The Ford Mustang-Inspired Mach 1 Electric SUV Will Be Based On The Focus: Report

Illustration for article titled The Ford Mustang-Inspired Mach 1 Electric SUV Will Be Based On The Focus: Report
Screenshot: Ford (YouTube)

When Ford first announced a new electric performance SUV at the Detroit Auto Show in January, a teaser video showed the Ford Explorer and Ford Mustang as its inspirations. Ford even nicknamed it the “Mach 1” as an ode to the Mustang. But Autocar reports that the new SUV will be built on the new global Focus platform.

Here’s a mandatory pause to remind you all that everything is bad; Ford plans to get rid of all of its cars and sedans other than the Mustang and the Focus Active, the world is full of crossovers, and our future holds electric performance SUVs that look like the Mustang’s bloated younger sibling.


Oh, right, back to the news. Ford’s new electric performance SUV should come around for 2020, and Ford representative Mike Levine told Jalopnik in January that the “Mach 1” nickname for the vehicle is just a test to see how customers respond to it. (Don’t pull a Mitsubishi here, Ford.)

There have been no photos or teaser images of a vehicle yet to make a judgement on size, but then-Ford executive Raj Nair said at its debut that the Mach 1 would be built on a unique platform. That is, a unique platform instead of the Mustang platform, because it’s battery electric.

But the platform may not be all that unique, since Autocar reports that the Mach 1 will be built on the same modular “Holy Grail” platform as the new Focus. From the story:

The all-electric crossover, dubbed Mach 1 in reference to its Mustang-derived styling features, has been confirmed as a globally engineered model to be revealed next year, with UK deliveries starting in 2020.

The crossover, codenamed CX430, will be built on the C2 platform used for the new Focus and has been in Ford’s product plan for several years.

The CX430 will be additional to the Kuga and, since it is based on the front-wheel-drive C2 platform, it is expected to be conventional hatchback-like, with a slightly raised driving position.

Ford has identified ‘white paper’ models like the CX430 to replace saloons and hatches in its US line-up. Further crossovers with Mustang design cues and front-drive chassis are a strong possibility because they combine “the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as high ride height, space and versatility”.


The story doesn’t say how Autocar got this information, and should be taken with some caution. Jalopnik has reached out to Ford for comment about the report and the platform the new Mach 1 may be on, and also if it feels sorry for having deceived us like this, and will update if we hear back.

Crossovers and SUVs with performance badges may be our imminent future, but, hey, at least a Mustang-styled SUV seems less likely to hit up the local Cars and Coffee regularly.


Update 3:17 p.m. A Ford representative responded to Jalopnik, saying there’s “some confusion” with the Autocar report. But because it’s too early to talk about the future lineup, the representative said, there was no comment from Ford on the report other than directing Jalopnik to the statement the company made on the vehicle in March:

Ford’s five flexible vehicle architectures – body-on-frame, front-wheel-drive unibody, rear-wheel-drive unibody, commercial van unibody and BEV – are paired with module “families” that address the power pack, electrical pack and vehicle configurations. Seventy percent of each vehicle’s engineering will be driven from this new architecture approach, with 30 percent of content – including grilles, hoods, doors and more – customized for each vehicle.

Staff writer, Jalopnik

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Can no one at Ford see how stupid this is?

Mach 1: A legendary performance trim for the Mustang. Only ever used on the Mustang. First used in 1969, last used in 2004.

Performance Electric Crossover: A fairly untapped market with a fairly limited appeal right now due to range anxiety, in a vehicle shape known for poor dynamics and excessive weight.

So, where exactly on the Venn diagram is the overlap? Who would remember the Mach 1 name and want an electric crossover? Who would hear the name “Mach 1" and immediately think of a 5 seat family vehicle powered by electricity? Who would want a futuristic “jack of all trades” performance crossover with a name tied to a gasoline burning muscle car?

Even “Lightning” would be a better name, it implies electricity. Or “Thunderbird” would make more sense, implying electricity and not being tied to any current model. Or making it Mustang based would be better. Making it Mustang based with 4 doors and a liftback would be better.