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First Look: 6-Speed Converted Electric Ford Mustang at SEMA

While Ford is still dipping its toes into the waters of electrification, it made a big splash last week at the 2019 SEMA auto show with the debut of the Ford Mustang Lithium.  Little more than a technological showcase of the car built by both Ford and automotive parts supplier Websato, this custom electric Mustang still managed to turn heads with its sharp looks and “stunning” acceleration.

Ford Mustang Lithium

This powerful beast is not for sale, but is intended to gauge interest in high-performance electric cars, according to Ford.  Powered by a 671 kW electric powertrain and an 800-volt power system, the Ford Mustang Lithium packs more than double the power of most electric cars on the highway today.  The Mustang Lithium’s rear-wheel-drive powertrain puts out 900 horsepower and over 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

How is the Mustang Lithium able to handle all of that driving power?  Ford and Websato installed both performance half shafts and a Super 8.8 Torsen limited-slip differential to improve traction and handling performance.  The Mustang Lithium’s Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are built especially for ultra-high performance sports vehicles.  To top it off, Ford also added its Performance Track Handling package in this snappy electric car. 

Drivers can select from four different driving modes, including Sport, Track, and Beast, as well as a Valet mode for when you need to have someone else park it. 

Six-Speed Manual Transmission

One thing that is rather unique about the Mustang Lithium is its six-speed manual transmission.  Manual transmissions just are not a thing in electric cars, because electric cars do not require more than one speed.  So why does the Mustang Lithium have one?

The manual transmission was included “because it puts control of the vehicle back in the driver’s hands,” said Josh Lupu, director of marketing for Webasto Customized Solutions. This particular transmission is a heavy-duty version that was specifically engineered to handle the Mustang Lithium’s 1,000 lb-ft of torque.  For everyday driving, the driver can just leave the car in third gear, or they can choose to switch gears.

Ford Electric SUV: Coming Soon

While the Ford Mustang Lithium will not be coming home with you anytime soon, Ford will be unveiling another electric vehicle in the very near future that is expected to hit production. Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric SUV is slated to be revealed to the public on November 17th.  Rumor states that the SUV might be called ‘Mach E’, but there has been nothing solid on that yet.  It is expected to enter the market with a range of over 300 miles and a price of about $40,000. This should make it a pretty good competitor for the Tesla Model Y.

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