The consensus forming around the Mustang Mach-E is that it’s a very capable and fun to drive EV – which should be great new both to Ford and prospective buyers. But its name has raised more than a few eyebrows. Now, though, the automaker has revealed the reasons behind the choice of name.
The simple answer is because it would generate exactly this kind of discourse. That’s according to Jason Castriota, Ford’s global brand director for battery electric vehicles, who recently spoke to Road & Track.
“The idea of how do we stand out in the crowd, how do we cut through all the noise and the clutter of yet another all-electric vehicle became really the essential question that we had to solve,” said Castriota.
Worse still, it was a problem that Ford faced late in the development process. The team behind the Mach-E realized that it would be announced just as other manufacturers were releasing their own EVs.
So, according to Castriota, it became clear to the team that their EV had to be a Mustang. Suddenly changing track isn’t easy, though. The decision to call the car a Mustang led to massive changes in the vehicle architecture, drivetrain, and performance of the vehicle.
There was also the challenge of designing an SUV to look like a Mustang. Even after the mock-ups were ready and the Mustang design cues added, the team knew it was in for an uphill battle.
“I had the dubious honor of presenting the Mustang Mach-E to our Mustang club presidents,” Castriota explained. “Let’s say, they came in arms crossed, a stern look on their faces.”
After showing the presidents what the Mach-E could do, Castriota said that they were satisfied that Ford wasn’t taking the Mustang away, just adding another horse to the stable.
Apparently, the public reception to the Mach-E has been good enough that Ford plans on continuing the trend, leveraging its best-known names as it introduces more EVs. Don’t expect them all to be Mustangs, though; there’s a limit to what that name could be applied to. Thankfully, Ford has a rich history to look back on.