Since 1964, the Ford Mustang has been something of a pop culture icon: Steve McQueen drove a 1968 Mustang GT in “Bullitt”; Serge Gainsbourg sung about making out in a Mustang; Vanilla Ice rapped about his rolling in his Mustang “5.0”. For over a half century, the performance coupe has been noteworthy for three reasons: it’s attainable, fast, and fun.
Now Ford is hoping to keep the car cool by going green, expanding the Mustang line with a new model called the Mustang Mach-E. It’s a double departure, of sorts: it’s the first four-door model that will wear a Mustang badge; but more significantly, it’s Ford’s first all-electric plug-in SUV.
Despite having four doors and space for five people and their stuff, the Mustang Mach-E will not not be frumpy. A “GT Performance Edition” will hit 60 in about three-and-a-half seconds — quicker than the Porsche 911 GTS, Ford points out. The Mach-E’s range is impressive: An extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive model travel will travel at least 300 miles on a single charge — similar to Tesla’s upcoming Model Y compact crossover.
Though the Mach-E has the raised profile of an SUV, you’ll notice some signature Mustang design cues: Its long hood, three-part tail lamps; its high haunches, and a familiar pony badge up front. Inside the cabin, there are two digital displays, one of them being a Tesla-like 15.5” touchscreen. The vehicle was tuned by Ford’s Performance team utilizing the brand’s racing simulator in North Carolina.
The Mustang Mach-E project began in secret in 2017, and came from an internal group called “Team Edison”, says Ted Cannis, Ford’s Global Director of Electrification, adding that the Mach-E is part of Ford’s plan to invest eleven and a half billion dollars into electric vehicles by 2022. Cannis says that the Mach-E will fill a gap in the electric vehicle market: “Before, (electric vehicles) were either cheap-and-cheerful science projects, or very expensive products,” he says. The Mach-E’s price will hit in the mid range of EVs, spanning from around $44,000 for a base model to just over $60,000, minus a $7,500 tax credit.
Bill Ford, the company’s Executive Chairman, says he had to be convinced that something called the Mustang could be anything other than a sports coupe — until he drive the Mach-E. “We’ll still have the Mustang for the people that want to drive a fast sports car. And we’ll have the Mach-E for customers who want a car that goes like hell, but you can put your family in.”
The first Mach-E deliveries will occur in late 2020; reservations are being accepted now.