The Next Ford Mustang Will Launch in 2022 With AWD and Hybrid Power: Report

In at least one variant, the rear axle will apparently be powered by a V8 while its front wheels run on electricity.

2020 Mustang High Performance Package
Ford

Detroit's most aggressively-styled muscle cars have always conjured up images of big, smoky burnouts and powerslides, byproducts of the genre's signature powertrain layout: a massive, unassisted V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. If a new report is to be believed, however, Ford's next Mustang may be moving away from both of these muscle car hallmarks. 

According to Autocar, Ford is preparing to introduce an all-new Mustang in 2022, bringing with it the model's first hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain. The publication points to a patent the company filed back in 2017 for a "twin-motor drive system for hybrid vehicle" detailing a V8 gas engine powering a rear axle along with two electric motors "mounted directly to opposing sides of the engine," each undoubtedly powering a front wheel. This setup opens up the potential for Acura NSX-style torque vectoring, further closing the handling gap between Ford's muscle car and its snooty import rivals. 

For the purists out there who prefer their muscle cars run exclusively on fossil fuels, however, it's unlikely the hybrid V8 will be the only powertrain choice when the seventh-gen 'Stang (codenamed S650) drops in a couple of years. Having the hybrid Mustang available alongside a regular, un-electrified V8 as well as an entry-level EcoBoost four-cylinder is a strong possibility, as far as we're concerned.

Ford

Notably, this isn't the first time we're hearing of an electrified Mustang that isn't the Mach-E. According to previous reports, a hybrid Mustang was actually supposed to arrive by this year alongside a hybrid F-150 pickup but those plans were apparently pushed back by then-new CEO Jim Hackett in favor the aforementioned Mach-E electric crossover. Ford promised a hybrid Mustang that would dole out "V8 power and even more low-end torque." On top of a partially-electric variant, Ford's future pony car is said to share a platform with the new Explorer, an SUV that just so happens to be available in a hybrid as well. 

As promising as a hybrid Mustang sounds, we should point out that the Autocar report doesn't cite any concrete sources or contain any quotes other than the assertion that it "understands" the electrified muscle car to be a thing that is coming. What's more, any and all timelines proposed these days should be taken with a huge asterisk given the global pandemic that's going on right now. You're probably sick of seeing the word "unprecedented" used to describe the situation we're all in but the description is earned; nobody really knows for sure how COVID-19 is going to play out and plans for 2022 today could very well be thrown into 2023 tomorrow.

In any case, when The Drive reached out to Ford to ask whether Autocar's claims held any merit, a company spokesperson declined to comment.

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