A great disturbance in the Force.
A week ago, I wrote about the global reveal of the newest member to Ford's stable, and a vision for its future, the Mustang Mach-E. That announcement has come with it, both a sense of shock, and awe. Since then, there has been some interesting news concerning the Mach-E.
Firstly, as I had discussed in that previous post, I made known my concerns for Ford's use of the Mustang name. For long, the Pony emblem has always been stamped on the most exhilarating of cars from the Detroit giant. Yet, for the Mach-E, Ford has badged the Pony onto an otherwise mainstream vehicle, a 4-door SUV/crossover.
Its excitement in driving is yet to be determined, but is the Mach-E worthy of the Mustang name? Ford had their justifications, but clearly unconvincing enough for some of its most loyal customers. Since then, there has been a petition, asking Ford to reconsider the naming of the Mach-E, and remove any Mustang affiliations. This petition had in fact been organised by Jimmy Dinsmore, an automotive writer and Mustang enthusiast.
According to a survey done by Autolist of average consumers (not enthusiasts), approximately 46% of people did not approve of Ford's decision to name the Mach-E as a Mustang (only 20% approved, with the remaining 34% undecided ). On a side note, this survey also claims that 51% of participants had expressed their preference of the Mach-E over Tesla's Model Y, it's nearest competitor.
If anything, Ford may be more interested in the latter, knowing that consumers are more interested in their electric SUV, over Tesla's. The primary points to consider, are Ford's customer service, maintenance/reliability, and their long-term viability compared to Tesla.
Going back onto the main subject, while I do not wish to denounce the petition myself, as I prefer the Mach-E to not carry the Mustang name, I believe there's little chance for Ford to renege now. This is considering the extensive marketing efforts undertaken for the Mach-E's announcement, and what embarrassment that would ensue as a result of Ford's decision to re-brand the Mach-E now.
The fact that all of the Edition 1 variants for the Mach-E have already been sold out, seems to prove my point. For all we're concerned, the Mach-E is a Mustang according to Ford, whether we like it or not. Another developing news from Ford, to support my theory, is Ford's strong consideration to engineer a Shelby version of the Mach-E, or as Motor1 calls it, the Shelb-E.
The Shelby name as graced Mustangs for decades, and their brand has long been synonymous with performance, to create a hotter and madder version of an already capable muscle car. This again strengthens Ford's position for adding the Mach-E into the Mustang brand. This strategy to be similar as the one used by Mercedes AMG's Black Series of cars, to create a super-high performance vehicle that sits above all else (Mercedes=Ford, AMG=Mustang, Black Series=Shelby ), but this time it may be unconstrained by vehicle segment.
The rebellion strikes back.
Yet, if you are concerned as SUVs and crossovers are taking over our future, then you should know there are some manufacturers that share your concerns. Volkswagen, despite being heavily invested into SUVs and crossovers themselves, wants to help you fight back.
Their I.D. brand of (concept) cars have already proven this, showing the world a more colourful, diverse, and fun future for the electric automobile. It's I.D. cars use a modular electrified platform that can be shared easily amongst different segments, with which they have made hatchbacks, camper vans, beach buggies, and more to come.
Another addition to the I.D. family, is a future electric station wagon, equally as practical as an SUV, but without the needless heft and size. This "rebellion ", as quoted by Volkswagen themselves, is imminent, as they believe SUVs won't be able to corner the market for themselves forever.
VW's I.D. Space Vizzion Concept is merely, as the name suggests, a concept. However, the top bosses at Wolfsburg seem convinced to make it happen. It has a sleek and wagon-y exterior, as striking and futuristic, as it is minimalistic. That exterior bodywork is more than just form over function, as it has a low drag co-efficient of just 0.24, thus helping it with efficiency.
Talking about efficiency, the Space Vizzion (… silly name ) has an 82 kWh battery pack, allowing for an estimated driving range of 367 miles (560 kilometers) in the WLTP cycle. As with other VWs, this concept rides on their new MEB platform that will underpin their future electric cars, shared along with the rest of the Volkswagen Group.
One good thing about this platform, is that it prioritises a rear-wheel drive (RWD) setup, for more enthusiastic driving. In the Space Vizzion, this rear-mounted motor will provide about 275 hp, with the potential for another motor to power the front wheels soon (thus an AWD powertrain), with a total power output of 355 hp.
Consequently, this AWD version would be able to send the Space Vizzion from 0 to 60mph in just 5 seconds, and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 109 mph (175 kph). As with all new and upcoming cars, the interior is very minimalistic as well, reflective of the exterior, with recyclable interior trim materials, such as apple waste (other fruits unknown).