Photo Credit: marco_ely via Flickr/CC BY-SA
Remember the Ford GT? The legendary sportscar had a brief, two-year run starting in 2005 -- while it turned a whole lot of heads and spared few expenses (its MSRP was $150K, and the first few sold for well over that), it ended up petering out, failing to fulfill the 4,500 unit production run that was initially scheduled. But now, the rumor goes, it's coming back -- as a hybrid electric. Autoblog Green has the story:
Rumors surrounding the notion of a hybrid Ford GT successor are getting thicker by the moment. Auto Express has taken to stoking those fires with a report that says that the next-generation car will boast a supercharged V8 engine along with an electric motor. Drivers will supposedly be able to command an extra boost from the batteries with a push of a button, should they so desire.This is still clearly speculation -- Ford has made no announcement confirming the GT's return as a hybrid.
Interestingly enough, Auto Express is under the impression that while the forced-induction V8 will be left to put power to the rear wheels, the front tires will be spun by the electric motor only.
Now, there's been some controversy lately about filling too many of TreeHugger's pages with car content. But let me briefly explain why this is worthy news to feature alongside stories of deforestation, green business initiatives, the climate crisis, mass transit, and so forth: As was Porsche's revealing of its Spyder hybrid concept car, it's all symbolic. The fact that a major car company wants to make one if its most-publicized flagship vehicles a hybrid is a significant step in the evolution of autos -- and transportation in general. Yes, they're doing it for additional PR. But the fact that they're unveiling a hybrid for additional PR speaks to the fact that progress has been made.
And of course, even hybrid cars are far, far from the solution. Yes, we should ideally be aspiring to a car-less world. But you know who are more sympathetic to car-less causes than sports car drivers? Hybrid sports car drivers. Cynics argue that the auto industry is just trying to squeeze as much life out of their fossil fuel-dependent product as possible, that they could go full bore to electric, or that hybrid cars -- or any cars -- are a waste of time, and we'd be better off if they were simply abolished.
Maybe they're right. But this much is true: An audience that's excited about the new Ford GT being a hybrid is one that better understands the energy and climate problems facing us today. And that's an audience that's more likely to support high speed rail, clean energy generation, biking initiatives, and the other deep green solutions we need to properly address the obstacles we face.