2009 Denver Auto Show: Will We See a Ford Mustang Hybrid In the Future?


2010 Ford Mustang at the 2009 Denver Auto Show

2010 Ford Mustang at the 2009 Denver Auto Show

Will we start to see hybrid sports cars in the future? This is a question that I have being contemplating for a couple of months now and from Ford I know have some insight to there feelings and plans, at least for the near term. With cars like the 2009 Tesla Roadster on the market and more cars like it in development, for example, the Mini E that I reported on last month. This makes one think about how long the standard sports car is going to be able to survive in the future.

Now, we have to take a realistic approach to this; The Tesla Roadster, as reported in the Driven review over at TheCarConnection, is capable of doing 224 miles on a single charge, however the lingering question was whether this was “real world driving.” Turns out, as some might suspect, that if you drive the Tesla like a sports car (a.k.a. agreesively), the batteries discharge much quicker than if you were going to just cruise at a steady speed. It could possibly cut the Tesla’s driving range in half. Putting this in perspective, you can do the same thing to a tank of gas in say a 2010 Camaro SS, especially if nail you foot to the floor boards. So it seems like there is a happy compromise here…a hybrid sports car.

Wednesday, April 1st, I had a chance to talk to Ford’s Assistant Manager of Western Region Communications, Octavio Navarro at the 2009 Denver Auto Show Press Day. One of the questions I asked him was whether we would start to see hybrid technology in the vehicles like the Ford Mustang. Mr. Navarro said “I don’t know if we are ever going to see it in those kind of vehicles, especially not the hybrid because a hybrid is most beneficial at low speeds…in a vehicle like that [Mustang] it doesn’t make a lot sense.”

2010 Chevrolet Camaro at the 2009 Denver Auto Show

2010 Chevrolet Camaro at the 2009 Denver Auto Show

 

Now, with that said, I  am apparently not the only one that has been thinking about hybrids and sports cars being paired together. Last Week, over at GreenCarReports.com, John Voelcker wrote a story where he suggest that GM could make the new 2010 Camaro more relevant to the new car era by using “GM's Two-Mode Hybrid system” to boost the mileage and give the Camaro a “jolt of green credibility.” So if two people in the automotive world have been thinking about this, then how many others are there?

Let me put this another way, for the average consumer, if you could get a 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 or 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS with Hybrid Technology that could possibly get as good of gas mileage in town as it could out on the highway, wouldn’t you pony up the extra couple thousand for it? When gas is back to $4 a gallon, I bet the answer will be yes. It is my opinion that if you can make a 2-mode Chevrolet Tahoe or even the recently announced EV version of the Ford Transport Connect, then why not a hybrid Mustang. If I could have a V8 GT convertible with the top down and cruise around downtown on electric power that gives 4-cylinder or even 6-cylinder economy, a Mustang would be in my garage today. 

 

Check out our other coverage of the 2009 Denver Auto Show and check out our partner site GreenCarReports.com for anything and everything “green.” 

 
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