Ford and Toyota share the drawing board
The Ford, Toyota collaboration could give GM a run for its money, should the Silverado 1500 Hybrid pickup continue on to future model years. First thing, however, they just have to figure out how to do it.
Kevin Layden, an top engineer with Ford, seeking Ward’s Auto approval in the press, said:
“The nut we’re trying to crack is, how do we do an F-150 hybrid? We’re working with [Toyota] and developing plans.”
A shared rear-drive power train
Actually, the collaboration is to develop a rear-drive hybrid power train useful for trucks and SUVs. One that both automakers will be able to take advantage of for future models. It needs to be tough enough to handle towing and hauling chores, and still deliver the kind of fuel economy expected from a hybrid vehicle. Then there will be the matter of dealing with the decreased aerodynamics of a full-sized pickup.
Towing and hauling heavy loads puts heavy stresses on batteries and electric motors.
Next generation hybrid models
The final rear-drive hybrid power train will be used by Ford to make new hybrid versions of the F-150 truck and the Lincoln Navigator and Expedition SUVs. Toyota will use the power train for its future generation of the Sequoia SUV. Autoevolution says a hybrid Lexus GX is also a probability.
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Layden says that the combination of Ford know-how and Toyota magic is a winning one, and the collaboration should cut development costs for both of the companies. Soon, engineers from both automakers will be sharing digs at the Ford Advanced Electrification Center as the development process heats up.
Layden told Ward’s Auto that the papers sealing the collaboration were signed last year.
Competes with GM’s larger hybrids
General Motors already has a hybrid power train for larger vehicles. It is used in the hybrid versions of the Chevy Silverado 1500 truck, the Sierra 1500 truck, the Chevy Tahoe SUV, the GMC Yukon SUV and the GMC Denali SUV.