Ford has reportedly filed a patent for a hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine with possible applications for a future Mustang model. The patent is unique because it discards traditional hydrogen propulsion designs for a more intriguing turbocharged hydrogen engine.
The engine is similar to gasoline-powered designs, with Ford using valve timing and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to make combustion possible. The patent also shows a method for direct injection, which would deliver hydrogen to the cylinders more efficiently, resulting in around a 15 percent power boost versus an equivalent gasoline engine.
On top of that, the patent also shows a hybrid powertrain. An electric motor-generator sits between the engine and transmission, possibly making the design even more fuel-efficient.
It's not yet clear which models Ford has in mind for its hydrogen engine design. After all, not all patents make it into production. However, some reports have indicated that a future version of the Mustang could come with a hydrogen power plant paired with Ford's clutch-by-wire manual transmission system.
If that ends up being the case, it could spark an exciting new era of alternative power for performance and sports cars. It makes sense, too, as Ford recently split its electric and combustion engine businesses into two separate entities. Ford Model E now handles the electric vehicle (EV) business, while Ford Blue works on current and future gasoline and diesel models.
Splitting Ford into two separate companies could bode well for the Blue Oval, as it would allow the electric division to operate like a startup company prioritizing speed and efficiency. Meanwhile, the combustion engine division has room to innovate on traditional models while dreaming up designs like its recent hydrogen engine patent. It remains to be seen if Ford Blue has any solid plans for that, but we might find out soon enough.