Last week’s online leak might have taken some wind from Ford’s sails, but its long-anticipated Mustang Mach-E electric SUV has nevertheless been officially revealed with some fanfare.
The Mustang Mach-E is the Blue Oval’s move against the Tesla Model 3 and Model X, with other competitors including the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron quattro. It also arrives ahead of numerous mooted rivals such as the Porsche Macan EV, Nissan Ariya and Volkswagen ID Crozz.
Headline figures depending on which options boxes you tick include a maximum driving range of 480km, a maximum battery capacity of nearly 100kWh, and a 0-96km/h sprint time as low as 3.5 seconds from the 342kW/830Nm GT flagship.
Though no doubt a brave move from Ford to apply its iconic 55-year old nameplate to a battery-powered crossover as well as the existing V8 muscle cars with which it’s become synonymous, the company clearly felt such a choice necessary to capture public attention.
"The Mach-E is instantly recognisable as a Mustang, thanks to signature elements such as its long, powerful hood, rear haunch design, aggressive headlights and trademark tri-bar tail lamps," Ford contends.
The Mustang Mach-E hits US dealers in late 2020. But perhaps predictably enough, Australia is not in the mix.
“We have no specific Australia/New Zealand news with regards to Mach-E. We do however look forward to starting our electrification journey with the Escape PHEV next year,” the company said.
The Mach-E will be available with ‘standard’ 75.7kWh and ‘extended-range’ 98.8kWh battery choices, with rear- or all-wheel drive configurations, motor outputs ranging from 190kW to 342kW, and target driving ranges of between about 340km and 480km.
All but the base car will have a 150kW onboard DC fast charging capacity (115kW for the base car). At 4.7m long, it's dimensionally similar to the Jaguar I-Pace.
It sits on a brand new all-electric architecture with liquid-cooled batteries inside the underbody, and well protected. Ford tested them at minus 40-degrees temperatures.
Launch versions will be called Mach-E Premium and First Edition, with the base Select and higher-grade California Route 1 promised by early 2021. The hardcore GT is slated for mid-2021. While performance figures are all just ‘targets’ for now, they’re pretty specific.
|California Route 1|
Ford claims the Mach-E was developed in a century-old brick building a few blocks away from Henry Ford’s first factory in Detroit.
There are three driving modes called Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled, which change things such as the steering response, ambient lighting, interior sound induction, and digital cluster animations. The GT Performance Edition is equipped with a familiar MagneRide adaptive damping system.
Inside you get the newest iteration of Ford's Sync infotainment, which apparently uses machine learning to gauge your preferences, and which can take over-the-air updates. It's all displayed on a very Tesla-like 15.5-inch centre screen in a portrait layout, with smartphone-style pinching and swiping.
“Next-generation SYNC actively starts adapting to you as soon as you start using it, quickly learning your preferences and making personalised suggestions,” said Ford global director for battery electric vehicles Darren Palmer.
“It can suggest going to the gym if it learns Mondays are workout days or calling home if you do that every day after work. The result is a cloud-connected assistant and interface that’s intuitive, beautiful and ready for the future thanks to fast over-the-air updates.”
The five-seat cabin also has digital instruments for the driver, some hard contact points for the ventilation, and uses near-field communication to turn your smartphone into a key, like the Model 3. It also has a regular boot, plus a drainable front boot where an engine would typically sit.
The offered Ford Connected Charging wall box can add an estimated average range of 50km per charging hour on a 240V outlet. The Blue Oval in the US is teaming up with Amazon Home to arrange customer home installation by electrician.
Sync's connected navigation system will identify up-to-date public charging locations during trips and prompt owners to charge at the most convenient points on each drive.
Buyers also get access to the shared, app-based FordPass Charging Network, which currently comprises more than 12,500 charging stations including DC fast chargers in the US.
How much will the Ford Mach-E cost?
Pricing hasn't been confirmed, but a pre-launch leak offered the following price information for the North American market.
- Select - US$43,895 (AU$65,000)
- Premium - US$50,600 (AU$74,500)
- California Route 1 - US$52,400 (AU$77,100)
- GT - US$60,500 (AU$89,000)
Check out the Mustang Mach-E's full launch event in the video below.