- Photo credit: Ford

You have to admire Ford's bravery. If they wanted to extend the Mustang lineup to other body styles, they could have started with a sedan version of the existing car, or a hybrid version. But no. Ford is going all in with the new "Mustang": an electric crossover. It's called the Mustang Mach E, a reference to the Mustang Mach One of the 1960s, and it has quickly become the car every internet Mustang fanatic loves to hate.

Ford.com

Ford.com

It will be available in two trims to start. The First Edition will come out in late 2020 and cost around $60K, followed by the Premium trim level (also in 2020), which will cost around $50K. The First Edition will be powered exclusively by a 332 horsepower electric motor which will drive all four wheels; have a range of around 270 miles; and get from 0-60 in around 5 and a half seconds. You can get the Premium with rear-wheel drive, which gets you an additional 30 miles of range, as well as a "standard-range" battery, which has about a 200-mile range with AWD or 230 miles with RWD.

Early 2021 will see the arrival of the rest of the lineup: the Select (Ford's less depressing term for "base model"); the weirdly named California Rt. 1 Edition (the, uh, rangey one); and the GT (the fast one). Ford promises a 0-60 sprint of under 4 seconds for the GT, which will start at about $60K. The Select will cost around $44K, and the Rt. 1 will be around $52K.

Now for my thoughts on the Mach E. Do I think it is worthy of the Mustang name? Yes and no. Originally, the Mustang was conceived as a family car for those who wanted something sportier and cooler than its competition (including other Fords). Against that metric, the Mach E does very well. It looks very good too, even though sports car lines on an SUV are pretty much impossible to pull off (see first-gen Porsche Cayenne for proof--or maybe don't).

However... the Mustang name means something different now than what it meant 55 years ago. The Mustang has been around for so long that everyone already knows what it is, and what it always has been. Attach the name to anything else and it will have to struggle to live up to the unreasonable expectations that the name promises. No, it won't do a burnout. No, you can't get a V8 and/or a manual. And so it goes. The original plan was for the Mach E to be merely "Mustang inspired," and not marketed as an actual Mustang. I think they should have stuck to that plan, and let it be pretty much its own thing, without having to stand in the shadow of its famous relative.

Overall, though, I think the Mach E looks like it will be a very good car. Just manage your expectations a bit, and you may come to the same conclusion.

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