I just saw a reveal of the new Ford Mustang Mach-E and died inside a little. What happened to the passion of car design? Ford has decided that it’s fully electric vehicle will be called a Mustang. What we get is the end result of a Tesla 3 and Tesla X combined in a fever dream with a few Mustang-ish details like a sticker-charged Civic from 1995.
Where’s the innovation??? When the Prius first came out, a real hybrid with solid MPG – its design (based on a Toyota Echo) really didn’t impress. It was a tool, an appliance. The next generation followed, and then pretty much every hybrid 4-door looked like the 2nd gen Prius. The design was meh, but it’s a commuter car. It was as bold as potato salad.
Mistake 1? Calling it a Mustang. Ok, so Ford is taking a page from the Tesla playbook. They came out with a car. On paper, I’m certain it has great statistics. It may even blow the doors off a Mustang. It’s not a Mustang. A Mustang is bold, it’s obnoxious, it’s groundbreaking. This car may be groundbreaking for Ford, but it’s a step backward for Mustang.
Tesla came along with some really fantastic design IMHO, they’ve revolutionized electric car design and performance to the point I’m seriously considering putting one in my driveway next to my 200k mile Silverado. GM brought us the EV-1…
Which was shelved in favor of the almighty push-rod. In that market gap and more than a few years later came Tesla, and they give us this:
In a generation where the theme of everything seems to be a reboot or a sequel, Tesla gave us an entirely new franchise. In some ways the design language could be considered dated, but take any other 100% electric car in that price range, put it side by side, which one looks like the designers had a full 8 hours of sleep the night before?
Now I’ll admit, in a few cases other manufacturers are catching up but again – as far as I’m concerned, it’s Tesla’s game to lose at this point. Manufacturers need to be bold, they need to take chances, not reboot, not reimagine, and certainly not slap the Mustang nameplate on a gray market Tesla. Honestly? I can only think of one nameplate that would be best.
That’s right, the venerable Ford Escort. If Ford could turn the Taurus into a full-size sedan, they can take the Escort and turn it into another bland crossover. We still remember when they slapped the Mustang name on a Ford Pinto, and called it the Mustang II… never again.
I hope the new effort is successful. I hope Ford sells this and many more electric vehicles. I hope the market gets flooded enough that the prices can come down. What I hope for most of all though, is if you’re going to name a new product, that the design passes the smell test.
The Mach-E is not a Mustang. The Mustang is not an appliance, and if the design must be THAT close to something as bold as a Tesla, then it should be BOLD. This just… is not.
What do you think?