Ford has revealed its upcoming Mach 1 electric crossover will be capable of 370 miles of range when it arrives next year.
The brand's first all-new battery-electric vehicle, a 'performance utility vehicle' that it says is "inspired" by the Mustang, is set to debut later this year. It will have a WLTP-certified range of 600km between charges, or 370 miles.
The Mach 1, named in reference to its Mustang-derived styling features, has been confirmed as a globally engineered model, with UK deliveries starting in 2020. Few other details of the car have been released at this stage.
Ford is also working on an electric crossover, codenamed CX430, which will be built on the C2 platform used for the new Focus. That machine has been in Ford’s product plan for several years.
The CX430 will be additional to the Kuga and, since it is based on the front-wheel-drive C2 platform, it is expected to be conventional hatchback-like, with a slightly raised driving position.
Ford has identified ‘white paper’ models like the CX430 to replace saloons and hatches in its US line-up. Further crossovers with Mustang design cues and front-drive chassis are a strong possibility because they combine “the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as high ride height, space and versatility”.
If the vehicles are sized appropriately, European sales are likely.
Ford's push into EVs followed news that Ford is dropping the Fiesta (below), Focus, Fusion and Taurus from its North American line-up. The end of the Fiesta in the US had been rumoured for some time, because fuel prices have dropped and the economy has recovered, allowing US buyers to return to their preferred larger vehicles.
Decisions on the replacements for the Fusion and Taurus have been pending for a couple of years too. Ford’s new CEO, Jim Hackett, has acted decisively and made the announcement at a financial conference in the US, momentously ending Ford’s 110-year presence in the US passenger saloon market.
“We are committed to taking the appropriate actions to drive profitable growth and maximise the returns of our business over the long term,” said Hackett.
Analysts said Ford had previously signalled that the mix of car models in its range was forecast to drop to just 10% in the US, leaving 90% of its sales as SUVs and trucks.
“This pull back is really just an admission of the stark North American market reality, especially for American brands,” said IHS Markit analyst Colin Couchman. “Buyers keep shifting to SUVs and crossovers. 'Big-three' sedan [saloon] sales have been very dependent on poor-quality fleet sales.”