A new report with Reuters claims that sources familiar with Ford’s plans said the new model would be the carmaker’s first “dedicated” hybrid, rather than a hybrid variant of an existing model.
Ford and Toyota announced an end to their proposed co-development on hybrids midway through last year, leaving Ford with no option but to go it alone.
The US market would be a focus for Ford’s as-yet unnamed model (code-named ‘C240’), which is set to be built just outside Detroit.
Different versions of the hybrid powertrain would reportedly be on offer including a plug-in version, but some of the technology could be adapted from Ford’s current ‘parts bin’.
Sales figures for hybrids of all kinds in the US market are unimpressive, according to Reuters, with the Chevrolet Volt down nine percent on last year with just 10,635 sales and Ford’s C-Max down 29 percent.
Prius sales are also down in the US (11 percent), but Toyota still managed to find homes for 127,776 of the recognisable hybrids in the US and 400,000 globally.
Ford Fusion (Mondeo in Australia) hybrid sales are up, but the hybrid variant accounts for just one-in-six Fusion sales.
The sources said Ford would aim for an annual output of 120,000 units for its new model, with production to commence in 2018 for the 2019 model year.
Hyundai is also believed to be developing a direct rival for the Prius at present, with two i30 hybrid mules spied testing last week.
MORE: Ford News and Reviews | Pictured at top: Ford's C-Max Hybrid.