In an era of spreading electric cars and more stringent fuel-economy and emissions standards, some muscle cars are losing their signature V-8 engines.
The Ford Mustang, despite the company's announcements that it will be offered as a hybrid, may not be one of them.
According to new patent filings from Ford, revealed by AutoGuide, the Mustang may get both a hybrid system and a V-8.
The filings show a rear-wheel drive powertrain—like the Mustang's—with a V-8 engine and electric drive to the front wheels. Alongside the patent drawings, the filing describes a front wheel drive system with two electric motors—one on each side of the engine's oil pan—each driving one of the front wheels.
The patent notes that the system could use any type of internal combustion engine, but the one shown is clearly a V-8.
Green Car Reports reached out to Ford for confirmation or comment on the system, which is expected to appear in a new Mustang in 2020. Ford spokesman Mike Levine responded, "We submit patents on new inventions as a normal course of business, but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans."
Ford hybrid V-8 engine patent
Ford confirmed last March that it would build a hybrid version of the Mustang, and has since teased what is believed to be an image of the car in a corporate ad in October.
Last week, at a conference following the Detroit auto show, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manly indicated that company's Dodge brand, which sells the second most popular muscle car after the Mustang, could take a different route. The next generation of the Dodge Challenger, he said, will use a downsized platform, borrowed from the company's Italian Alfa Romeo brand, and will not follow the "V-8, supercharged, 700-horsepower" formula that has brought it success in the past.
As always in the battle of the Muscle cars, may the best pony win. In the future, however, the "best" may be defined as the cleanest, as well as the most powerful.