Video: Ford unveils all-electric car – the Mustang (PICTURES)

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Video- Ford unveils all-electric car - the Mustang (PICTURES) - busitechnews 1

Video: Ford unveils all-electric car – the Mustang

Ford takes aim at Tesla with electric Mustang SUV

Ford has unveiled its all-electric Mustang Mach E at a glitzy event in Los Angeles that included an appearance by actor Idris Elba.

On Sunday, Ford unveiled its new all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover SUV. With its emphasis on affordability and performance, the newest member of the Mustang family appears to be a pointed attempt by Ford to take on Tesla.

Video: Ford unveils Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric SUV

Ford Motor is touting its all-electric Mustang Mach-E as a performance SUV that will redefine the automaker’s lineup and expand the iconic pony car name to a new generation of car buyers.

The Mach-E, which was unveiled Sunday night in Los Angeles, is the first vehicle based on the company’s new EV architecture as part of an $11 billion plan to to develop 40 new all-electric and hybrid models by 2022. It also marks the first time the Mustang name is being used on a vehicle other than the two-door pony car since it debuted in 1964.

One thing that Ford has apparently learned from Tesla is that boring electric vehicles don’t sell.

The Mustang Mach-E GT Performance models will get an estimated 459 horsepower, Ford claims, from two electric motors, one powering the back wheels, the other powering the front.

Those motors should be able to make the Mach-E go from zero to 60 miles an hour in roughly 3.5 seconds, a time similar to a Porsche 911 GTS. The Tesla Model 3 Performance, meanwhile, produces 450 horsepower and the upcoming Model Y SUV is expected to share much of the same engineering.

Prices for more basic versions of the Mustang Mach-E will start at about $45,000. The most expensive version will be the Mach-E GT Performance Edition, which will start at about $60,000. Those prices are similar to Tesla’s Model Y, which will range from $47,000 to $60,000.

For the time being, Ford’s electric vehicles still qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit, Ford executives said. They expect Mach-E buyers will be able to get that full tax credit for at least the first year it’s available.

Video- Ford unveils all-electric car - the Mustang (PICTURES) - busitechnews 1

Ford expects Extended Range versions of the Mach-E with 332 horsepower to get an EPA-rated range of at least 300 miles. The standard range version will go about 239 miles, said Ted Cannis, Ford’s director of electrification. Prototype vehicles are still undergoing testing and refinement, he said.

Even with the standard range battery pack, Cannis said, the Mach-E will accelerate more quickly than a Porsche Macan SUV. (Generally, battery packs that provide higher range also provide more performance.) Two-wheel drive versions of the Mustang Mach-E will be rear-wheel drive, like the Mustang coupe it’s modeled after. Rear-wheel drive is considered ideal for a performance-oriented vehicle.

Overall, the Mach-E will have the best driving dynamics of any SUV Ford has made yet, Cannis claimed.
“It’s a freaking rock star,” he said.

But is it truly a Mustang?

Some Mustang fans have expressed dismay over the application of the Mustang name to an SUV. But Ford executives insist Mach-E truly deserves the galloping pony logo.

Since there’s no engine, electric vehicles don’t need a long hood, but the Mustang Mach-E has one. That’s a classic performance design cue, but it also helps maintain the Mustang family resemblance.

It also has a black rooftop, no matter the paint color on the rest of the car, creating the illusion of a low sloping roofline. The taillights spread out horizontally to increase the perception of width and make the vehicle seem more planted and stable like a sports car.

Unlike most electric cars, the Mach-E even makes a distinctly audible sound because, Ford designers explained, sound is an important part of the Mustang experience. The Mach-E doesn’t make a V8 burble, though.

The artificially created sound, which can be heard both inside and outside the vehicle, varies to match the Mach-E’s acceleration and speed, like an actual engine sound would. The Mach-E’s sound resembles an amplified electric motor whir, but with a hint of a rumble.

The SUV will have three selectable driving modes: Whisper, Engaged and Unbridled. Things like the responsiveness of the steering wheel and accelerator pedal, as well the vehicle’s interior lighting, the graphic design of the gauges and the volume of the motor sound will change based on the mode selected.

The Mustang Mach-E also has an enormous central touch screen, similar to the screens in a Tesla. Unlike other touch screens, though, the Mach-E has a volume knob mounted on the screen. That was one thing which people really preferred a knob for, Ford designers found.

The Mach-E doesn’t have traditional door handles or, for that matter, any door handles at all in the back. The doors are unlatched using electronic buttons. The front doors also have tiny black winglike projections to provide finger holds to pull the door open.

Like Teslas, the Mach-E will also be able to receive over-the-air software updates to improve things like performance and entertainment options.

One feature that will be added later using an over-the-air software update is the ability for hands-free driving on the highway, Ford executives said. That will be similar to General Motors’ Cadillac Super Cruise system and Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot. (Autopilot does not allow for extended hands-free driving, though.) Executives did not say when that would be available.

Ford recently announced the creation of a large network of electric vehicle charging stations across the US that can be accessed using a smart phone app. The network was created by allowing different charger networks to accept payment directly through the Ford app. When completed, Ford said, the charger network will have over 12,000 charging stations.

The Mach-E, which will be built in Mexico, will be available next fall, Ford said. The GT Performance Edition will be available in the spring of 2021. Those in Europe and the United States who are interested in buying a Mach-E can make a refundable $500 deposit immediately, though.

Video- Ford unveils all-electric car - the Mustang (PICTURES) - busitechnews 1
Video- Ford unveils all-electric car – the Mustang (PICTURES)

Earlier this year, Ford announced plans to close six manufacturing plants in Europe by the end of 2020.

Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, said at the time the company’s future was “rooted in electrification”.

Analyst Natalie Sauber, from Arcardis, said infrastructure was still a deterrent for consumers considering buying an electric vehicle.

“Norway is the country with the highest uptake of electric vehicles, followed by other Scandinavian countries,” she told the BBC’s WorkLife programme.

“The UK is coming in at the lower end, similar to Germany and the US.”

According to analyst Jato, 91% of global car sales in 2019 have been vehicles with an internal combustion engine.

Would Mustang Sally have driven an electric vehicle?

If there’s one brand which symbolises the American “pony car”, it’s the Mustang. The term was invented for it.

The original was affordable, sporty and – with a hefty engine under the bonnet – decidedly rorty.

The electric Mustang Mach-E certainly won’t be loud, but maybe it can make a pretty vocal statement nonetheless.

Read: Dad ‘rapes own daughter on her 13th birthday as a ‘present’ because he couldn’t afford a proper gift’

Ford is far from being a leader in the race to produce electric cars, but it’s putting its foot down in an effort to catch up.

It has even done a deal with Volkswagen to use some of the German giant’s heavily funded know-how on future models.

The new Mach-E will be leading Ford’s electric charge.

With a range of at least 260 miles, and plenty of power, the new car will be going up against models from Tesla, Jaguar, Audi and Mercedes.

Sally may have driven a full-fat petrol V8, but Ford is hoping her eco-conscious granddaughter can be won over by silent elegance – coupled with a decent turn of speed.

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