SEMA 2008 show report: Ford F-150, Mustang and Flex

Published: 06 November 2008

Ford’s stand was dominated by four models: the Flex, a slammed, seven-seat SUV with Range Rover-styling cues; the iconic F-150 pick up; the Focus; and, of course, the Mustang.

With an ear-splitting V8 roar, Ford unveiled a 50-edition run of the Cobra Jet Mustang, and the F-150 SVT Raptor, a go-anywhere extreme version of the pick-up, which will bounce across sand dunes in the Baja California race later this month before going on sale next year. But tucked away in a corner was a less environmentally destructive F-150, shaped by British engineering firm PML.

How so?

This electric F-150 has motors in each wheel hub, generating 500hp in total. PML estimates that the plug-in pick-up can travel  100 miles on a single charge of the battery pack, weighing 450kg and mounted in the chassis. Top speed is around 100mph.

‘The electric motors are at the advanced prototype  stage – we have a Mini running at Lotus using the system,’ said sales director Peter Christie. ‘We’re talking to the OEMs about putting it into production.’

Causing a commotion at the other end of the size spectrum was the Transit Connect van, a European staple that arrives Sateside in 2009. ‘What the hell is that?’ said a passing local, nodding at the baby blue van, complete with GT supercar-style racing stripes, 19-inch rims, red bucket seats and a massive sound system plumbed into the cargo bay. No V8 up front, though: the Transit runs a modest 136hp 2.0-litre petrol. 

By Phil McNamara

Editor-in-chief of CAR magazine