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Ford reveals electric Mustang with manual transmission

Ford’s Mustang Lithium EV shows us that electric propulsion might kill the V8, but the manual transmission has a future.

FORD HAS UNVEILED a one-off Mustang electric car at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas this week which eschews the popular V8 – and what ‘makes’ the Mustang for many – for an electric drivetrain.

However disappointing the idea of an electric ‘Stang might sound (literally), the Mustang Lithium EV tears shreds off a regular V8 model, producing a huge 670kW of power and 1355Nm of torque. And all of that goes through a traditional six-speed manual transmission, which is very unusual for an electric vehicle.

The EV system is provided by Webasto, which has used its ‘Phi-Power’ dual-core electric motor and dual power inverters in place of a combustion engine. Like the Porsche Taycan, the system is based on 800-volt architecture which means repeatability of high-performance runs and rapid charging (faster than a Tesla) is possible. It’s also lighter and generates less heat than most systems, and Websto’s EVDrive technology can discharge up to one megawatt of power.

READ MORE: Porsche Taycan EV review

What’s really interesting is that Ford has mated a six-speed transmission between the rear Super 8.8 Torsen differential with Ford Performance half shafts and the electric motor. The Getrag MT82 has been strengthened with billet internals but otherwise operates as a normal clutch and stick ‘box, despite most electric cars using just one (or two, in the Taycan) gear.

Other changes include the Ford Performance Track Handling Package with lowered suspension, strut tower brace and Valet, Sport, Track and Beast drive modes, 20-inch staggered lightweight Forgeline wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, and the Shelby GT350’s six-piston Brembo brakes. 

While the Mustang Lithium is a one-off build for the popular SEMA trade show, Ford is unveiling its production Mustang-inspired Mach E electric SUV next year.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae