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TBT: The 1980 Mercury Antser

In the late 1980s, Mercury gave us a glimpse into the future with their Antser concept car. The aerodynamic prototype featured an impressive 1,200-pound electric hybrid powertrain with batteries powering electric motors in all four wheels, along with a backup generator to extend the vehicle’s range. With it’s lightweight construction and enough room to seat 4-passengers, it was definitely the compact hybrid of the future. The all-digital dash consisted of a computer-controlled electronic map display with pre-programmed data cartridges, which allowed drivers to calculate routes via the on-screen map, a visionary concept which eventually led to Ford’s new My Ford Touch system.

It’s hard not to think that Mercury had a magic crystal ball when it came to predicting several trends that are just now coming to fruition. Unfortunately, the lack of technology in the 80’s prevented Ford Motor Company from pushing any of these features into actual production. Almost 2 decades after the Anster concept was developed, automakers finally have the technology available to make the dream of the hybrid propulsion system introduced by Mercury engineers a reality.

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