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Ford Mustang Mach-E: Heresy, or Needed Evolution?

by Edward Sanchez | 11月 18, 2019

The reveal of the anticipated Ford Mustang Mach-E was somewhat spoiled by an unplanned leak of photos and specs approximately a week prior to its official reveal the evening of November 17, 2019. The rumors of a “Mustang-inspired” electric crossover had been circulating for months before, so the idea that an electric crossover would share styling cues with Ford’s iconic pony car was not a huge shock. However, the company then released an official announcement on November 14 saying the name would be “Mustang Mach-E.” Almost immediately, some of the enthusiast blogs and Web sites erupted with the expected grousing of “It’s not a Mustang.”
Ford Mustang Mach-E Driving

Affixing the crown jewel of the Ford Motor Company’s storied brands to a new model brings the expected controversy and speculation of “will it live up to the name?” But let’s be honest with ourselves. The car market of today is far different than it was 55 years ago when the Mustang first launched, and far different than even 35 years ago. The Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, overwhelmingly sold as a two-door, was the best-selling car in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s for multiple years. Neither the model nor the brand survives to the present day.

The Chevrolet Camaro, perhaps the Mustang’s most direct marketplace competitor, does not have the same continuous history as its blue oval rival, having taken a five-year sabbatical from 2003-2008. So far in 2019, in a three-way race between itself, the Mustang, and the Dodge Challenger, the Camaro is coming in third. Hailed by many automotive critics as having the best chassis dynamics of the three pony cars, the buying public has nonetheless collectively shrugged.         
Ford Mustang Mach-E dashboard

As hard as it may be for the traditionalists to hear, the Mach-E may be the Mustang brand’s best chance at long-term survival. The marketplace has spoken decisively in favor of crossovers and SUVs. The same outcry from enthusiasts happened when the Porsche Cayenne came out in 2002. By the time the Macan debuted in 2014, the prospect of a second Porsche SUV no longer had the same shock factor.

The fact that Ford’s first long-range EV is a swoopy, sleek, sporty crossover shows that Dearborn realizes that if it wants to strike a chord with the general buying public with EVs, they need to be attractive, compelling, practical and fun-to-drive. Sound like another company that has dominated the headlines lately with EVs?  

Being a Tesla owner myself, I’m well aware of the smug, disparaging attitude many owners have toward competitor EVs, especially those from legacy automakers. But Tesla alone, even going with the most optimistic scenarios, can’t singlehandedly electrify the global transportation fleet. EV advocates should not be disparaging other companies’ earnest efforts. Yes, the car has over-the-air updates, a giant touchscreen, and a prominent horizontal HVAC slot running across the middle of the dashboard. Yes, it shows some Tesla influences. But it is very much its own animal.

The Mustang is dead. Long live the Mustang. 
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