Pretty hideous, right?
A lot has been written about the all-new Ford Mustang Mach-E lately that it can be hard to keep up. Ford's first-ever built-from-scratch electric vehicle, will face off directly against the Tesla Model Y and upcoming Audi Q4 e-tron, to name just a few rivals. The fact that Ford decided to expand the Mustang brand will remain a source of debate for the foreseeable future. But so far, the Mach-E is living up to the hype.
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford even refused to return a prototype to engineers because he enjoyed driving it so much. Originally, however, the Mach-E wasn't intended to get the Mustang nameplate, while the exterior design was on course to be very different.
The Detroit Free Press has obtained from Ford early design drawings of a less than thrilling Mach-E (or whatever it might have been named).
Back in spring 2017, now-former CEO Jim Hackett gave Jim Farley, who has since become CEO, a new role. The two of them decided to closely examine all upcoming product programs and broke them down into three categories: vehicles whose designs were too late to be changed within the product development process, some that were far along but time still remained to make some adjustments, and those only at the beginning.
The Mach-E, along with the Bronco Sport, fell into the middle category. Hackett saw the Mach-E prototypes, the images you're seeing here, and wasn't satisfied. Neither was Farley, who also saved the Bronco Sport from a lame design. "When I first saw it… I said, 'Oh, boy. Houston, we have a problem.' The vehicle looked like a science project," Farley said.
The decision was made to start over completely, and Farley played a huge role. Farley told designers to use the Mustang as inspiration. Above all, he encouraged them to abandon their comfort zones. At this time, Hackett and Farley came up with the idea of expanding the Mustang brand but knew it'd be a hard sell to Ford himself, a lifelong Mustang fan.
All three knew it'd be controversial but a new design direction began to appear. "The designers were unleashed," said Ford's chief communications officer, Mark Truby. And then Bill Ford saw and drove the prototype, and walked away convinced the new design and Mustang name were a winning combination.