Even Ford Thinks the Mach 1 Shouldn't Be an Electric SUV…

Michael Accardi
by Michael Accardi
even ford thinks the mach 1 shouldnt be an electric suv 8230

We know it’s a bad idea, you know it’s a bad idea, and as it turns out, even Ford knows using the legendary Mach 1 name on a “performance” battery electric SUV is a bad idea.

Initially, the rumblings were that Ford would revive the Mach 1 name for some kind of hybrid or full-blown battery electric high-performance Mustang. But it is not. Ford’s executive vice president and president of Global Markets, Jim Farley, quickly clarified to assembled media that the new boxy BEV could certainly be related to the Mustang, but would not be a Mustang.

Instead, the badge might live on the back of a new electric performance SUV coming in 2020. But Ford’s North American Product Communications Manager, Mike Levine, began backpedaling shortly after the announcement, following a groundswell of negative opinions. Levine was adamant the company was only considering using the Mach 1 name, claiming the Blue Oval brand would listen to public reaction before making an actual decision.

That may be Ford’s official public stance, but inside the company, there was at least one true believer who tried to dissuade the brand from turning a hallowed nameplate into a virtue-signaling simulacrum. A highly placed internal source familiar with the matter expressed his displeasure with the decision from the outset.

In October, Ford announced it would invest $11 billion in battery-electric technology with the creation of Team Edison, and in December the brand announced its autonomous and electric vehicle business would move to a newly refurbished factory in Detroit’s historic Corktown district with the goal of transforming Ford into the most trusted mobility company in the world. The proposed Mach 1 BEV project aims to bring together the Mustang’s high-level athleticism with the practicality of an Explorer.

“Taking everything that means to our customers, both on the rational and the emotional level, electrifying that, and coming out with that. So it’s a combination, and that gives you a good idea of what we’re thinking for that vehicle. The issue isn’t that it’s an electric crossover, the issue is the name. I knew this was going to be a problem.”

On the surface, it’s almost as if Ford is deliberately mocking its bread and butter loyalists, amplifying the symbolic dissociation between the brand and its enthusiasts.

Shortly after Ford announced it might bastardize the Mach 1 name, Dan Gurney passed away. It was an eerie coincidence that ethereally sums up the mercantilist jamais vu the industry is trying to shove down the throats of the very people who genuinely love it.

[Image: Corey Lewis/TTAC]

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Jan 17, 2018

    A high performance battery electric Mustang would be a bold move, particularly since Marchionne announced that Ferrari is going to be making an electric supercar.

  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Jan 17, 2018

    I bet Gurney went down after hearing this blasphemy. My heart barely took it and I'm much younger. What a final image for a true automotive legend to carry with him into the beyond from this mortal coil. Jerks. May he RIP.

  • Wjtinfwb A Celebrity Diesel... that is a unicorn. Those early A-bodies were much maligned and I'm sure the diesel didn't help that, but they developed into very decent and reliable transportation. Hopefully this oil-burner Chevy can do the same, it's worth keeping.
  • Wjtinfwb After S-classes crested the 40k mark in the early '80s, my dad moved from M-B to a BMW 733i Automatic. Anthracite gray over red leather, it was a spectacular driving car and insanely comfortable and reassuring on long interstate hauls. My mom, not really a car person, used the BMW to shuttle her elderly Mom back home to Pennsylvania from Miami. Mom and grandma both gushed with praise for the big BMW, stating she could have driven straight through the car was so comfortable and confidence inspiring. A truly great car that improved through the E38 generation, at which point the drugs apparently took hold of BMW styling and engineering and they went completely off the rails. The newest 7 series is a 100k abomination.
  • Vatchy If you want to talk about global warming, you might start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darvaza_gas_crater
  • 28-Cars-Later $55,218 for a new GR Corolla: https://www.reddit.com/r/COROLLA/comments/zcw10i/toyota_needs_to_know_the_demand_is_there_but_this/"But if OTD prices get beyond 50k there are better options"That's what people were arguing in that thread.
  • Lou_BC "The Oldsmobile Diesel engine is a series of  V6 and  V8  diesel engines produced by  General Motors from 1978 to 1985. The 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 was introduced in 1978, followed by a 261 cu in (4.3 L) V8 only for the 1979 model year. In 1982, a 263 cu in (4.3 L) V6 became available for both front and  rear-wheel drive vehicles. Sales peaked in 1981 at approximately 310,000 units, which represented 60% of the total U.S. passenger vehicle diesel market. However, this success was short-lived as the V8 diesel engine suffered severe reliability issues, and the engines were discontinued after the 1985 model year."I'd say one would be best off finding a gasser to plunk in there or take a loss and re-sell it.