Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Auto: "Near Non-Starter": Ford's Mustang Mach-E

Ford is betting that muscle car enthusiasts are ready to go electric with the new Mach-E, a five-seat SUV inspired by the Mustang—with the looks and the performance to match.
Ford heir Bill Ford and the Mach-E
“For a long time my two passions were diametrically opposed,” says Bill Ford (pictured above), the company’s executive chairman and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford. “If you wanted to be green you had to give up performance, and if you wanted performance you couldn’t be green. That’s not true anymore. We finally created a new Mustang where it all comes together.”

But it almost didn’t happen. When Ford set out to make its new electric crossover, it was designed be to a mere compliance car—basically a wagon version of the Focus EV that would meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations. The SUV that would later become the Mach-E was well into its development when executives pulled the plug. “It was obvious we had to do something different,” says Ford North America president Khumar Galhotra. “We had to do something that stood out.”
With Tesla still going strong and luxury brands like Porsche and Audi challenging the notions of what electrified sports cars can be, it’s logical that the maker of America’s most beloved pony car would jump on that (battery-powered) bandwagon. In its fastest configuration, the Mach-E GT can dash from zero to 60 mph in the “mid-three-second-range” according to Bill Ford, who points out that’s on par with the Ferrari Portofino. “And we all know how Ford likes to beat Ferrari,” he quips, referencing the famous rivalry between the two marques at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

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