Ford has created a fully electric Mustang with a manual six-speed gearbox, a real Frankenstein monster of a car that I (and I assume many others) want to drive. The sad thing is that it is only a one-off, built for this week's annual SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) trade show.
After-synchronized "Mustang Lithium" and coated with light gray paint with electric blue details, the car can get enough energy from the 800-volt battery to produce more than 900 hp. Unfortunately, Ford has not shared too many other specifications, such as the range or size of the battery, as this is just a prototype. However, it does have a vertically oriented 10.4-inch touchscreen in the dashboard, a hint of what may come in future Ford vehicles.
Manual transmissions are not suitable for everyone, but many people still prefer them. Electric vehicles tend to be single gear, meaning there is no need for manual or automatic shifting. (The new Porsche Taycan is a notable exception, with its two-speed configuration.) But that doesn't mean you can not design a car that combines the direct torque of electric vehicles with the pleasure of rolling through a gearbox.
SEMA is a place where many futuristic prototypes and concepts are born, such as last year's electric Chevy Camaro or the 2015 Toyota limousine for trucks. It is not necessarily a great place to read tea leaves if you are trying to read the road map of a car manufacturer but it always provides nice clues for the imagination. With two weeks to go until Ford unveils its first mass market EV, a codenamed Mach E Mustang-inspired SUV, it's easy to let your mind wander in a few years from now, when a fully electric Mustang with a manual transmission becomes a quirky, limited addition to the billions of dollars of push from the Detroit automaker in electric vehicles – even if it is more likely that it will remain the things of dreams.