We've known for two years that Ford has a Mustang hybrid planned, but a new patent gives us a glimpse at what could be the electrified pony's powertrain.
The best news: eight cylinders are pictured, which indicates any Ford Mustang hybrid will keep a V-8 engine and only add electric motors for more power and torque. AutoGuide first discovered the patent image and reported the information on Friday, but Ford filed the patent in July 2017. It was only published to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site this week.
Ford hybrid V-8 engine patent
The patent describes a "twin-motor drive system" for a hybrid vehicle. It does not explicitly claim this is for a Mustang hybrid, but the patent image does show a V-8 engine. It's possible such a setup could also serve the confirmed F-150 hybrid.
The patent includes any longitudinally mounted engine paired with two electric motors—one for each of the front wheels. The patent says that one case would consist of an electric motor mounted on one side of the engine and coupled to a first gear reduction box to power one front wheel and an identical system for the other side of the engine and the second front wheel.
The internal-combustion engine would, meanwhile, provide power to the rear wheels. This patented system would create the first all-wheel-drive Ford Mustang in history.
The patent also follows what appeared to be a teaser for the Mustang hybrid last October. An ad that ushered in the new "Built Ford Proud" marketing campaign showed a futuristic-looking car with Mustang design elements and a glowing Mustang pony badge on the front. The engine depicted was also, clearly, a V-8. A Ford spokesperson at the time told Motor Authority the ad was a "glimpse of the future" and we'd learn more "at the right time."
2018 Ford Mustang GT (Matt Dayka/For Motor Authority)
MA reached out to Ford for a comment on the newly unearthed patent and a spokesman Mike Levine said, "We submit patents on new inventions as a normal course of business but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans."
The automaker also previously said the Mustang hybrid would provide V-8 power and even more low-end torque. The statement left the hybrid powertrain open to interpretation with the possibility of a smaller engine and electrification to mimic V-8 power. It's become clear in the past year the Mustang will still hang onto its V-8 engine.
Ford could resurrect the "Mach 1" name for the Mustang hybrid. The company floated the name for a Mustang-inspired electric SUV, then seemed to move away from that plan. Ford included an original Mustang Mach 1 in the October ad with the hybrid teaser. It may be coincidence, but Ford seems keen to involve the storied name with the future.
The Mustang hybrid is due in 2020, and we expect to learn more about the car this year. Stay tuned.