November 12, 2019 Volume 15 Issue 43

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900-hp electric Ford Mustang concept show car has manual gear shift

Ford was full of surprises at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas last week. For one, the company rolled out an all-electric one-off show car dubbed the Mustang Lithium. Besides some incredible power, the surprise pony car also features a six-speed manual transmission -- a real renegade move when it comes to EV design, and something new and novel.

Built in a collaboration between Ford and Webasto, the ultra high-performance battery electric Mustang fastback prototype boasts more than 1,000 ft-lb of torque and has more than 900 hp instantaneously available.

Ford says this Mustang "amps muscle car performance to a new level and helps gauge the level of interest the next wave of performance customers have in the lightning-quick performance that only fully electric powertrains can deliver."

Well, they got plenty of people's attention.

The car is low and sleek, with custom carbon fiber body components, a 1-in. lowered stance, and 20-in. forged wheels. In general, it looks like the standard new Mustang. Under the hood, the differences are "electrifying" and include a Phi-Power dual-core electric motor and dual power inverters -- all powered by an 800-V Webasto battery system with EVDrive Technology that can discharge a mega-watt of electrical energy.

Rather than build a prototype on a new "skateboard-type" platform specifically for EVs, it looks like the Ford team took a shortcut to modify an existing design of the world's best-selling sports car to achieve electrification. Whatever works!

The vehicle was also created to become a testbed for battery and thermal management technologies that Webasto and Ford are creating for the growing e-mobility automotive segment.

"Ford has made no secret of the fact that we are electrifying our most popular nameplates," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's chief product development and purchasing officer. "This one-off Mustang prototype is a great opportunity for us, together with Webasto, to showcase to our customers what new electrified powertrains can do for performance in a car they already know and love."

The car's 800-V system is twice the voltage that most electric cars have. This design allows the system to be lighter, more powerful, and generate less heat and more electric force than most battery-electric systems on the road today.

Mustang Lithium features a manual transmission and uses a drag-strip-proven Calimer-version of the Getrag MT82 six-speed transmission with billet internals to handle the 1,000 ft-lb of torque. Ford Performance half shafts and Super 8.8 Torsen differential help supply power to the road via lightweight Forgeline wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

The company did not release 0-to-60, quarter-mile, or top speeds -- nor did it define the car's range. That is disappointing.

Additional features include Ford Performance's Track Handling Pack and strut tower brace, Brembo six-piston front brakes from the Shelby GT350R, and Sankuer Composite Technologies side splitters and rear diffuser. There's also the Webasto hood with see-through polycarbonate windows, TurboDX charging solution, and TurboCord portable charger.

The electric Mustang also boasts a unique set of drive modes that apply a controlled amount of torque for different driving scenarios, including Valet, Sport, Track, and Beast. The modes are available on demand via a custom in-dash 10.4-in. touchscreen display.

Like many of the one-off fantastic creations at the SEMA show, the Mustang Lithium is not for sale.

However, Ford says it is investing more than $11.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2022, including an all-new fully electric SUV in 2020 (stay tuned!) with targeted range of 300 miles and an all-electric F-150 in a few years. A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup (available in 2020!) will join the all-new Ford Escape and Explorer hybrids launched this year.

VIDEO: MOTOR1 gives a video first look at the electric Mustang Lithium. Thanks, Motor1!

Source: Ford Motor Co.

Published November 2019

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