Ford’s Mustang has proven to be an immense success since its release a few years ago. Sold with a choice of 2.3L EcoBoost four or the markedly more popular 5.0L V8, Ford Australia has seen the Mustang roll into a dealership and roll out seemingly within seconds, such has been its popularity.
But companies have to move with the times, and Ford has chosen to try and see into the future by electrifying a Mustang. And what’s more, they’ve stayed with history by building this car with a manual.
The Ford Mustang Lithium is an “ultra-high-performance battery electric Mustang fastback prototype” says Ford, and packs a high voltage punch. In equivalent terms, power and torque are rated at 670kW and a truly staggering 1355Nm of twist. Remembering that electric motors produce maximum torque at zero revs, this amount of torque is on tap as soon as the go-button is pressed.
In Ford’s own words: “ The Mustang Lithium amps muscle car performance to a new level and helps gauge the level of interest the next wave of performance customers have in lightning-quick performance that only fully electric powertrains can deliver”. Ford also state that it’s “a testbed for battery and thermal management technologies in ultra-high-performance electric vehicles.”
In short, Ford has built a car that is aimed at the enthusiast and the performance driver that keeps an eye on the future.
Gone is the well respected petrol V8, and Ford slots in an 800V Webasto battery system. There is EVDrive technology to harness that voltage, said to be twice as much as any other electric vehicle currently available. Ford says this combination generates less heat, and is lighter and more powerful as well in comparison. In discharge power, it’s said to be able to crank out a megawatt of energy.
Some body work has been performed too: carbon-fibre panels are fitted for weight reduction, and the Lithium has been dropped by an inch. Wheels are 20 inches in diameter and are wider at the rear for a better attempt at getting traction down. Rubber is from Michelin and Ford’s selected their Pilot Sport 4S.
The crucial part of this monster-in-development is the six speed manual. It’s a reworked Getrag MT82 that sees service at drag strips under the name of Calimer. There are four drive modes too: Valet, Track, Sport, and evocatively named Beast. Ford Performance half shafts take the power and hook up to a heavy duty Ford Super Torsen 8.8 diff.
Handling is courtesy of the optionable for the V8 Track Handling Pack, plus a strut tower brace for better front-end stability. Brakes are courtesy of the Shelby GT350 and are six piston in configuration.
Ford’s move to hybrid and fully electric cars is well under way, with the American market due to see 16 cars of varying hybrid and electric power over the next five years. This includes the Mustang based Mach-E SUV.