Ford unleashes Tesla-rivalling Mustang SUV
LOS ANGELES - Ford is capitalising on its pony car heritage to take on Tesla with a fully-electric crossover vehicle called the Mustang Mach-E.
It’s a move that will upset some purists, but it makes sense on many levels too as Ford knew it wasn’t going to lure EV buyers out of Tesla showrooms with just another boring SUV.
The Mustang Mach-E promises to be a lot more than that, with estimated outputs of 342kW and 830Nm and a 0-100km/h sprint time of less than five seconds for the GT-badged performance version. Ford will also offer an extended range model that produces around 248kW and 565Nm. The vehicle will be available in both all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive configurations, in the latter case offering a range of around 595km between charges, on the WLTP test cycle.
The Mach-E is built around a new electric vehicle platform that places the batteries on the floor between the axles for optimal weight distribution. It’s a full five seater and like the Teslas, it features a conventional rear boot as well as a ‘frunk’ where the engine would have been located in a normal car.
While there will never be any true replacement for the lusty soundtrack of a good old fashioned V8, Ford is promising an exhilarating driving experience complete with unique driving dynamics and sounds. It will also offer three unique driving modes - Whisper, Engage and Unbridled - each providing a “distinct sensory experience” according to Ford.
The Mach-E also breaks new infotainment ground for Ford by debuting the next-generation Sync system, featuring a large 39cm portrait-oriented screen with touch, swipe and pinch controls. With twice the computing power of Ford’s Sync3, the system also uses artificial intelligence to learn drivers’ preferences and over-the-air updates to continually improve its performance. Also making its debut in the Mach-E is Ford’s ‘Phone As A Key’ technology, which allows drivers to enter and start the vehicle without using a key fob or taking their phone out of their pocket.
We’re currently awaiting feedback on whether Ford South Africa has any plans to launch the new crossover.