It’s fast, it’s fun and it’s now available: Ford has officially launched its first electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach E, on a global livestream on Monday (Australian time).
The Mach E all electric SUV is a sleek four door, incarnation of the US auto giant’s iconic Mustang brand, and heralds the car maker’s first tangible step into the era of electric transportation.
Ford accidentally gave the game away when it leaked images of the Mach E were found on Ford’s own website on Sunday (Australian time), but it did not detract from the excitement of the global debut.
With five variants offering a top driving range of 300 miles (482km), acceleration up to 0-60 miles in under four seconds and starting at $US43,895 ($A64,385 converted), the Mach E looks to embrace Ford’s audience from family types to fun seekers.
A limited edition AWD-only version will be available in late 2020. It will offer an exclusive “Grabber” blue metallic colour, contrast interior stitching, brushed aluminium pedals, red brake calipers and First Edition scuff plates, and will start at $US59,900 ($A87,861 converted, before local taxes and transport and on road costs).
This will be joined by a Premium model starting at $US50,600 ($A74,220 converted) available with AWD or RWD in late 2020, and an AWD-only “California Route 1” that is “noted for its cruise-worthy engineering” starting from $US52,400 ($A76,860 converted) in early 2021.
The entry-level Select model comes with 270 miles (434km) driving range and is available in either AWD or RWD,and will also be available in early 2021.
The Mach E family is completed with a Gran Tourismo version starting at $US60,500 ($A88,741 converted) that Ford describes as “pure torque-drenched meets performance-inspired design”, and which will be available in the third quarter of 2021.
Introducing the Mach E in the livestream event, Ford executive and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford William Clay Ford Jr. said that the thinking behind the Mach E’s SUV design is so that “you don’t have to give up your Mustang.
“This fits the whole family and everything you want to put into it,:” he said. “It represents fast, fun and freedom…freedom from the gas pump, but also freedom from oil changes.”
That’s big words from the company that essentially kick started the whole American auto industry and built an automotive empire based on fossil fuels.
But this is not all that Ford aims to do with the Mach E – it is, as Ford Jr said, fundamentally about fun.
“The Mustang Mach-E wholeheartedly rejects the notion that electric vehicles are only good at reducing gas consumption,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product development and purchasing officer in a statement.
“People want a car that’s thrilling to drive, that looks gorgeous and that can easily adapt to their lifestyle – and the Mustang Mach-E delivers all of this in unmatched style.”
Ford has already released technical specifications via its website:
With the name, the shape and the fame of the Mustang brand now out in the open, will even American drivers who haven’t taken to Tesla embrace the electric?
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.