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Ford Ponies Up A New Concept Hybrid Vehicle
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DETROIT, Michigan - In celebration of its 100th year in the automotive industry, Ford Motor Company announced a new environmentally-friendly hybrid car, the Coltage. The car -- though built on a Windstar frame -- is only a two passenger vehicle with minimal cargo space. "It's a concept car," explained Ford spokesman Carmine Merkur, "It's not really intended to hit the road. But if you keep your eyes open, you may see some pieces of this vehicle hitting production." At the heart of the Coltage is a electric powerplant, supplanted by a pair of Shetland ponies on a conveyer-belt-like device. "When we say this baby's packin' some horses, we're not just horsin' around!" joked Merkur.

"With a fresh set of Shetlands, you can gallop through a quarter mile in thirty seconds."
-- Carmine Merkur, Ford spokesman
Despite the unconventional power source, the car is no joke. Sustained speeds of seventy-five miles an hour can be obtained with a mix of fully-charged batteries and sorghum-rich hay. "The sorghum's chock full of sugar, and it's all ready to be metabolized," explained Merkur, "So you don't have to wait for the ponies to digest it. It's workin' on 'em from the minute they swallow." Acceleration is not as impressive, due to the added weight of the batteries and the livestock. "We got rid of the gasoline engine, but we've still got the electric motor, the linkages, the transmission, so we don't cut out much weight," admitted Merkur, "Still though, with a fresh set of Shetlands, you can gallop through a quarter mile in thirty seconds."

Car & Driver editor Monty Marcilio had praise for the equine-powered vehicle, "Everybody talks about building something different, but leave it to Ford to actually do it. Hybrid electric/gas engines? Oooo! That's bold," he said, rolling his eyes, "No, Ford wasn't satisfied with the status-quo. Do I want to own one? Well, I don't want to show up for a meeting smelling of manure and moldy hay, so I guess not. But am I glad they built one? Yeah, I sure am."

Jay Leno is reportedly in talks with Ford to buy the car for an undisclosed sum. Merkur acknowledged the discussions, but said that if the details are going to be made public at all, it would happen after the contract has been signed. "It's fair to say Mr. Leno will need to spend some of his Tonight Show salary to add the Coltage to his collection," warned Merkur, "I'm afraid this isn't a stand-up comedy sort of car."
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