The V8 drives the rear wheels through a traditional transmission, while each of the electric motors is attached to a front wheel through a reduction gear and half-shaft, creating a hybrid all-wheel-drive system. It’s described as offering more efficient packaging than other hybrid layouts.
The system itself isn't wildly revolutionary -- it starts with a longitudinally mounted internal combustion engine powering a vehicle's rear wheels, with a pair of electric motors and reduction gearboxes mounted on the front, effectively granting the vehicle electrified all-wheel drive.
Of course, a V8 isn't mandatory -- it will apparently work with any longitudinally mounted internal combustion engine -- but the fact that the patent application sketches involve a V8 means we might be looking at the hybrid system for the upcoming Mustang hybrid, and perhaps the F-150 hybrid, too.
AutoGuide notes that Ford once promised "V8 power and even more low-end torque" in the Mustang Hybrid, but it's possible that first part of the quote might refer to a literal V8 and not just a pony-for-pony recreation of a V8's output with a smaller motor coupled to the hybrid system. This could be backed up by Ford's own ad, which may have shown a V8 engine as it teased the Mustang hybrid for the first time, but all Ford has said thus far is to stay tuned for future updates.
V8s aren't just important to muscle car aficionados, either. Ford also has a hybrid F-150 on the horizon, and like the Mustang, the pickup also sports a longitudinally mounted gas engine. Thus, this system could potentially end up in both hybrids, which are believed to debut in 2020. The timing seems right, but we won't know for sure until Ford decides to spill some of the beans.
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