When the electric car is used to save thermal sports cars

The new Mustang is all thermal. If she allows herself, it’s because there’s the Mustang Mach-E next door.

Last week was rich in new cars. But we haven’t covered them all here. It may seem surprising, but in 2022, great novelties are still hitting the market without the slightest trace of electrification! This was the case with the Ferrari Purosangue and the seventh generation Mustang.

For these two models, no hybrid or electric. And not even an evocation of this kind of motorization in the near future. It could still happen on the Purosangue side, with the 296 GTB’s rechargeable hybrid assembly. Ferrari first bet and communicated on the V12, a way of showing purists that this model, which dares to venture into the SUV segment, is a “real” Ferrari.

This is more surprising for the famous pony car, of which we expected to discover the first electrified generation, with at least a simple hybrid to start with. In 2018, Ford had himself indicated that he was working on this type of version for the Mustang, evoking a launch around 2020 or 2021.

A project abandoned for the sixth generation, but also with the seventh, which could have marked the history of the model. The newcomer was presented with a 100% thermal range, which takes up the blocks of the old one, namely a four-cylinder 2.3 Ecoboost and the good big V8, which will exceed 500 hp on a Dark Horse version.

Malus XXL

The ecological transition, very little for Ford? On the contrary, the blue oval boasts of its ambitious plan for 100% electric vehicles. By 2023, it plans to sell 600,000 vehicles of its kind worldwide. In 2026, it will be two million. Does the brand then have more difficulty converting its icons? Not even, since the manufacturer already has in its offer an electric version of the F-150, its XXL pickup king of sales in the United States. And it’s a commercial success in the land of Uncle Sam, proof that Americans don’t swear by the V8.

But the Mustang has a different positioning. It is a sports coupe, with a more traditional clientele. And if it has become a global vehicle since its last generation, it continues to be sold for the most part in North America, where CO2 constraints are not very present.

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Europe remains a small outlet, so the model has not sought to adapt to a continent where the rules are already stricter. The French customer will thus have to pay a delirious bonus to afford a new copy (up to €50,000 in 2023). He can at least be satisfied to find it directly in a Ford dealership, while CAFE regulations play spoilsport on our side of the Atlantic. This imposes CO2 quotas, under penalty of a fine.

The 911 hybrid is long overdue

On this point, Jim Farley, Ford boss, underlined that the Mustang coupe (or convertible) was able to remain in 100% thermal thanks… to the presence of the Mustang Mach-E. The good start to the career of this SUV and electric version of the Mustang allows the brand to lower its overall CO2 level. The manufacturer was thus able to afford an additional generation of the pony-car without electrics. Those who cried foul against the Mach-E, with its recipe not worthy of the Mustang label, can therefore thank it. Thanks to it, the “classic” Mustang will be able to make its V8 howl for a few more years.

Ford is of course not alone in playing the CO2 tightrope walker. If Porsche has been talking about a 911 hybrid for years, it is in no hurry to release it. The success of the Taycan, and above all the good share of sales of plug-in hybrids from the Cayenne and Panamera, makes it possible to keep 100% thermal fire pumps, such as the GT3 RS presented this summer. On the Honda side, the all-new Civic Type R has not been deprived of Europe because the rest of the range is hybrid or electric.

However, we are at a tipping point. Regulations push brands to change their sportswear, without waiting for a deadline. Mercedes is preparing to unveil a C-Class 63 AMG hybrid. In 2024, the new BMW M5 will be plug-in.