Ford's 'Mustang-inspired' electric SUV: Everything we know

Ford has been pretty tight-lipped so far, but some information has snuck out.

The electric SUV cometh, and it'll channel the Mustang as best it can.

Ford

Given the popularity of crossovers in the US, it wasn't necessarily a surprise when Ford said it intended to build a utility vehicle that leaned heavily on the Mustang for inspiration. What was more surprising was the fact that Ford said it would be electric.

Since that initial announcement, the automaker hasn't offered up too much information, but as we march steadily toward its eventual reveal, let's take a look back and see what we know about this upcoming EV SUV so far.

Looks and variants

To date, we've only had two official teasers for the Mustang-inspired EV -- a dark rendering that shows, well, a whole lot of Mustang rear-end design and one that shows the side profile. The traditional taillight area of the Mustang translates well to a larger body, but then again, all the true SUV bits remain shrouded in the teasers, so there isn't really much to go on.

The latest teaser, shown in October, revealed more of the SUV's side profile. There, we can definitely see more Mustang-like design cues. The headlights appear to share as similar look and signature. The rear haunch largely mimics the pony car, and the taillights are absolutely pulled from the Mustang, too. Overall, it looks like a sleek thing and not far less boxy, SUV-like.

Many people believed that Ford had teased the 'Stang-themed SUV in a series of videos discussing dispelling common electric-vehicle myths, and it would have been our best look yet, showing off an SUV shape shrouded in curve-covering camouflage. However, Ford has since confirmed that vehicle was a rolling testbed for battery development and not reflective of the final vehicle. It is not, in fact, the Mustang-inspired SUV.

That's probably a good thing, because the camouflaged car in those videos didn't look like much more than an Escape-based crossover, which would be rather deflating for folks hoping for the equivalent of a Mustang on stilts.

Regarding potential variants, all we know thus far is that Lincoln will borrow the EV SUV's platform for something of its own creation. Ford's North American president confirmed in January that Lincoln will take the platform and build its own EV, although one shouldn't expect it to resemble Ford's vehicle in the slightest.

While many of us quickly jumped to conclusions and assumed this was Ford's Mustang-inspired EV, the automaker put the kibosh on that rumor.

Ford

Powertrain/drivetrain

Well, we know this upcoming SUV will be electric, so that's a good start.

The underlying EV tech is still largely a mystery. The battery will likely be a lithium-ion unit, but we don't know that for sure, nor do we know if they'll use prismatic cells or another type. Thus far, all Ford has delivered on this front is a range estimate in excess of 300 miles.

Earlier this year, Ford launched a new site for its European EVs and claimed the Mustang-inspired SUV would have a range of around 370 miles. That's a whole lot, but that figure is also based on European WLTP estimates, which are far more forgiving than the numbers the EPA puts out in the US. Thus, it'd be reasonable to expect its range to land closer to the 300-mile mark for us Yankees. There's also a possibility that Ford will offer different battery configurations for the SUV, giving buyers a more affordable choice at the expense of some range.

Otherwise, all we know is that Ford wants to try and bring as much of the Mustang's character into this SUV as possible. Green Car Reports talked to someone at Ford and claims it will be available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations.

Whatever the electric powertrain is, it'll need charging. We know the electric SUV will benefit from a 12,000-strong charging station network. Ford has worked with multiple partners, including Electrify America, to provide access to stations across the US -- including 150 kW DC fast chargers.

Name

Ford likely doesn't have the EV SUV's name set in stone yet, but there's at least one good idea for what its name won't be.

At the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the automaker announced that it would revive the hallowed Mach 1 name as a possibility for the Mustang-inspired electric crossover. That ... did not go over well, especially with long-time Mustang fans who are not ready to follow the crowds to high-riding utility vehicles. The automaker has since stepped back on that nomenclature, leaving it mostly a mystery.

Ford might have a middle ground in the works, though. In late 2018, the automaker filed a trademark for "Mach E," which would blend the old and the new a bit better than simply reviving an old badge and slapping it on something new.

Potential release date and price

In October, Ford revealed it will show the "Mustang-inspired" electric SUV on Nov. 17. That's one day before the press flocks to the LA Auto Show, so expect to see the EV debut at a standalone event before taking the stage at the auto show after.

Following the debut, Ford has long said it plans to launch the electric SUV in 2020. This won't be a concept -- we're going to see the real deal very soon.

As for where it will be built, a Car and Driver report claims that production of Ford's Mustang-inspired SUV will take place at the automaker's plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, which used to assemble the US-spec Fiesta. That doesn't mean Ford doesn't have EV plans for the US, though -- two other electric vehicles, one of which will likely be the Lincoln variant on the same platform, will be built in Michigan.

Originally published Oct. 2.

Update, Oct. 17: Adds information about FordPass Charging Network in the powertrain section of the story.

Update, Oct. 31.: Adds information about the SUV's reveal date and design.

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