An Electric Mustang Suv? Believe It.
Motor Trend|February 2020
Ford leverages its legend to build a porsche-beating crossover
Jonny Lieberman

Deep underground at Ford’s Product Development Center, a large studio has been converted into an “immersion room,” its temporary walls papered with endless PowerPoint slides. Normally, vision boards like this are a clear indication that both imagination and inspiration were snuffed out of the project three months in.

But then something caught my eye—a slide titled “Winning Will Not Be Driven by Compliance.”

Below the headline were four cars: a BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt EV, and an electric Ford Focus. Although I strongly dislike the poor-driving i3, have forgotten about driving the Leaf as many times as I’ve driven it, and imagine that a small battery shoved into a Focus would be ho-hum, I genuinely like the Bolt. We voted it our 2017 Car of the Year. So why was it on this slide? Then it hit me: As good as the Bolt might be, Chevy’s electric hatchback looks just as dorky as the other three compliance vehicles.

Back in 2014, Ford saw the writing on the wall; the decision was made to go electric. We were shown a quarter-scale clay model of an equally dorked-out, front wheel-drive CUV that was set to go into production right around now. Luckily for car enthusiasts, smarter and cooler heads intervened.

Instead of delivering an electric car that Ford didn’t want to build to dealers who didn’t want to sell it to customers who didn't want to buy it, in a decision that went all the way up to Bill Ford, the Blue Oval decided to put a pony on its first proper, mass-market electric vehicle.

Meet the newest member of the Mustang family, the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

A Mustang-badged electric vehicle? And an SUV, at that? Really? Yeah, for real. Ford leveraged the brand’s great strengths—namely, the fact that almost every person on earth likes the Mustang. Not only that (and I found this next part particularly gratifying to learn), but performance car customers are also much better educated about battery electric vehicles (BEVs) than the average car buyer.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM MOTOR TRENDView All

THREE - PEAT

THE RAM BRAND DOES IT AGAIN WITH ITS STELLAR PICKUP PLATFORM RUN RIOT

10+ mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

Opposite Lockdown: Rediscovering the romance of the road

We hit the road the hour before dawn, the Aston Martin DB11 V8 limbering up nicely as we cruised toward the coast and EuroTunnel train that would take us under the English Channel.

3 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

AN S-CLASS SHOULD BE A STATEMENT OF EXCELLENCE AND TECHNICAL EXPERTISE. IT DELIVERS ON ALL COUNTS.

7 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

Mike Koval Jr

Head of Ram Brand, FCA North America

4 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

KEEP ON TRUCKING

NOT EVEN A PANDEMIC CAN STOP AMERICA'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE PICKUP TRUCK

10+ mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

COME- BACK

RANDY POBST RECOUNTS HIS EPIC PIKES PEAK CRASH AND HOW THE UNPLUGGED PERFORMANCE TEAM GAVE HIM A SECOND CRACK AT GLORY

6 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

FASHIONABLE GLAMPING

AN IDIOSYNCRATIC ICON DELIVERS THE AURA OF CLASSIC RV LIFE, BUT AT A COST

6 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

2022 Hyundai Tucson

Bold Design Goes Mainstream

3 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup

An Off-Road Icon Reborn

4 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021

2020 Land Rover Defender 110 D240

Is the Diesel More Desirable?

2 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2021
RELATED STORIES

The station

A venue with a vintage vibe

3 mins read
Mississippi Magazine
January - February 2021

PROJECT OBSESSED

COOL DOWN AND STOP IT

8 mins read
Diesel World
February 2021

HORSEPOWER WARS

FORD UNDERRATING THEIR 2020 SUPER DUTY?

1 min read
Diesel World
February 2021

Solid & Striped

The Lokar/Street Rodder ’34 Ford 3-Window Coupe 25th in a Long Line of Road Tour Hot Rods

9 mins read
Hot Rod
February 2021

COYOTE COUPE

This 1967 Mustang Is the Perfect Blueprint for an Engine Swap

4 mins read
Hot Rod
February 2021

Is It All About Money?

Big shareholders are pushing companies to think about society and the environment. But there’s a new legal backlash

9 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 28 - January 04, 2021

8 POINT GREAT

Jeep XJ, YJ, or TJ/LJ model is a Ford 8.8.

3 mins read
4LOW Offroad Magazine
December/January 2021

STEALTH DRIVER

'56 FORD CROWN VICTORIA

5 mins read
Drive!
January 2021

What Is Cylinder Head Swirl and Tumble, and Why Is It Important?

We think of electronic engine management systems and multiport electronic fuel injection (EFI) as primarily responsible for the improved air/fuel distribution and performance as Detroit clawed its way back in the mid 1980s, but—good as they were for that day—initially the new electronics were just Band-Aids grafted onto carryover engine designs. The big change started in the 1990s, when the OEs started tinkering with cylinder head design to induce swirl and tumble in internal combustion engines.

4 mins read
Hot Rod
January 2021

LONE RANGER

Two Years in the Making, This ’69 Ranger Stands Alone

3 mins read
Street Trucks
December 2020