The Mach1 name will return but will it be a success?

The Mach 1 name has always been associated with performance, but up until now, it was associated with a higher-performance version of the Mustang Coupe. The name first came to be back in 1969 when the Mach 1 Mustang was born. It was used again in the early 2000s as a send-off for the fourth-gen Mustang. All of this happened before the SUV and crossover craze, however, and now – thanks to the overwhelming demand for SUVs and crossovers – Ford is resurrecting the Mach1 name yet again, but this time it will be a high-riding standalone performance model. It will at least be based on the Mustang, though, but will be all-electric. We’ve seen a short teaser of the Mach 1 performance crossover, but details are excessively scant for now. So, we took a little bit of creative freedom, threw it in a blender, and are now showcasing a rendering that depicts what we think the Mach1 crossover will look like. Keep reading to learn more about it.

2020 Ford Mach1 Exterior Design

2020 Ford Mach1
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Since the Mach 1 will be an all-electric model with plenty of performance, there’s no reason it can’t take on the higher-classed German brands, even if it does so on battery power alone.

In the teaser video Ford put out, we saw a Ford Explorer and a Ford Mustang pulling into a garage. The name of the video was “The inspiration behind Ford’s New Battery Electric Performance SUV.” Naturally, and logically, one would assume that we should expect an Explorer-like vehicle with Mustang styling cues. But, then we got to thinking, and that’s probably not the case. The Explorer is top heavy and just doesn’t have a design that can really work together with the “performance” label. As such, we think that the Mach 1 will be more of a four-door hatchback on stilts like you see above. It’ll feature a mustang front end, a taller roof, and a rear end that’s a bit taller but certainly reminiscent of the 2018 Mustang rear end. Admittedly, we were pretty lax on the height of this crossover, but rest assured, it will have significant ground clearance, and it will compete in the crossover market.

So, why did we go with a high-riding, sedan-style crossover? Well, because it’s the next move in the market and we’re already seeing prime examples. Just look at the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury – that thing is definitely a shortened sedan on stilts. The brand also has the GLC and GLE Coupes already on the market. And, what about the BMW X4 and BMW X6? There’s a strong case for jacked up cars on the market these days. And, since the Mach 1 will be an all-electric model with plenty of performance, there’s no reason it can’t take on the higher-classed German brands, even if it does so on battery power alone.

2020 Ford Mach1
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What you can really expect is familiar front and rear ends with a much taller center section

What you can really expect is familiar front and rear ends with a much taller center section. The body will probably sit higher than what you see in our rendering as it will be able to do some minor off-roading too. It won’t be able to climb rocks and tackle sand dunes – it’s not Jeep Wrangler by any means – but it won’t feel lost on a back road or mild two-track if that’s where you’ve got to go. And, we know it’ll be a five-door model too, so we’ve added in the rear passenger doors and, while you can’t see it in this rendering, there’s a rear hatch back there too. Of course, there’s no diffuser or exhaust because it’s all electric so expect Ford to execute a nice design play at the bottom of the rear fascia – something to keep it sporty and unique without sacrificing too much of the Mustang image.

Oh, and that front grille. Yeah, we know it’s not necessary, but Ford will be relying on the clout carried by not only the Mach1 name but the Mustang name as well, so it needs to look the part. If Ford is smart, that grille will be aerodynamic and will probably offer up some form of cooling for the battery or electric motors.

2020 Ford Mach1 Interior Design

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Interior
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Interior of 2018 Ford Mustang shown here.

The interior design is a huge wild card. It could feature the same dash as the 2018 Mustang that you see in the picture above. If this is the case, however, there will be some differences. For instance, there isn’t going to be a gear shifter as this thing is all-electric. So, the center console will probably feature something a little different. Expect to see backlit cupholders front and center, a wireless charging pad for phones and (maybe) tablets.

The center stack could carry over unchanged, with the exception of the software which will be more catered to the Mach1 name, including special “Mach1” graphics on startup and different menu coloring to help enhance the performance feel inside. The software will most likely contain special performance pages like you see in other high-end performance cars, which should give out information like lap times, battery charge, energy recuperation figures, etc.

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Interior
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LCD instrument cluster from the 2018 Ford Mustang shown here.

To go with this system will be a bespoke instrument cluster that is also all-digital and will probably feature Mach1-specific menus and digital gauges. In the Mustang, this dash can be customized with various colors of your choice so expect that feature to be there no matter what. A flat bottom, perforated steering wheel will be in place as will supportive seats that are both heated and cooled.

In the rear, Ford could go two different ways. It could offer up a traditional bench seat that offers support to end passengers and next to no support in the center or it could offer up a pair of seats centered on their respective sides to offer up more room for each rear passenger. This is slated to be a performance SUV so the latter could be a real possibility or at least offered up as an option. Either way, the seats should fold down to offer up some more cargo room, but since there will be a battery in the floor, don’t expect them to fold flat – this thing isn’t exactly built for utility anyway.

With that in mind, expect to see tons of leather and probably some Alcantara here and there. Again, Ford is moving up a class here, so the materials with be plentiful and upscale. The dash, center console, steering wheel and seats will all get the leather treatment while the door trim panels and headliner should see Alcantara.

2020 Ford Mach1 Performance and Range

2016 Ford Focus Electric High Resolution Exterior
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Charing port of the 2016 Ford Focus Electric shown here.

