Ford

Ford has built a 900hp, electric Mustang with a manual shifter - but you can’t buy it

One-off Mustang Lithium offers a glimpse at what the company has planned for its electric future.

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Ford has built an all-electric Mustang with a 800v system, 900 horsepower, 1,000 ft-lbs of torque and a unique six-speed manual gearbox. But it's not for sale.

Called the Mustang Lithium, the one-off prototype is a proof of concept and a demonstration of the efforts Ford is putting into its electric future - a future it will have pumped $11.5 billion into by 2022.

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Revealed this week, the Mustang Lithium is the result of a collaboration between Ford and Webasto, a battery manufacturer. The car uses an 800-volt power system, just like the Porsche Taycan, which is capable of delivering higher performance for longer and with less heat and power fade-off than a 400-volt Tesla.

The car arrives a couple of weeks before Ford is due to reveal its first all-new electric car, which it describes as a Mustang-inspired SUV with a range of over 300 miles.

Ford says the one-off Mustang, which has no range estimate, produces over 900 horsepower and more than 1,000 ft-lbs of torque. With such high outputs, the car will act as a testbed for battery and thermal management technologies, Ford says. Its presence will also help the company "gauge the level of interest" high-performance electric cars will have from customers.

Ford Mustang Lithium interior The Mustang Lithium has a unique six-speed manual gearboxFord

With huge power outputs quickly becoming par for the electric car course, what's most interesting about the Mustang Lithium is its six-speed manual gearbox, which is unique to any electric car.

Almost all other electric cars have a single gear which is rotated in different directions to go forwards or backwards; the Porsche Taycan has an automatic two-speed gearbox, with the lower gear used for hard acceleration from low speed.

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Therefore, the Mustang's stick-shift, six-speed manual is hugely interesting - but, for now at least, the company hasn't given any more details about how it works in conjunction with the electric motor, other than to say the gearbox is "drag-strip proven".

What we do know, is that the dashboard has been modified to house a 10.4-inch touch screen display, as shown above. Here, the driver can pick from four different power outputs, called Valet, Sport, Track and Beast.

Ford Mustang Lithium The car is part of an $11.5bn investment in electrificationFord

Speaking in regard to future production-ready electric Mustangs, Ford's chief product development and purchasing officer Hau Thai-Tang said: "Ford has made no secret of the fact that we are electrifying our most popular name plates. This one-off Mustang prototype is a great opportunity for us, together with Webasto, to showcase to our customers what new electrified powertrains can do for performance in a car they already know and love."

Although not first out the gate when it comes to electric cars (aside from a low-selling electric version of the Focus hatchback), Ford will be looking to catch up over the next year or two. As well as the Mustang-inspired SUV to be launched on November 17, the company is also working on an all-electric F-150 pickup truck, as well as hybrid versions of the Explorer, Escape and current-generation F-150.

Ford also recently invested $500m into Rivian, an electric truck and SUV startup with which it plans to build next-generation electric vehicles.


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