Ford’s electrifies Mustang lineup with new crossover
In the lead up to the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford Motor Co. revealed its long-awaited Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover by actually expanding the Mustang lineup with the Mach-E. The high-profile name is meant to conjure the style and performance of its car stablemate, with muscular curves and a Performance Edition targeting 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in the mid-3-second range from an estimated 459 hp (342 kW) and 830 N·m (612 lb·ft). The EPA-estimated range target is at least 300 mi (480 km), with the extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive, and access to the FordPass charging network.
“At the first-ever Detroit auto show, Henry Ford said he was working on something that would strike like forked lightning,” said Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Co. “That was the Model T. Today, the Ford Motor Company is proud to unveil a car that strikes like forked lightning all over again: the all-new, all-electric Mustang Mach-E. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s freedom—for a new generation of Mustang owners.”
Developed a few blocks away from Henry Ford’s first factory in Detroit, Ford says the development process concentrated on customer needs, with state-of-the-art connected-vehicle technology that makes it even better over time through over-the-air (OTA) software updates. Due to arrive in late 2020, the crossover will be available with standard or extended-range battery options and either rear- or all-wheel drive powered by permanent-magnet motors.
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The obvious competitive target for the Mach-E is Tesla’s upcoming Model Y, but Ford also mentions the Porsche Macan when estimating performance. Computer engineering simulations of performance for the extended-range all-wheel-drive configuration of 332 hp (248 kW) and 417 lb·ft (800 Nm). The standard all-wheel-drive variation targets quicker acceleration times to 60 mph than the base Macan. For the two performance versions, the GT is targeting 0-60 mph in under 4 s, making it faster than a Macan Turbo, and the GT Performance edition in the mid-3-second range to a Porsche 911 GTS. Output targets for both GT configurations are (surprisingly) the same, at 342 kW (459 hp) and 830 N·m (612 lb·ft).
The standard-range 75.7 kW·h lithium-ion battery features 288 cells and the extended-range 98.8 kW·h battery has 376 cells. The batteries, secured inside a waterproof case surrounded by crash-absorption protection, are liquid-cooled to optimize performance in extreme weather and improve charging times. The targeted range of at least 300 mi is when equipped with an extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in the 2020 calendar year.
The Mach-E GT Performance Edition gets a unique carbonized gray grille and 342 kW and 612 lb·ft for 0-60 mph acceleration in the mid-3-s range.
Ford says that EV owners do 80% of their charging at home, so it offers a Connected Charging station that can add an estimated range of 32 mi (51 km) per charging hour on a 240-V outlet for the extended-range, rear-wheel-drive configuration. The company is teaming up with Amazon Home to facilitate home installation by a licensed electrician. The mobile charger included with the vehicle can add an estimated range of 22 mi (35 km) per charging hour on a 240-V outlet.
The connected navigation system identifies up-to-date public charging locations during trips, and it prompts owners to charge at the most convenient points on each drive. Customers get access to the FordPass Charging Network, which the company claims is the largest public charging network in the U.S. The growing network has more than 12,500 charging stations and more than 35,000 charge plugs, including DC fast chargers. With a peak charging rate of 150 kW, the extended battery and rear-wheel drive configuration can add an estimated 47 mi (76 km) of range in about 10 min, while the standard-range Mach-E can charge from 10 to 80% in about 38 min—both at a DC fast-charging station.
Notable chassis technology includes Brembo’s performance Flexira aluminum calipers, having the functionality of fixed calipers but with the dimensions of floating units. The GT Performance Edition gets MagneRide adaptive damping suspension technology that enables a better range of handling and a comfortable ride. The Mach-E is the first production vehicle to be tuned by the Ford Performance team using Ford’s racing simulator in North Carolina.
The Mach-E seats five and gets optional Bang & Olufsen speakers.
Three drive settings (Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled) allow distinct combinations of steering power assistance, ambient lighting, tuned sounds, and instrument-cluster animations tied to driving behavior. The crossover will debut the next-generation of Ford’s Sync infotainment system using a more modern interface, machine learning for adapting quickly to drivers’ preferences, and OTA updates to get better over time. The large 15.5-in screen has simpler interface, ditches complicated menus, and features touch, swipe, and pinch controls closer to a smartphone.
On the design front, the Mach-E’s Mustang design elements include a long hood, rear haunches, tri-bar taillamps, and similar headlight elements. The Mach E uses Ford’s new all-electric architecture with underbody batteries to maximize space for five passengers and cargo. An optional panoramic fixed-glass roof has a special coating for infrared protection that helps the interior stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Getting in and starting the vehicle is enabled by a Ford-first mobile phone access using Bluetooth, but a backup code can be entered on the center touchscreen to start and drive if there are phone issues. Under its hood is a drainable front storage unit with 4.8 ft3 of space, enough for a large carry-on bag or ice and beverages for a pre-game tailgate. Behind the passengers is 29 ft3, 59.6 ft3 with the rear seats down. Optional Bang & Olufsen speakers floating above the air vents, on the Mustang-traditional double-cowl instrument panel, are meant to look like a sound bar. A “floating” flip-top armrest doubles as a place to store large objects such as purses or bags.
Customers can now visit the Mach-E reservation site to make a $500 reservation deposit. The limited First Edition will be available in extended-range all-wheel drive, with red-painted brake calipers, metallic pedal covers, contrasting seat stitching, and a scuff plate marked First Edition. GT reservations now are for deliveries starting in spring 2021.