The Ford Mustang Mach E electric SUV was unveiled to the world only last Monday, but Ford is already making plans to sell it in right hand drive markets, including the UK and Australia.
Ford’s global head of communications for electric vehicles Emma Bergg has confirmed right hand drive production of the Mach E will go ahead, and prototypes of a Mach E with a driver in the right hand front seat have been spotted in Dearborn, Michigan.
— Mach-E Forum (@MachEForum) November 26, 2019
The Mach E will be available in five variants, with the first two available in late 2020, and will start at $US43,895 ($A64,688 converted) for the entry-level Select with a 482km range in the US. It is Ford’s first foot forwards in electric vehicles under the iconic Mustang brand.
AWhile Australia has not yet been announced as a confirmed market, it will likely follow soon after the UK should Ford judge there is enough demand.
When asked about other markets for the Mach E, Bergg told CarAdvice at the LA Auto Show that, “We’ve not announced any other markets. It goes to the US and Europe first and then to China.”
In regards to bringing the Mach E to Australia, Bergg said, “We will look at each market on a case-by-case basis.”
An official statement made by Ford Australia via email said that: “Our statement on Mach-E is unchanged. (It) marks a significant milestone in the future of Ford products and the company’s electrification strategy. We have no specific Australia/New Zealand news to with regards to Mach-E”.
If and when it does arrive in Australia however, it will be aimed at the SUV market despite being an electric emissary for the wild, fast and fun spirit embodied in Mustang pony logo.
Speaking with Road and Track, Ford’s global director of icons Dave Pericak said that the Mach E is not exactly suited to ripping sick burnouts or whipping multiple laps around the Nürburgring.
It is an SUV – and SUV drivers aren’t really after the high performance experience typical of the Mustang brand, but instead are after a vehicle that can do the everyday shifts of ferrying family and running errands.
But why then give the vehicle the Mustang name?
When Ford executive, and great-grandson of Ford founder Henry Ford, William Clay Ford was asked by Ford engineers what he thought of the decision to brand the Mach E under the Mustang name, at first he said, “‘No, I’m sorry, I don’t want to hurt the brand. This is not going to be a Mustang.”
However, after driving the Mach E, he changed his mind.
“When I drove it, I knew it had to be a Mustang,” Ford told Automotive News.
“Frankly, I was getting there before because I believed the team when they were laying all the specs out. As it evolved and I started to see the performance characteristics … at some point I realised: ‘Yeah, this is a Mustang. The pony could go on the grille’,” Ford said.
Power and acceleration for the Mach E’s five variants ranges from 190kW output from a single or dual motor configuration, 414Nm torque and 0-100km/hr in under six seconds for the entry-level “Select”, to 248kW output from dual motors, 565Nm torque and 0-100km/hr in the mid-five second range for the higher specc’d variants.
The top-of-the-line GT variant will offer 342kW power output, 829Nm torque and acceleration from 0-100km/hr in the mid-three second range.
According to Pericak it’s about finding the balance between the everyday graft while still offering an exciting experience for which the Mustang brand is known, and ultimately broadening Ford’s reach into a growing electric vehicle market.
“It’s hard to put words to, but we know when we do it right,” Pericak told Road and Track.
In this vein, Ted Cannis, global head of electrification for Ford hints that the same driving force will mean that consumers can expect more electric models from the car maker offering “a lot of excitement.”
“This way we can help more people get there…by having a broader portfolio of solutions,” he said. At the same time, “It’s important that (future products) aren’t compliance-car fuel-sippers,” Ted Cannis, global head of electrification for Ford said to NBC News.
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.