The two auto-makers have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), with a formal agreement expected by next year, and say they will have a co-developed hybrid system ready for use in rear-wheel-drive light trucks arriving later this decade.
Ford and Toyota – the companies behind the Fusion and Prius hybrids (pictured) – say their hybrid powertrain will bring greater fuel efficiency to a new group of truck and SUV customers without compromising on other capabilities that consumers require in their vehicles. The companies say their collaboration will allow them to bring these hybrid technologies to customers sooner and more affordably than either company could have accomplished alone.
Both companies have been working independently on their own rear-wheel drive hybrid systems, but say their joint hybrid system will be based on an all-new architecture.
While the system will share significant common technology and components, Ford and Toyota will individually integrate the system into their own vehicles. Each company also will determine the calibration and performance dynamics characteristics of their respective light pickups and SUVs.
The carmakers also say they will collaborate on development of next-generation standards for in-car telematics and Internet-based services.