The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV made its debut ahead of the Los Angeles Auto show at a special event on Sunday night. Purists took issue with the Mustang name being applied to an SUV, but they better get used to the idea. According to Autocar, this could be the start of an expanded Mustang lineup.
The Ford Mustang is an iconic muscle car. That all changed when Ford introduced the Mustang Mach-E. It is most definitely not a muscle car. It’s an SUV that borrows just enough styling cues from the Mustang to see the family resemblance, especially the triple-bar taillights.
It’s an interesting way to expand on the current Mustang badge and one that people will argue over endlessly. The first production units aren’t due out at the end of 2020 for the 2021 model year, so there’s plenty of time to decide if this is a brilliant move or a terrible one.
Whatever you feelings on this new use for the Mustang name, chances are good this won’t the only non-muscle car Mustang. Ford’s European design chief Murat Gueler told Autocar, “The Mach-E is our step into the future without ignoring history. There’s a lot of emotion with Mustang and it’s time to progress and make that spread wider.”
He goes on to discuss how Ford wanted this Mustang to be seen as something new. Little changes, like a new Mustang pony badge instead of the usual Ford Blue Oval, are intended to hint at this new direction.
What exactly that new direction is isn’t clear as yet, but Gueler’s comments indicate this isn’t the end of the Mustang badge expansion. There’s plenty of precedent for automakers creating sub-brands within their lineups to highlight a specific element of automotive design.
Buick has the Avenir sub-brand and GMC has its Denali, both of which are the most luxurious versions of its vehicles. Hyundai took a single model – the Genesis – and spun that off into a standalone luxury brand.
For now, there’s the Mustang muscle car and the Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle, but the future could hold much more for the Mustang name.