Ford is rapidly scaling up its operations in the EV department, and wants the world to see how far it has come. To that end, the carmaker has built an interesting concept that marries advanced technology to existing drivetrains.
Ford and Webasto together revealed the “Mustang Lithium” on Tuesday at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) in Las Vegas. The electric pony car with a six-speed manual transmission is a one-off, which naturally means there won’t be a roadgoing version anytime soon, if at all.
The Ford Mustang Lithium is a concept for now, but still shows future possibilities regarding electric cars and their driving appeal.
Ford is actively pushing electrified vehicles in its global portfolio. Development of these is in full swing at the carmaker's research facility, and the Mustang Lithium is a way of showing to the world that Ford is also concerned about the enthusiast end of the car buyer spectrum.
More than just a prototype
Ford says that the Mustang Lithium is not just a show car. It is also a testbed for battery and thermal management technologies Webasto and Ford are developing for the growing electric automotive segment. Powered by a Phi-Power dual-core electric motor, the electrified Mustang produces 900hp and a monstrous 1,356Nm of twist. The motor and dual power inverters are fed by an 800-volt Webasto battery system. Incidentally, Porsche Taycan is the only other EV to feature an 800-volt system.
With stupendous power figures such as mentioned before, the Mustang Lithium can be classified as a proper muscle car. It sports custom carbon fibre body components and 20-inch staggered fitting forged wheels. Ford has lowered the show car by an inch compared to a stock Mustang.
Almost all electric vehicles have single-speed transmissions. The Porsche Taycan is an exception with a two-speed setup. According to EV makers, it makes no sense to install a manual gearbox with an electric motor. However, EVs have drawn flak from automotive enthusiasts for not being engaging enough to drive, ever since they hit the roads.
Webasto provided the Mustang Lithium's electric motor generating 900hp and 1,356Nm.
Ford has thought of this and equipped the Mustang Lithium with a six-speed transmission. The car also features four driving modes with a different torque output for each. The modes are named Valet, Sport, Track, and Beast. The car also has a dashboard-mounted 10.4-inch touchscreen display.
The American carmaker is betting big on electric vehicles, and had announced an investment of $11 billion to introduce 16 EVs in its global portfolio. It is also aiming to take that number to 40 through 2022. The first vehicles to go electric will be the Mustang-based crossover and the popular F-150 pickup.
“Ford has made no secret of the fact that we are electrifying our most popular nameplates,” Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer at Ford, said in a statement. “This one-off Mustang prototype is a great opportunity for us, together with Webasto, to showcase to our customers what a new electrified powertrain can do for performance in a car they already know and love.”