Ford is doubling down on the Mustang Mach E and its future as part of its long-term business plan; that is, if rumors of a smaller Mach E become a reality. Several publications have speculated that an even smaller Mach E may already be in the works at the Blue Oval. A baby Mach E would make a lot of financial sense for the Ford Motor Company.
Ford Partners With Volkswagen
Earlier this summer, Ford announced a partnership with Volkswagen to use their new Modular Drive Matrix (aka MEB) platform to build future electric vehicles. This platform would give Ford versatility to build small SUVs and crossovers as both rear wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles with a variety of battery sizes. This gives Ford the ability to create mild PHEVs and all electric crossovers. The VW partnership hints at Ford making some kind of smaller Mustang Mach E.
Ford President and CEO, Jim Hackett said that despite Ford and Volkswagen being fierce competitors that a partnership with them also makes sense. “Unlocking the synergies across a range of areas allows us to showcase the power of our global alliance in this era of smart vehicles for a smart world,” Hackett said.
Will There Be An All-Electric Mustang?
We already know that Ford has considered creating an all-electric true Mustang (and by that I mean a two-door coupe rather than a crossover). This would certainly appeal to many of us who found it frustrating (to say the least) to drop the Mustang badge onto a crossover, essentially tarnishing the muscle-car heritage of America’s pony car.
I have written extensively about that and don’t want to keep beating a dead pony. But could this partnership with Volkswagen and the MEB platform indicate that Ford will actually use this to create some kind of electric pony car? That seems unlikely, at least on this Volkswagen platform.
There are major design problems that would keep a pony car from being built on the MEB platform while holding true to a Mustang look. The shorter wheelbase of the MEB platform plus the design of the cowl for vehicles on the MEB platform is not conducive to that of a Mustang. This would limit a Mustang-like stance and roofline.
So it seems more and more likely that Ford would modify the Mach E as part of this platform and less likely that it would be a true Mustang. A smaller, sub-compact crossover type of vehicle would work. But would Ford be so audacious as to continue using the Mustang name at all on such a vehicle?
Such a move may help Ford sell a few more vehicles, but it will likely be the death knell of the Mustang as we know it. All of this is merely speculation at this point. Ford will most certainly do something with the VW MEB platform. That only makes good financial sense.
For years I have thought Ford and VW made great business partners. But Ford should proceed very carefully with these next steps. I do believe this speculation will come to fruition if the Mustang Mach E sells well. Could a baby Mach E fill more of a market void? A small EV crossover with range exceeding 300 miles and more than 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive? That in theory sounds appealing to me. But please, don’t call it a Mustang!
Update: Ford Mustang Mach-E is sold out.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. In addition to being a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, Jimmy has been published in a compilation book about children growing up with disabilities, where he shared his own very personal experience. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.