Skip to main content

The Ford Mustang could ditch its V8 and eventually go fully electric

If you’re not convinced the automotive world is about to undergo a dramatic transformation, take a look at the sports car segment — the most hallowed space in the industry — for evidence. Mazda is considering making the next MX-5 Miata either a hybrid or an electric car, Chevrolet is allegedly preparing two hybrid variants of the new, eighth-generation Corvette, and Ford won’t rule out an electric Mustang. We’re not talking about the recently unveiled Mach-E, either.

The idea of electrifying the Mustang is controversial, but it’s not new. The Blue Oval traveled to the 2019 SEMA show with a Mustang-based, 900-horsepower electric car named Lithium (pictured above) in tow. It even had a six-speed manual transmission, which is extremely unusual for a battery-powered model. Don’t get your hopes up: It’s just a concept for the time being. It was built to gauge the public’s interest in an electric Mustang, and to show skeptics what’s possible.

While the Lithium hasn’t been approved for production, one of Ford’s high-ranking engineers said we’ll see something like it in showrooms sooner or later. It’s inevitable; the industry has already started pivoting away from piston-powered engines.

“I think if you look out in the future — who knows what time frame that is — the market is eventually going to roll over to EVs,” explained Ron Heiser, the Mustang Mach-E’s chief engineer, in an interview with Australian website Motoring.

Don’t send Ford a deposit yet (or, alternatively, don’t picket outside its headquarters down yet). Heiser didn’t announce that an electric Mustang is on the way; he merely stated that we’ll reach a point where selling a car that’s not electric will be impossible, likely because it will be illegal in most countries. When we’ll get there depends on who you ask; BMW opined that electric cars are overhyped, Honda said they won’t become mainstream in the near future, and Toyota pointed out there’s no demand for battery-powered vehicles in the United States, so designing hybrids makes more sense.

Speaking of, that’s the route Ford is taking as it looks for ways to electrify the Mustang. In 2018, the company announced plans to release a Mustang powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain in 2020. It didn’t reveal whether it would add a mild hybrid system, regular hybrid technology, or a plug-in hybrid setup to its emblematic pony car, but insiders suggested the model would land with a naturally aspirated V8 engine. Now, 2020 is around the corner, so we likely won’t have to wait long to learn more about it. If it’s the EV you’re after, however, the good news is you’ve got time to save up for it.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
The Volkswagen Bus is back, and this time it’s electric
Front three quarter view of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz electric van

The original Volkswagen Microbus is an automotive icon, which might explain why VW has taken so long to launch a follow-up.

After showing multiple Microbus-inspired concept cars, VW unveiled an all-electric Microbus concept at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the promptly confirmed plans for a production version. While the world oohed and aahed at that concept (and we drove it), VW took its sweet time on the production model. The Volkswagen ID. Buzz finally made its debut online today, and still won’t go on sale in the United States until 2024.

Read more
VW will finally unveil its electric ID.Buzz production model in March
An autonomous Volkswagen ID.Buzz prototype.

Volkswagen is finally ready to take the wraps off one of its most anticipated EVs. The Volkswagen ID.Buzz electric van will make its public debut March 9, VW CEO Herbert Diess tweeted Thursday, ending five years of buildup.

The original ID.Buzz concept was unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and drew positive attention for retro styling referencing the classic Volkswagen Type 2, also known the Microbus. VW confirmed plans for a production version shortly after the concept's unveiling, and gave a peek at a cargo version in 2018. Argo AI is also using ID.Buzz prototypes for autonomous-driving development work, in anticipation of an autonomous mobility service launch in Hamburg, Germany, that's tentatively scheduled for 2025.

Read more
Sony could enter EV market with its Vision-S vehicles
sony could enter ev market with its vision s vehicles evs

It was precisely 12 months ago at CES that Sony unveiled its Vision-S 01 concept electric vehicle (EV) design. That’s right, Sony, the company more famous for TVs, cameras, and consoles than cutting-edge cars.

Our excitement at the sedan’s dazzling design was tempered by the realization that the Japanese company would probably never actually manufacture the automobile.

Read more