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Detroit show: Ford confirms sporty electric SUV

Mach of respect: Ford is yet to reveal any details on the Mach1, except the name.

Ford’s Mach 1 fully electric performance SUV to hit the streets in 2020

Ford logo15 Jan 2018

By TIM NICHOLSON in Detroit

FORD has confirmed it is developing an all-electric high-performance SUV that will go on sale in 2020 as a possible rival for the likes of the Tesla Model X.

Delivering the news at its Detroit motor show press conference this week, the Blue Oval gave very little away about the model itself, but confirmed it would take the Mach 1 moniker – a badge that has previously been used on special versions of the Mustang.

The company also revealed that it would increase its investment in electric vehicle development to $US11 billion and that an F-150 hybrid would start production in 2020 at its Dearborn plant.

Ford Motor Company president of global markets Jim Farley dropped the bombshell at the show with a video that hinted at what the new EV would be.

“What happens when this (cue: audio of a V8 performance car) meets an e-racer acceleration (cue: audio of performance EV acceleration)? What is that going to look like? It’s too soon to show you, but here is what out next battery electric is going to feel like,” he said.

Mr Farley threw to a video of a Mustang and an Explorer driving into a garage.

The door closes and then a blue bolt of electricity bursts out, followed by a Mach 1 logo, with electric vehicle noise in background.

“Mach 1 – a performance battery electric (vehicle) – coming in 2020. And we can’t wait. It’s the beginning of a whole new world for our customers and electrifying the best of Ford,” Mr Farley added.

Ford followed up the press conference with a tweet confirming that the new vehicle was indeed an all-electric performance SUV.

Ford Motor Company executive vice-president of product development and purchasing Hau Thai-Tang said the car-maker would leverage its most iconic nameplates for its global electrification strategy.

“What we have talked about with Ford is we want to play to our strengths,” he said on the Ford stand. “We want to target iconic nameplates so you hear us talk about F-150, Mustang, Transit, really play where we are strong in terms of brand reputation and pricing power and then use that to really deliver more than just fuel efficiency.

“Selling electrification just on fuel efficiency is not going to play when the price of fuel is at $US2.50 a gallon. So we want to really embrace performance, torque, productivity, capability, once we get into the truck and commercial space.”

Mr Thai-Tang said that as part of Ford’s plan to roll out 16 new fully electric vehicles by 2020, the company would focus on its key segments.

“We are going to play to our strengths. We want to leverage the segments where we are really strong. So it is going to be trucks, utilities, performance products. We want to showcase the capability of electrification beyond just fuel efficiency,” he said.

While Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy could not confirm whether the Mach 1 would make it Down Under, he said the company looks to Ford’s international outposts to determine what products to introduce.

“Ford Australia benefits from being a valued contributor to our global team, which enables us to leverage global products for Australian consumer needs and tastes,” he said.

“We’re constantly working with our Ford family counterparts from around the world on bringing the best products we can for our customers, and that of course includes the latest innovation and technology.”

Ford also uncovered the special-edition Mustang Bullitt, the facelifted Edge and the new Edge ST and the US-market Ranger at the Detroit show.

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