Ford makes one-off electric Mustang with 900 hp and a manual transmission

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Ford's electric ambitions are pretty evident, considering that earlier this year, the company announced plans to electrify its world's best-selling F-150 pickup truck. There's also the upcoming Mustang-inspired Mach E electric crossover. However, nothing makes quite an impression as an electric Mustang with 900 hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque, unveiled at the SEMA 2019 autoshow in Las Vegas, US.

Unlike most EVs that use 400-volt battery tech, the Mustang Lithium features a Porsche Taycan-like 800-volt battery system developed with Webasto and a dual-core electric motor that drives its wheels through a Getrag six-speed manual transmission. Though it's unlikely for the manual gearbox to appear on future Fords, the company says that the battery and thermal management technologies inside the Mustang Lithium will underpin its future EVs.

Ford is said to have invested $11.5 billion as part of its EV efforts, with some of that money going towards building the Mustang Lithium prototype. The car comes with Ford's Performance track handling pack, six-piston Brembo brakes from the GT350R painted in electric blue, a customized Webasto hood and Michelin Pilot Sports 4S tires wrapped in 20-inch wheels.

The interior comes with a few special touches too. Light-blue accents are scattered throughout, while a 10.4-inch touchscreen sits vertically in front of the gear knob. The Tesla-like multimedia screen has already been teased for Ford's upcoming models but is fully revealed here to display the company's transition of using big multi-function infotainment screens to replace (most) physical knobs and switches.

The manual gearbox has been an interesting choice on Ford's part since cars propelled by electric motors provide instant torque and don't require gears for optimal power delivery. It's very likely that Ford went with a manual gearbox in the Mustang Lithium to please car enthusiasts that complain about an electric vehicle's lack of soul and driver engagement, given their eerie silence as they whiz past gasoline engined cars.

It remains to be seen if the automaker offers a manual transmission in its future electric vehicles to make them stand out from competitors. Nonetheless, the company's EV technology is most likely to appear in the upcoming Mach E crossover that's set to make its debut on November 17.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
LOL .... considering how electric motors & vehicles work I'd have to say it makes it MORE dangerious, especially to first time users that want to discover what the limits are!
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
So do the batteries make it safer or more dangerous? Poor crash standards for the Mustang normally.
I've had 5 different Mustangs, since 1985. I've only wrecked 1, and, that was because I was following too close, traffic backed up, I braked, tried to move to another lane and got hit.
Most crashes in Mustangs are because people are acting STUPID. People don't treat "sports" cars with respect, and, it gets them in trouble!
 
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IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Interesting.... assuming the clutch won't be needed for starting off the line. I can't imagine how much abuse the diff and axles among other things will take during hard "power shifts" or clutch kicks. It certainly seems unnecessary to have a manual, as the electric motor probably has enough power to cause wheel slip up to certain speeds when you put that go pedal to the floor.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
That's a good record?
Considering the number of miles I drive PER year, and, considering the city I live in, where people run stop lights, don't use their turn signals when changing lanes, and use their #$)@!)%^ phones texting while driving, yep, one wreck in 30+ years isn't bad. ;)
 
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Ravey

TS Addict
Considering the number of miles I drive PER year, and, considering the city I live in, where people run stop lights, don't use their turn signals when changing lanes, and use their #$)@!)%^ phones texting while driving, yep, one wreck in 30+ years isn't bad. ;)
That sounds just like my city lol
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
:facepalm: One of the fastest if not the fastest Mustang ever and people need it to make noise as well as have a shift?

Then again, I am not a horsepower enthusiast.
 

Mugsy

TS Evangelist
I'm trying to figure out how a manual transmission would even be implemented in an electric vehicle... especially without engine noise to aid in knowing when to shift.

Could adding a gearbox improve the range of an EV the way manual transmission ICE's can eek out and extra 1-2 MPGs?
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
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IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
I'm trying to figure out how a manual transmission would even be implemented in an electric vehicle... especially without engine noise to aid in knowing when to shift.

Could adding a gearbox improve the range of an EV the way manual transmission ICE's can eek out and extra 1-2 MPGs?
You'd have to rely heavily on a tachometer I guess... I suppose you would get used to it like anything else. As for improving improving the range, I wouldn't think so as I believe the electric motor puts out the same power regardless of RPM, or at least if it is different over the rev range it is a very small difference.

Really there is no point to using a manual on an electric motor as far as I can see, other then keeping that fun factor - though I'm not sure how much fun it would really be.
 

Aus spot

TS Enthusiast
Most crashes in Mustangs are because people are acting STUPID. People don't treat "sports" cars with respect, and, it gets them in trouble!
My message was about the safety when in a crash, not the people that get into a crash.
 

lipe123

TS Evangelist
I'm trying to figure out how a manual transmission would even be implemented in an electric vehicle... especially without engine noise to aid in knowing when to shift.

Could adding a gearbox improve the range of an EV the way manual transmission ICE's can eek out and extra 1-2 MPGs?
Electric motors and the power regulators still make plenty noise when spinning. Also there is no over-rev danger, they are designed to go up to a certain speed and stay there.

It would reduce the rage, typically you'd drive the motors with pwm or something similar, so you go slower by using less power.
With a transmission you could still throw full power at the motor while going slow.

It would make more sense to just do a 2 or 3 speed transmission if they really wanted to do this. With a 5 speed the first gear would last all of 0.5 seconds before it serves no purpose.