Currently reading: Ford's first VW-based EV to be US-flavoured crossover
Junior sibling to the Mach-E will combine ID 4 tech with US-led looks for 2022 debut

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.

97 Ford vw shared platform crossover vw id 4

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.


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Ford has still yet to confirm whether it will use a historically significant name for the new model, as it has done with the Ford Puma, Mach-E and Bronco. Autocar understands a final decision has yet to be made, but a revival of the Mondeo badge is highly unlikely.

It’s also understood that any performance variants, twinned with the new ID 4 GTX, won’t use Ford’s long-running ST or RS monikers, given the cultural weight they hold, particularly in European countries. Inside, the new Ford will take heavy influence from the recently revealed Chinese-market Evos crossover, which had previously been thought to succeed the Mondeo in Europe.

98 Ford vw shared platform crossover evos concept

Notably, that car features a 1.1-metre, 4K infotainment display across the top of its dashboard, rather than a more conventional integrated item or even the Mach-E’s tablet-style touchscreen, with most physical controls removed. Ford is embarking on a wide-reaching transformation of its in-vehicle connectivity offering, with strategic partner Google providing its expertise in artificial intelligence, data and machine learning.

From 2023, all Ford vehicles will be fitted with an Android-based infotainment system, and the Cologne-built crossover is likely to be among the first to feature this.

In terms of powertrains, the new Ford is set to follow the ID 4 in offering both rear- and four-wheel-drive formats, with power output ranging from 146bhp to 201bhp in the standard model. The line-up could then be topped by a 295bhp sports model, possibly badged GT, as with the most powerful version of the Mach-E.

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A 52kWh lithium ion battery will provide around 213 miles of range as standard and offer charging rates of up to 100kW, while the optional 77kWh battery will extend the range to more than 300 miles and raise charging capacity to 125kW.

Ford plans to deliver more than 600,000 MEB-platformed electric cars between 2023 and 2029 and it has made no secret of the potential for a second or even third Volkswagen-based electric Ford.

Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess has previously suggested that a second car could “almost double” the supply of MEB components to Ford, suggesting a retained focus on mass-market appeal and accessibility.

There has been no indication of which Volkswagen Group model a follow-up Ford EV would be twinned with, but given Ford’s well-documented focus on expanding its SUV range, a likely candidate would be the affordable Volkswagen urban crossover that’s due around 2025, potentially as a replacement for the Fiesta.

However, Rowley has been quick to point out that “Ford has and will have its own global battery-electric platforms and we will use some of those in Europe also”, suggesting MEB-based cars will make up only a part of its EV line-up here.

Rowley acknowledged Volkswagen’s comparative strength in the mid-sized car segment as a key motivation for the partnership.


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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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jonboy4969 4 June 2021

WHAT, SERIOUSLY - Due to the cultural use of ST and RS they will not use those monikers on an EV - But they have no issues with using the worlds best perfor,ance brand name MUSTANG MACH on a VW heap of POO.... is that not double standards, the Mustang name is far more recogognised that any RS or ST model.

fhp111 3 June 2021

It's always been a bit of a frustration with Ford, that they have so many nice looking offerings in the US, yet we get the Gormless fish looking Puma, or the third world Indian Ecosport. Whilst the Mustang has gone down very well, the only other US model they bought over was the Edge, which I would argue was their worst offering really, as it had no real US styling, just looked like a giant hatchback, and yet tried to appeal as a premium offering.

Although they talk about how the Explorer styling could go down well, yet bought it to the rest of Europe and not the UK... So go figure. The new Bronco sport I imagine again would have gone down great, yet again they have not bought it over.


Although whilst these are only renderings, it would be great if it looked anything like that. Looks much better than the ID4.

Harry P 3 June 2021

I thought it was just General Motors who did not know how to sell cars in Europe. It would appear that Ford may be falling in to the same trap if they intend to use their American heritage for the direction of their future styling!