As with the rest of the story, details surrounding the Mach1’s performance capabilities are slim. What we do know is that it will ride on a completely different platform than the S550 and S650 Mustang. Ford could alter and change the platform used for Edge, Explorer, or Expedition, but that isn’t likely either as none of those models currently support an electric or hybrid drivetrain. In fact, Ford’s largest electric and hybrid vehicles right now are the Focus and Fusion, neither of which have a platform that would be an ideal candidate for a Mustang-based SUV with an electric drivetrain.

So, with that in mind, a modified version of one of Ford’s current platforms is more likely, but the brand could develop an all-new platform that will eventually underpin a range of electric SUVs and Crossovers. The brand has big plans in the EV world, and the platform for the Mach1 will serve as the go-to architecture for its future endeavors, so an all-new platform is more likely.

Ford has a lot of work to do as the Mach1 will be its first real jump into the EV market and it needs to be successful.

Ford has a lot of work to do as the Mach1 will be its first real jump into the EV market and it needs to be successful. With electricity, performance is easy. Electric motors are powerful and torquey. This means there could be several iterations of the Mach1 ranging from entry-level power up to Lambo-killing grunt if the Blue Oval sees demand for such a powerful vehicle. For now, however, expect the brand to focus on practical range and decent power. 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque isn’t out of the question for an entry-level model, but the initial launch models could be a bit more powerful to generate more interest and get a jump on the competition – after all, Mercedes, Audi, and Jaguar will all occupy the electric EV segment in 2020 as well.

A lithium-ion battery will be responsible for delivering power, and you can almost bet there will be at least two electric motors – one in the front and one in the rear – for all-wheel-drive performance. AWD will almost be a necessity at this point, but an RWD version or at least the ability to turn off the front wheels isn’t out of the question. As far as charging goes, expect a quick charging station in the home to be your best bet, but Ford will likely include adapters to allow charging at most public charging stations. Wireless charging has yet to become feasible as it’s quite time-consuming so don’t hold your breath for that one. Range won’t be less than 250 miles per charge but expect Ford to do its best to break the 300-mile barrier to keep up with the competition.

2020 Ford Mach1 Pricing

If you have any idea of what pricing will be, feel free to clue us in. Considering we haven’t even seen a prototype of this model, initial market pricing hasn’t even be thought about at Ford headquarters. What you can expect is for it to cost more than the Mustang and probably more than the Expedition, which starts out at $51,790 as of the time of this writing. As a performance model, and Ford’s first high-end SUV, expect pricing start around at least $60,000.

2020 Ford Mach1 Competition

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

2019 Jaguar I-Pace Exterior Wallpaper quality
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As of right now, the Jaguar I-Pace is one of the few all-electric crossovers on the market. It has a striking resemblance to the concept car that came before it. It has a sporty exterior with muscular haunches and wavy sides. The interior is equally as sporty with all of the digital goodness expected from a modern luxury and performance vehicle to go with all of that good stuff layered through the interior. Motivation comes from a 90-kWh battery that sends power to a pair of twin electric motors. Total system output is rated at 394 horsepower and 513 pound-feet of torque, enough to send this baby straight to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. U.S. range is expected to fall at 240 miles per charge, while the U.K. can expect as much as 298 miles. The battery can take an 80-percent charge in around 85 minutes when connected to the right charger. Pricing for the U.S. has yet to be announced, but U.K. models start out at $86,830 at current exchange rates.

Read our full review on the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.

2017 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X High Resolution Exterior
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The Tesla Model X isn’t exactly a “performance vehicle” as we typically know them. It has the right credentials, but it also offers seating for seven (rather comfortably, to be honest) and has rather subdued looks compared to what we see on the Jaguar I-Pace and what we expect to see on the Mach 1. The Model X is available in three different configurations. The 75D will get you a 75 kWh battery, a 4.9-second sprint to 60 mph and a range of 237 miles. Move up to the 100D, and you’ll get all of the same goodies, but you’ll also have a 100 kWh in tow, 295 miles of range, and a 4.7-second sprint to 60 mph. Finally, you could go for the range-topping P100D, which offers up 289 miles of range on the same 100 kWh battery but it’s extremely more powerful with a 2.9-second sprint to 60 mph. Pricing for the Model X starts out at $79,500 and increases to as much as $140,000 for the P100D. These prices, of course, include a $7,500 federal tax credit and as much as $5,400 of fuel savings over five years (estimated by Tesla.)

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model X

Final Thoughts

2020 Ford Mach1 Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
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It’s hard to admit it, but the idea of Ford using the Mach1 name on an SUV is really starting to sit well, even with some purists. Personally, it’s hard to see brands banking off classic names, using their clout to push SUVs but, from a business perspective, it makes sense. Mitsubishi is doing it with the Eclipse and the Lancer names and Ford is probably smart to do it with the Mach1 name. As long as the brand keeps the Mustang feel to it, and it offers up true performance, it might not be so bad. Until recently, Tesla was the only company that really held a true chunk of the EV SUV market, but now that the Jaguar I-Pace is in the fold and every other brand as eyes set on 2020 as the date of their major EV offensive, things could get pretty dicey pretty quick. In just a couple of short years, Audi, Volkswagen, and Mercedes will all have major EVs and all of them will either have or be on the brink of having a true, long-range EV SUV or Crossover. What is now a rather open market is going to get crowded very quickly. It will be interesting to see how the Mach1 crossover\SUV manages to compete in the market. Here’s to hoping the SUV\crossover doesn’t end up slandering the Mach1 name – It would be a shame to see the Mach1 name remembered as a failure after such a successful history in the past.

  • Leave it
    • * Could ruin the Mach1 name
    • * Does the market really need another SUV?
    • * Mustang styling might look weird if it’s too tall of a vehicle

References

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.

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Read more Ford news.

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