While cruising at 35 mph, the spy photographer claims to have heard the engine shut down, replaced by the electrical buzzing of a hybrid drive. What’s more interesting is that the camouflage on the front passenger-side quarter panel seems to be hiding a charging port, suggesting that this is actually a plug-in hybrid.
Ford had joined forces with Toyota to co-develop a hybrid pickup truck powertrain starting in 2011, though that relationship ended in 2013, with Toyota accusing Ford of milking the exchange to get as much info as they could from the Japanese automaker before severing ties. Ford vowed to continue developing a hybrid pickup independently after the split, and also said that its SUVs may also benefit from the powertrain.
A Ford F-150 diesel model is also said to be coming, rumored to arrive in 2017.
Ford execs have always pointed at 2020 as the release date for a hybrid half-ton, but with a prototype on the streets now, it seems like this truck may arrive earlier than promised. The hybrid system is expected to be mated to one of Ford’s EcoBoost engines, paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
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