Truck

Ford and Toyota Get a Hybrid Divorce Even Before the Marriage

Don't worry, we hear it's amicable.

If you didn’t already know, Ford and Toyota joined forces back in 2011 to develop a rear-drive hybrid powertrain system specifically for use in light trucks and SUVs. At the time of signing on the dotted lines it made perfect sense for the two automotive giants to work together in order to save R&D costs. Jump ahead to today and the two have now concluded that it’s best for each to go their own ways – even before the development part actually started.

It turns out that the would-be collaboration, for whatever reason(s), isn’t such a good idea after all. Instead, each automaker will work independently on their own hybrid powertrains. So does this mean we’ll soon be seeing hybrid pickups and SUVs from both Toyota and Ford? Will the next F-150 and/or Tundra be offered with hybrid technology? Don’t hold your breath in the short term as both companies, particularly Ford, have found different fuel-saving methods such as the latter’s major progress in developing lightweight aluminum construction. Compared to the current F-150, its successor will apparently weigh 750 lbs. less.

However, Ford does state that "before the end of this decade" there will be some sort of hybrid truck or SUV in its model lineup. Aside from the next-generation Prius coming up fairly soon, Toyota was less clear about its future truck/SUV plans, but don’t think for a moment that it’s willing to give up an inch of high-tech hybrid ground to its former partner. Breakups can be messy, after all.

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