Ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford unveiled the highly anticipated Mustang Mach-E crossover. The first vehicle from Team Edison (Ford’s electric vehicle division) is very different than any other Ford yet stays true to core values of the brand.

The Mach-E can be called a Mustang in that it has the same short nose and front overhang, headlights, and general silhouette. However, it still has a profile suited for an electric vehicle and features all-new infotainment and connected vehicle technology, along with other interesting, new details.

This is the biggest change for the Mustang nameplate in its lifespan of 55 years. The Mustang Mach-E is the first product to come out of Ford’s investment of $11 billion into EVs. The American carmaker plans to add 15 more electric cars to its portfolio through 2022.

Ford Electric Car

The Mustang which was staunchly a V8-powered coupe is now also an all-electric crossover.

“I’ve driven it and it’s a rocket ship. This is a Mustang for a new generation, but I also think long-time Mustang fans like me will love it as well,” says Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford.

Kumar Galhotra, President of Ford North America, said at a press event prior to the unveiling, “We knew we had to do something different and something exciting and something only Ford could do.” With this in mind, Ford changed tack from originally planning to build a compliance car – one that meets emissions regulations in key markets.

Later in the Mach-E’s development phase, the decision was taken to make it a vehicle people would get excited about. It needed to be fun to drive and have the performance expected of the name it carried.

Company insiders viewed the project as a risk, potentially diluting the Mustang moniker. Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, said during the unveiling, “I’ve driven it and it’s a rocket ship. This is a Mustang for a new generation, but I also think long-time Mustang fans like me will love it as well.”

Ford will offer five trims of the Mustang Mach-E. Starting with the Select, trim levels will go through Premium, First Edition, California Route 1, and end at a range-topping GT Performance edition. The GT will target a 0-100kph time in the mid-three-second range. The Mustang Mach-E will offer roughly 450hp and 830Nm.

Two drivetrain configurations are on offer. There is an RWD and an AWD layout available, with different driving range. Ford says the rear-wheel-drive version can drive up to 482km on a full charge. The AWD Mustang Mach-E can drive up to 434km. The GT Performance trim will offer a range of just above 400km.

Ford Mustang Mach E

The Mustang retains signature elements tied to its moniker, yet manages to transition smoothly into a new body shape.

Inside, Ford has chosen to go sustainable that uses high-quality materials like synthetic “Sensico” leather on the seats. The dashboard is wrapped in black or grey cloth, and is reminiscent of the first Mustang, which is a clever touch. A 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring Ford’s Sync infotainment system is standard, along with Co-Pilot 360 2.0, Ford’s latest active safety suite.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition will hit dealer floors by early 2020, while the GT Performance variant will be available by mid-2021. The ‘Select’ trim will start from $43,895 and will be available 2021 onwards.

The Mustang has signified great change at Ford. The first Mustang debuted to critical acclaim and managed to redefine motoring in the USA, while going on to gain popularity overseas. Ford intends to revolutionise the automotive industry once more with its electric vehicle program, and the Mustang Mach-E seems just the right vehicle to lead the charge.