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Ford Mach 1 confusion reigns

Name game: Ford dubbed its 2020 all-electric crossover vehicle Mach 1 when it announced the project at the Detroit motor show, but is yet to confirm the badge for the production version.

First new-age Ford EV to be based on new Focus platform – or is it?

Ford logo23 May 2018

WILL the real Ford Mach 1 stand up? Ford’s first global full-electric crossover vehicle is a goer for release as a 2020 model, but speculation about specifics – including its underlying platform and even its name – remain confused.
 
Britain’s Autocar reports that the vehicle – codenamed CX430, it says – will be a slightly raised mid-sized front-wheel-drive crossover built on Ford’s latest C2 FWD platform that will spawn the all-new Focus due in both Europe and Australia in the second half of this year.
 
However, this appears to fly in the face of a Ford statement in March that indicated the Blue Oval company was planning a standalone BEV (battery electric vehicle) architecture for such all-electric vehicles, separate from the four newly developed conventional platforms on which all its other models will be based.
 
These include the front-wheel-drive unibody platform (C2) for cars such as Focus, Fiesta, Kuga/Escape and – perhaps – Mondeo, body-on-frame for vehicles such as Ranger, Everest, Bronco and F-Series, rear-wheel-drive unibody for Mustang, and commercial van unibody for Transit.
 
Ford started the ball rolling on the Mach 1 when it announced at the Detroit motor show in January that it was planning a global battery electric crossover vehicle for 2020 as the first of 16 all-electric vehicles under a $US11 billion ($A14.5b) electrification program to be rolled out by 2022.
 
In making the announcement, Ford showed a video highlighting the Mach 1 logo, suggesting that would be the nameplate for the Mustang-inspired EV with high performance and a range of 300 miles (480km).
 
The video showed a Mustang and an Explorer SUV entering a garage, and then a blue bolt of electricity bursting out, followed by the Mach 1 logo.
 
Since then, Ford executives have been quoted as saying the Mach 1 name was a working title rather than a locked-in name, and would only be used if Ford fans approved of the famous Mustang tag – used on special Mustangs between 1969 and 2004 – being applied to the EV crossover.
 
The EV range is being developed in Detroit by a Ford engineering team dubbed Team Edison, in honour of American inventor Thomas Edison, a close friend of Ford founder Henry Ford.
 
Apart from the EV range, Team Edison is also helping to mastermind hybrid versions of all of Ford’s mainstream models, including the F-Series pick-up, Explorer, Escape, Mustang and the upcoming Bronco.
 
This indicates that the architectures of such vehicles will be able to accommodate some electrification, but not necessarily full battery electric power, hence the BEV platform.
 
According to Autocar, the CX430/Mach 1 will be revealed next year before reaching United Kingdom showrooms in 2020.
 
As Ford is on the record as saying this vehicle will be a global offering, we assume it will be built in right-hand drive and available to Australia. Ford Australia is yet to formally announce such a move.
 
Interestingly, Ford Motor Company registered the Mach 1 trademark in the US in 2015, but not yet in Australia where Ford only owns the Mustang Mach 1 trademark.
 
In the United States, Ford has announced that it will drop most of its passenger cars from its range, including Taurus, Fusion, Fiesta and the standard Focus sedan and hatch, as it transitions to more SUVs and crossover vehicles.
 
That means it will only keep the American-built Mustang and a soft-roader version of the Focus, the Active, to be imported from China.
 
However, Ford Australia says it remains committed to its passenger car range, with plans to introduce the next-generation Focus from Europe late this year, along with one sporty ST variant of the Fiesta, also from Europe.
 
It also plans to keep the Mondeo for “the foreseeable future”. According to Autocar, Ford of Europe is planning to stick with the Mondeo until the mid-2020s.

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