"It needs to be able to go all day on a track day."
The dust has barely settled following the announcement of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and now an even more performance-oriented Shelby version of the controversial five-door crossover is said to be in the works. The Mustang Mach-E, of course, ditches the flamboyant V8s associated with the badge and replaces it with an electric drivetrain. With the GT Performance edition anticipated to reach 60 mph in under 3.5 seconds and an available driving mode called 'Unbridled', Ford has taken a leaf out of Tesla's book and shown us that electric-powered vehicles needn't be boring. Now, according to a report by Evo, the big bosses at Ford think a Shelby-badged version is a worthwhile move.
The main challenge isn't achieving great performance figures, but rather, developing a Shelby EV with the ability to spend plenty of time on a track while also still being good to drive. A heavy electric car with a battery pack seems counterintuitive to that, but the Ford big guns are undaunted.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge of applying the Shelby characteristics to an electric car," said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief program engineer. "The trick for us is the fun-to-drive part, and sustainability in terms of charging. It needs to be able to go all day on a track day - you can't do 20 minutes and then have to charge it all night."
These are lofty goals, but it will be fascinating to see if Shelby can improve on the Mach-E's current EPA-estimated range of 300 miles when equipped with the 98.8 kWh extended-range battery. Or, whether a Shelby-badged EV can possibly be as engaging on a track as a howling Shelby GT500 coupe. Still, with the Mach-E's 459 horsepower output as a starting point, the end result is bound to be promising.
Further details are still to be revealed, but what's for sure is that walking into a bar and dropping down the keys to your Mustang will spark some brand new conversations. With the Mustang Mach-E set to arrive in early 2021, don't expect to see the Shelby version anytime before that.