Are These Ford Mustang Hybrid Test Mules In The Colorado Rockies?

Ford did file an application for a V8 hybrid powertrain...


The seventh-generation Ford Mustang should emerge in the next couple years.

From first glance, these look like common variety Mustangs. However, we know major changes are in store for the lineup, including the introduction of a hybrid model. Thanks to our friend Brian Waring, who snapped these shots in the Colorado Rockies, we have some fat to chew on with the upcoming model. The big question is this: Are these powertrain mules for the new Mustang Hybrid?

The sixth-generation Ford Mustang has been around for a few years now. Ford made some mid-life changes for the 2018 model year, but the current model is slowly creeping toward the end of its lifestyle. Looking skin deep, it’s tough to argue that these cars allude to the next-generation. Motor1.com, for example, posted shots of a camouflaged Mustang with a slightly different rear fascia. We’re not dealing with that here, by the looks of these two cars.

It is interesting to note the grille on both cars, however. It’s not the normal Mustang’s grille. Instead, it’s similar to the grille on the 2019 Mustang California Special. Apart from that, the front ends are identical to the standard Mustang.

How about those pipes?

What has me curious, however, are the emissions testing pipes. These special pipes for EPA testing lead off the standard exhaust pipes from four exit points. That signifies it’s a V8 Mustang GT, as opposed to the EcoBoost version which has dual exhaust ports.

Now, Ford could just be conducting EPA testing for the 2020 Mustang GT. However, Ford did patent a “twin motor drive system” for a hybrid electric vehicle, which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published in January. In that patent application, Ford showed the hybrid system in conjunction with a V8 powertrain. Interestingly, the patent application showed two electric motors driving the front wheels while the engine drives the rear wheels. If this technology makes it to production, we may yet see an all-wheel drive Mustang Hybrid.

Just because Ford files a patent application, it doesn’t necessarily mean the technology will end up in future vehicles. However, it is curious to see these Mustangs testing now, shortly after the USPTO published Ford’s patent application. Ford originally filed for the patent on July 21, 2017.

What do you think, TFLcar community? Could these be Ford Mustang Hybrid test mules, or is this just business as usual with standard GTs? Let us know what you think! If you have spy shots, send us an e-mail to info@tflcar.com.

Ford Mustang Hybrid patent application [Source: US Patent and Trademark Office]