Ford turns to Mustang name for first electric SUV
18 November 2019
Ford has unveiled its first proper foray into the electric vehicle (EV) market, using the iconic Mustang name to attract interest in its battery-powered SUV.
The Mustang Mach-E represents the first expansion of the Mustang name in 55-years, and the first full-electric vehicle offered by the US carmaker, as it plays catch-up in the emerging market.
The new car will go on sale late next year with standard and extended-range battery options. Equipped with an extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive, the Mustang Mach‑E has a targeted pure-electric driving range of more than 370 miles according to the Worldwide Harminised Light-Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). In extended-range all-wheel-drive configurations, that company is targeting 337PS (248kW) and 565Nm of torque.
‘The Mustang Mach-E is one of the most exciting vehicles Ford has ever introduced,’ said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. ‘This purpose-built all-electric vehicle is unique, but still unmistakably a Mustang, and it’s coming at exactly the right time for customers in Europe.’
Executives at the carmaker say the delay in coming forward with a true electric vehicle, rather than hybrid and re-hashed full-electric versions of existing models, has allowed them to examine the market and create a product that can properly compete.
Using the Mustang name is also a statement of intent from Ford. The brand conjures up imagery of exotic muscle cars, especially the 1968 fastback driven by Steve McQueen in the film Bullitt. More recently, Ford has found renewed vigour with the car in the European market, where it on sale with a 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine, or the 5.0-litre V6 option, purpose-built for the continent rather than imported from the US market, which was the case previously.
Using Ford’s new all-electric architecture that places batteries inside the underbody, Ford engineers and designers say they were able to create a vehicle that is not only true to Mustang but also maximises SUV space for five passengers and luggage.
‘Advances in battery technology were crucial to delivering a Mustang Mach-E that’s spacious and practical with a beautiful silhouette, and with the fun-to-drive character that’s so important for our customers in Europe,’ said Ulrich Koesters, director, electrified vehicles, Ford of Europe.
The advanced batteries feature 288 lithium-ion cells for the standard-range specification and 376 lithium-ion cells for the extended-range specification. Designed to help maximise interior space and contribute to optimised driving dynamics with a low centre of gravity, the battery is located on the floor between the vehicle’s two axles – and tested at temperatures as extreme as minus 40 degrees Celsius.
The batteries are secured inside a waterproof case surrounded by crash absorption protection. The battery uses an advanced active liquid heating and cooling system to regulate temperatures for optimised performance in extreme weather and to improve charging times.