Narrower Ford F-150 Hybrid Prototype Photographed - Do you Want One?
Earlier this month CEO Mark Fields officially said Ford is jumping into a new frontier for truck makers with a F-150 hybrid variant in late 2020. He also noted the new hybrid will come in conjunction with a heavily refreshed version of the truck. We just got our hands on images of a new prototype testing near the Dearborn plant in Michigan, and this may be our best look yet at what this truck could look like.
We’ve previously published images capturing a hybrid system being tested on a F-150 prototype, but these new photos give us a beter look at the truck and even suggest a plug-in hybrid may also be in the cards based on the charge point seen through the camouflage, which appear to suggest an Energi version might be in play.
One noticeably different aspect of this prototype mule compared to what we’ve previously seen is its narrower track width in comparison to the current F-150. In 2014, Ford showed off a modified Fusion lightweight concept that featured narrower tires, and that may be what we’re seeing here. The photographer who captured the images said it was clear that the truck was sporting narrower axles as well, but the cost associated with that doesn't make fiscal sense (unless somehow there’s a shared cost with other future product such as the Ranger).
This particular F-150 Hybrid mule was using a four-cylinder engine, which photographers were able to identify after following the truck for 15 miles, and to have a smaller four versus a larger V6 if the engine is paired with the electric powertrain. Being able to function at low speeds on electric power only, the prototype was able to accelerate quickly in both city and highway driving.
It is believed the hybrid might feature the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine found in the Mustang and other Fords, which is capable of producing as much as 310 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque. A 10-speed automatic seems like a likely transmission pairing, but sources have hinted at a new transmission dedicated strictly to the hybrid truck.
It seems like there could be a strong market for a hybrid truck, but without one on the market it’s hard to say who this truck will appeal to most. What do you think? Would you consider buying a hybrid truck?