Facing pressure from consumers and regulators alike, Ford Motor Co. is putting a heavy emphasis on downsizing, alternative powertrains and advanced gasoline technology, but the company won’t abandon its traditional emphasis on performance products, such as the Mustang.
Could clean, high-mileage alternative propulsion system deliver both better fuel economy and high-performance?
“Sure,” says Jim Farley, the automaker’s marketing czar and a serious muscle car fan in his rare off-hours. The good thing about electric propulsion, he points out, is that, “You get 100% of an electric motor’s torque the moment it starts turning, and that’s pretty exciting for customers who want performance.”
As an example, Farley points to the specially-developed battery-powered Ford Focus developed for superstar Jay Leno and used regularly in a celebrity racing segment on Leno’s new nightly TV show. The bright orange 5-door started out as a conventional version of the European Focus ST hatchback. Shipped to Michigan, it was given a 141 horsepower, 235 lb-ft electric drive system powered by 98 lithium-ion batteries.