LOS ANGELES — Ford Motor on Sunday unveiled the 2021 Mustang Mach E, the automaker's first all-electric performance SUV and the beginning of a new EV strategy for the company.
Here are five important things you should know about the vehicle:
It will be profitable
After years of automakers losing money on EVs, including Ford's first foray that started nearly a decade ago, Ford CEO Jim Hackett on Sunday said the Mach-E will be profitable.
"We will make a profit from car one, which is unusual," Hackett told reporters after the unveiling. "We think we will attract a lot of customers with this."
Sergio Marchionne, the late CEO of Fiat Chrysler, infamously urged people not to buy the automaker's all-electric Fiat 500e, because the company lost $14,000 on each one.
The Mach-E debuts a suite of new technologies for Ford, most notably a new interior setup that features a vertical 15.5-inch center screen in addition to a 10.2-inch information cluster in front of the driver.
The infotainment system debuts Ford's next-generation SYNC infotainment system that includes a customizable area that can learn a driver's preferences and make personalized suggestions, according to officials.
"This is the beginning of what AI is going to do," Hackett said. "The vehicle is starting to learn you in really cool ways so that it adapts to what you care about."
Hackett said the Mach-E will feature a new, hands-free driver-assist system that is expected to compete with Tesla's Autopilot and Cadillac's Super Cruise systems. The company, he said, plans to activate the driver-assist system through an over-the-air update. He declined to provide timing for the system update.
Top performance models of the Mustang Mach-E will achieve 0 to 60 mph in the mid-3-second range with an estimated 459 horsepower and 612 lb.-ft. of torque. That makes it faster off the line than a Porsche Macan Turbo and comparable to a Porsche 911 GTS. Other models are expected to have 0 to 60 mph times around six seconds.
"I said if any car is going to wear the pony, it can't just look like a Mustang," said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford. "It's got to drive like one, it's got to feel like one, and it has to have the soul of one."
"I've driven it, and it's a rocket ship," Ford said.
The range of the all-electric vehicle, depending on the model, is expected to achieve between roughly 210 miles and more than 300 miles on a full charge. The Mach-E will be available with a standard 75.7 kWh battery or extended-range 98.8 kWh battery.
The Mach-E is expected to arrive in dealerships beginning in late 2020 with "Premium" and "First Edition" models followed by base and performance models, including a GT, through spring 2021. Starting pricing — excluding federal tax incentives of up to $7,500 — will range from about $43,895 for the base "Select" model to roughly $60,500 for the GT.
"I think that the world is ready for performance electric vehicles that are priced right," Hackett said. "We think we'll attract a lot of customers with this."
The Mach-E wasn't always going to be a Mustang. The decision had to be approved by the automaker's top brass, specifically Ford, a well-known environmentalist and Mustang enthusiast.
"The issue to date has always been if you wanted performance, you had to give up the green aspects; if you wanted green, you gave up the other," he said. "Technology has finally gotten us to a place where you can actually have both.
"It's something I've waited for a long, long time. I love this car."
Aside from its badging and performance, the Mach-E includes Mustang design aspects such as a long hood, rear haunch, aggressive headlights, and trademark tri-bar taillamps. The grille of the vehicle also is cut out to resemble the pony car.
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