At least according to Bill Ford.
Ford's decision last year to eliminate its traditional car lineup (save for the Mustang) to focus on trucks, SUVs/crossovers, and future electric vehicles took many by surprise. It's a bold move, no doubt, and it's still too early to know whether it'll work. But Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford and nephew of Henry Ford II, aka the Deuce, is quite confident the automaker's upcoming EVs will shock everyone, no pun intended.
The first EV to arrive will be a Mustang-inspired crossover which Ford said "is going to go like hell." He spoke these words, a throwback to his uncle's instructions when battling Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 to "go like hell", at the Crain's Detroit Business luncheon, according to Automotive News.
Ford's choice of an iconic quote is not a coincidence. "When we first started talking about electrification, there was this thought that there had to be a trade-off: It was either going to be green and boring and no fun, or really exciting but burn a lot of fossil fuels," he said. "Electrification has come to the point that you can do both." The outgoing Fusion Energi has earned some solid reviews, but its other EV, the Focus Electric, is viewed as rather bland. Same goes for the now discontinued C-Max plug-in hybrid.
But this new crossover, due in late 2020, will be very different. We know it's being positioned as a performance crossover EV, perhaps to be called Mach 1, and will have a range exceeding 300 miles.
The original plan was to build it at the Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant near Detroit, but the plan has since changed and will be built in Mexico. However, Ford has also invested heavily in downtown Detroit, specifically in the Corktown neighborhood. Ford is also spending $740 million to renovate the old and long abandoned Detroit train station that, once completed in about four years' time, will serve as a technological R&D hub for itself as well as high-tech startups and, perhaps, rival automakers. Ford hinted VW could even rent space.
"It could be them. Anybody who wants to come down and be part of this ecosystem, we'd love it," Ford told the audience. We'll just have to wait a bit while longer to see Ford's vision for performance electrification in action.