Maybe they'll call it the Trimotor.
Ford was granted a patent this week for a new kind of powertrain that could be a sneak peek at what will be under the hood of the Mustang Hybrid coming next year.
The patent, first spotted by Autoguide, depicts a V8 engine with two electric motors mounted to the sides of it.
The V8 drives the rear wheels through a traditional transmission, while each of the electric motors is attached to a front wheel through a reduction gear and half-shaft, creating a hybrid all-wheel-drive system. It’s described as offering more efficient packaging than other hybrid layouts.
This is different than the setup in the upcoming Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator hybrids, which only have a single electric motor integrated between the engine and 10-speed transmission, which the patent also allows for.
Ford won’t say if the powertrain depicted in the patent is destined for a production car, but last year included a rendering of hybrid Mustang in a TV commercial that quickly showed an outline drawing of the engine. Are they the same? Why don’t you let us know what you think on Facebook?
An all-wheel-drive Mustang would be a first, and would give Ford a competitor to the popular Dodge Challenger GT, which has sold well in the snow belt states.
Another possibility is that this is the powertrain for the F-150 hybrid that is also on the way in 2020, with an all-electric close behind.
In the meantime, Ford dealers will be directing customers to the much more traditional 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 and its 700-plus horsepower supercharged V8 that hits dealers later this year.