Not even the new GT500 has a manual transmission.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover is waiting in the wings for a grand debut on 17 November, but if you’re really curious about Mustang’s future, the Blue Oval offers a glimpse right now at the 2019 SEMA Show. This isn’t Mustang-inspired – it’s a full-on pony called the Mustang Lithium prototype and as the name suggests, it’s a battery-electric vehicle. Before you start throwing up your hands in disgust about an EV Mustang, there are two very important facts you need to know. It has over 900 bhp under the bonnet. And you can manage that power with an honest-to-goodness six-speed manual transmission.

The Blue Oval team partnered up with Webasto to create this one-off prototype, and regardless of how you feel about electric cars, there’s no denying the performance capabilities of this machine. Nestled where you’d normally find a thumping V8 is a Phi-Power dual-core electric motor with dual power inverters. An 800-volt Webasto battery system provides the electricity, and it has the capability to discharge a megawatt of power. For those not familiar with EV performance, that’s essentially double the capability of most electric cars you can buy today, and the single-motor system is lighter while generating less heat. That all translates to more usable power, and from what we see thus far, there’s considerable potential for epic performance in this package.

Gallery: Ford Mustang Lithium EV Concept

Live images: Gabriel Vega / Motor1.com

Perhaps the bigger news for enthusiasts is that Ford pairs the power to an old-school six-speed manual transmission. The gearbox is a tweaked version of the Getrag MT82, beefed up to withstand 1,000 pound-feet of instant torque. A Super 8.8 Torsen differential with Ford Performance half shafts ultimately connects the power to the rear wheels, where we suspect tyres don’t last long. A lowered suspension with the Ford Performance Track Handling Package, strut tower brace, and six-piston Brembos borrowed from the Shelby GT350 help the electric Pony handle curves, and of course it wears a body kit for added visual punch.

Mustang fans might be interested at this point, but EV followers are likely rolling their eyes at the notion of a manual transmission. The whole point of a gearbox is to keep the engine in its sweet spot for peak power, but an electric motor is always in its sweet spot. If anything, the manual transmission will hamper power delivery and make the Mustang Lithium slower than it could be, but that’s so not the point here.

The biggest cry from enthusiasts over the advent of electric vehicles is the lack of soul and involvement behind the wheel. This prototype might be slower because of its manual, but it could be infinitely more engaging to drive. With Ford planning to move heavily into the electric realm in the coming years, a machine such as this could serve as a bridge to woo enthusiasts into a new Mustang generation. With 900 bhp and cogs to swap, it certainly has our attention.

Source: Ford
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Webasto and Ford Team Up for Mustang ‘Lithium’: Battery Electric
Muscle Car Lights-Up SEMA, Signals Future of Performance


 Built in collaboration between Ford and Webasto, Mustang Lithium project vehicle generates
more than 1000 ft.-lbs. of instant torque and more than 900 horsepower for new levels of
performance and technology with its 800-volt Webasto battery system with EVDrive
technology

 Best of both worlds, Mustang Lithium accelerates the next generation of performance:
unique 6-speed manual shifting, track handling and stunning quarter-mile acceleration with
instant electric torque, and zero emissions

 Ford is investing more than $11.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2022, including an all-new
Mustang-inspired fully electric SUV in 2020 with targeted range of 300 miles and an allelectric F-150 in a few years, a hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available in
2020 will join all-new Ford Escape and Explorer hybrids launched this year


LAS VEGAS, Nev., Nov. 05, 2019 – Ford and Webasto today reveal Mustang Lithium, an ultrahigh-performance battery electric Mustang fastback prototype. With more than 1,000 ft.-lbs. of
torque and more than 900 horsepower instantaneously available, this Mustang amps muscle car
performance to a new level and helps gauge the level of interest the next wave of performance
customers have in lightning-quick performance that only fully electric powertrains can deliver.


The Mustang Lithium build is not only a one-off prototype to showcase electrification on the
world’s best-selling sports car but also a testbed for battery and thermal management
technologies Webasto and Ford are creating for the growing e-mobility automotive segment.


“Ford has made no secret of the fact that we are electrifying our most popular nameplates,” said
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s Chief Product Development and Purchasing Officer. “This one-off
Mustang prototype is a great opportunity for us, together with Webasto, to showcase to our
customers what a new electrified powertrains can do for performance in a car they already know
and love.”


An electrified street-ready beast, Mustang Lithium is low and sleek, with custom carbon fiber
body components, a 1.0-inch lowered stance and 20-inch staggered fitting forged wheels. Under
the hood, the differences are electrifying: a Phi-Power dual-core electric motor and dual power
inverters – all powered by an 800-volt Webasto battery system with EVDrive Technology that
can discharge a mega-watt of electrical energy.


At 800 volts, that’s twice the voltage of most electric cars on the road today. This allows the
system to be lighter, more powerful and generate less heat, and more electric force than most
battery-electric systems on the road today.

In a unique twist, Mustang Lithium features a manual transmission and uses a drag-strip proven
Calimer-version of the Getrag MT82 6-speed transmission with billet internals to handle the
1,000 ft.-lbs. of torque. Ford Performance half shafts and Super 8.8 Torsen® differential help
supply power to the road via lightweight Forgeline wheels wearing Michelin® Pilot® Sport 4S
tires.


Additional features include Ford Performance’s Track Handling Pack and strut tower brace,
Brembo six-piston front brakes from the Shelby GT350R, Sankuer Composite Technologies
side splitters and rear diffuser, plus Webasto hood with see-through polycarbonate windows,
TurboDX charging solution and TurboCord portable charger.


Mustang Lithium features a unique set of drive modes that apply a controlled amount of torque
for different driving scenarios including: Valet, Sport, Track and Beast, and are instantly
available on demand via a custom in-dash 10.4-inch touchscreen display.


“Very similar to Ford’s push for vehicle electrification, this is an innovative way to further the
technologies we’re developing to enable vehicle electrification while creating a vision of how
cool the future of electric performance will be,” said Mark Denny, Webasto Customized
Solutions North America President and CEO.


Electric drive is essential to the future of Ford


For more than 20 years, Ford has brought electric and hybrid-electric vehicles to the masses
and has produced more than 800,000 around the globe.


Ford is investing more than $11.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2022, including an all-new
Mustang-inspired fully electric SUV in 2020 with range of 300 miles and an all-electric F-150 in a
few years.


As Ford actively refreshes its lineup, the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer and Escape hybrid SUVs
feature the company’s fourth-generation lithium-ion battery technology, similar to the energy
storage system used on the Mustang Lithium. An F-150 Hybrid also arrives next year. More
than the instantaneous torque of these electric drive powertrains provide, greater levels of
torque management and driver control can be enabled, plus zero emissions.