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Ford unveils an all-electric Mustang – and it’s been re-invented as an SUV

By Paul Connolly

Ford has revealed an all-electric version of its famous Mustang muscle car – but this time it’s an SUV.

The move, which is the first time that Ford has expanded the Mustang line-up in 55 years, is likely to leave many traditional US muscle car fans scratching their heads.

Ford says the Mustang Mach-E is an “all-new, all-electric SUV born of the same free-spirited ideals that inspired the best-selling sports coupe in the world”.

It heralds the serious start of Ford’s electrification push, with 13 more plug-in cars coming to Europe by the end of next year.

The Mach-E is set to be incredibly versatile, with an official range of 370 miles, a 0-62 mph time of up to under five seconds and an estimated 830Nm of torque for the most powerful version.

It’s the transformation of the famously throaty and powerful symbol of US muscle cars into an SUV – and an electric one at that – that has left fans divided.

But taller SUV-type cars are in line with current market trends and will help Ford take on rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model 3 and upcoming Tesla Model Y.

Unveiling the new carl, Ford executive chairman Bill Ford said: “At the first-ever Detroit auto show, Henry Ford said he was working on something that would strike like forked lightning.

“That was the Model T. Today, the Ford Motor Company is proud to unveil a car that strikes like forked lightning all over again.

“The all-new, all-electric, Mustang Mach-E. It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s freedom. For a new generation of Mustang owners.”

When it arrives in late 2020, the Mustang Mach-E will be available with standard and extended-range battery options with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive powered by permanent magnet motors, says Ford.

Equipped with an extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive, the Mustang Mach‑E has a targeted pure-electric driving range of more than 370 miles according to the tougher new WLTP standard.

In extended-range all-wheel drive configurations, Mustang Mach-E is targeting 337PS (248kW) and 565Nm of torque.

There’s also a performance version, the Mustang Mach-E GT with sub-5 second 0-62mph acceleration and 465PS and 830Nm of torque.

Each version will have three unique drive modes – Whisper, Engage and Unbridled. Features include sportier steering controls, ambient lighting, sounds tuned for an authentic all-electric experience, and dynamic cluster animations tied to driving behaviour.

A new Mach-E 4 all-wheel drive system will apply torque independently to the front and rear axles to deliver acceleration and improved handling over the rear-wheel drive model.

Ford says it tuned this system to provide “excellent” traction on the road after rigorous testing in wet and snowy terrain.

The latest Brembo all-new performance Flexira aluminium callipers are installed, plus there’s a MagneRide damping system, an adaptive suspension technology designed to let drivers hug the road.

Ford will unveil its next-generation SYNC internet communications and entertainment system in the new Mustang.

It includes machine learning, over-the-air updates, a 15.5-inch screen and simpler user interfaces including smartphone-style touch, swipe and pinch controls.

It’ll be more practical than the standard Mustang – boot space is 402-litres, opening up to 1,420-litres with the rear seats folded down. There is also a washable and drainable 100-litre storage area under the bonnet.

The car is likely to land in the UK and Ireland towards the end of next year, with an estimated price range of £40k for the entry level model to £58k for a range-topping 4WD sporty First Edition.

The standard Mustang is now in its sixth-generation, having been on sale since 1964. It is credited with creating the American ‘Pony’ class of cars with coupe styling, long bonnets and big engines.

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