It turns out that Ford has something even more radical than the 900-horsepower Lithium prototype planned for its Mustang lineup. For the first time in 55 years, the American pony car family is getting a new model dubbed the Mustang Mach-E—an all-electric crossover SUV.
This may be unsettling news to loyal 'Stang disciples, but Ford is doing its best to sell the new model as a natural evolution of the muscle car. "The Mach-E is instantly recognizable as a Mustang," the Detroit-headquartered automaker says. "Thanks to signature elements such as its long, powerful hood, rear haunch design, aggressive headlights and trademark tri-bar taillamps, Clever design and engineering delivers surprising rear seat roominess and ample cargo space."
Numerous variants will be offered over the next two years. The inaugural First Edition and Premium versions will arrive in 2020. Car and Driver reports that the Premium model will be available with 210-mile standard- or 300-mile extended-range batteries and rear- or all-wheel drive, while the First Edition gets all-wheel drive and extended-range batteries only. Output will vary from 244 hp for standard-range models and 332 hp for the extended-range models.
Things will get really exciting when the special-performance, 459-hp Mustang Mach-Es arrive in 2021. The GT version will be able to hit 60 mph in under four seconds, which Ford notes is faster than a Porsche Macan Turbo (We'll wait to see how it compares to the forthcoming Macan EV.) The quickest Mach-E will be the GT Performance Edition, which targets a 60-mph sprint in the mid-three-second range, around that of a Porsche 911 GTS.
Additionally, a 282-horsepower California Route 1 and 255-horsepower base Mach-E dubbed the Select will arrive in early 2021. The former will get an extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive, while the latter will be available with either battery and rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
There will be three different apparatuses used to "refuel" the Mustang Mach-E. The on-board charger and at-home charging station both run off of a standard 240-volt outlet to deliver 22 and 32 miles of range per hour, respectively. On the road, one of the 12,500 FordPass Charging Network stations scattered across the U.S. and Canada will be able to charge the batteries from 10 to 80 percent in 38 minutes.
Inside, drivers will be able to select three different driving modes: Whisper, Engage and Unbridled. Each alters driving dynamics and offers "a distinct sensory experience." Features include custom-designed vehicle responsiveness such as sportier steering controls, ambient lighting, sounds tuned for an all-electric experience, and dynamic cluster animations that are tied to driving behavior.
Debuting in the cockpit of the Mach-E will be the next generation of Ford's SYNC infotainment system, i.e. a 15.5-inch touchscreen that forgoes complex menus for a smartphone-like interface and learns user preferences. Like Tesla's software, SYNC will receive over-the-air updates.
Pricing for the Premium model starts at $50,600, and the limited First Edition at $59,900. Pricing for the models arriving in late 2021 starts at $43,895 for the Select, and $52,400 for the California Route 1. The GT variants will start at $60,500. Anyone interested can reserve the Ford Mustang Mach-E with a $500 deposit online.
While the new electric SUV may seem like a shot across the bow at Elon Musk's Tesla EV company, Ford is also enjoying cinematic success in it's old-school racing rivalry with Ferrari, as Ford v. Ferrari easily topped last weekend's box office.