Mustangs in the future.
Coming Soon: a Hybrid Shelby GT500?
A version of the 2020 Mustang hybrid based on the 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine is a dead certainty, but don’t bet against a more powerful flagship Mustang hybrid model further down the line.
A 750-bhp hybrid monster could be just what is needed to win over the remaining critics.
If we look at the efforts of some of Ford’s European rivals, manufacturers often release a high-end model at the beginning of the production cycle to show off what marque is capable of using the latest and greatest technology.
The best way to do that would be to apply hybrid technology to the top-of-the-range 5.0-liter V8 engine to create the most powerful Ford Mustang ever created.
This bold move would make the 2020 Mustang hybrid a statement of intentions from Ford. It is clear that hybrid and electric vehicles will dominate their plans going forward.
A Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 hybrid would calm users fears that this move to electrification will come at the cost of performance.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Hybrid – Challenging Perceptions
Ford has already announced the conventional Mustang Shelby GT500 model. Set for launch in fall 2019, the GT500 is set to be the most powerful road-legal production car that Ford has ever made.
It will boast a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine producing over 700bhp. Combine that with a transmission capable of sub-100 millisecond shifts, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is sure to be a showstopper. For good measure, the Shelby GT500 will have the largest front brakes of any American-made sports coupe.
All of this will mean that we’re in for a treat in fall when the first models will roll off the production line. That said, hybrid technology will give Ford the opportunity to create something even more special.
A Mustang hybrid in the Shelby range would probably produce at least 800bhp when the electric motors are combined with the combustion engine. This would make it the most powerful sports model ever produced by Ford.
The electric motors would ensure more low-end torque as well. This means that any potential Shelby Mustang hybrid would have better acceleration and handling than the upcoming V8 model.
2020 Hybrid Mustang – Back to the Future
With the jury out on the 2020 Ford Mustang hybrid, Ford will do everything in their power to make the vehicle a success.
The Mustang is one of Ford’s most iconic models. They will want to use it to show off the very best of their hybrid technology.
The stakes couldn’t be any higher. Ford has gone all out with electric and hybrid technology. With the 2020 Mustang hybrid, they are trying to set off on the right foot.
To keep up with the latest news and information about Ford and the upcoming models, be sure to follow our blog, where we cover news and detailing tips. Comment below with your thoughts on the 2020 Ford Mustang hybrid, and whether you would purchase one.