The landmark car-making tie-up between Ford and Volkswagen will begin to bear fruit in 2023, when the US manufacturer kick-starts its bold European EV offensive with a locally produced and regionally focused crossover to sit beneath the Mustang Mach-E.
Arriving in line with the Blue Oval’s ambition to fully electrify its European range by 2030, the crossover will be the first EV built at Ford’s $1 billion (£708m) Electrification Centre in Cologne, Germany. It is set to be produced initially alongside the Fiesta supermini, which is scheduled to end its current life cycle in 2024 or 2025.
The new crossover will be the first Ford to use the Volkswagen Group’s MEB EV platform, as part of a long-term strategic partnership between the two firms that will also result in Ford building commercial vehicles for the German brand.
More specifically, the new Ford will share the bulk of its underpinnings with Volkswagen’s ID 4 crossover, rather than its shorter ID 3 hatchback, which paves the way for a line-up comprising a wide variety of battery capacities, power outputs and driveline layouts.
The Ford crossover, which is set for a reveal in the first half of 2022 before its 2023 market introduction, will adopt a similar low-slung, two-box silhouette to its Zwickau-built sibling. As such, it is tipped to make a significant departure in its design from the flagship Mach-E, with straighter and more prominent body creases among its defining features.
Ford of Europe boss Stuart Rowley revealed recently that he will leverage Ford’s American heritage as a point of differentiation from rival firms, which is likely to influence the styling of the new EV.
“Ford is the only American brand in Europe now and that’s a unique position that we can build on. A lot of people are attracted to some of those characteristics and only Ford can bring products like that to the market,” he said, hinting that core US-market models like the new Bronco and Explorer SUVs could be used as the basis for European models, in much the same way as the Mach-E draws on elements of the Mustang.