Ford, Toyota will partner on RWD hybrid system for trucks and SUVs
23 Août 2011
Is the Prius V not big enough for you? Then you'll probably be interested to learn that Ford and Toyota announced a partnership today to develop a new hybrid system for SUVs and light trucks. The "equal partners" deal should result in a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that will be ready "later this decade".
The exact models that will use the new powertrain are, unsurprisingly, not being revealed. Instead, all we know is that Toyota and Ford will develop a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system that will improve the efficiency of trucks and SUVs while still allowing them to be driven in the way customers expect them to. The powertrain's architecture will most likely not be the same as what is used in the dominant Hybrid Synergy Drive that Toyota has refined over the past 14 years in the Prius.
The reason no one knows for sure? All that Ford and Toyota have as this moment is a Memorandum of Understanding. The next step will be a feasibility study to figure out what the exact implementation path will be, with the general outline being that the companies will work together on a powerplant that will be used independently in models that are specific to each company (i.e., this is not about sharing a platform or models, just a RWD hybrid powerplant). The two automakers will also work together on in-vehicle telematics.
Today's announcement could further confuse some people's understanding of the history of hybrid technology, since it has long been an urban legend that Ford licensed its earlier hybrid tech from Toyota. This did not happen, as we explained back in 2009.