Ford 300-mile all-electric SUV may be named Mach 1; due 2020

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The big new debuts at the 2018 Detroit auto show are largely pickup trucks, one of them being the new mid-size 2019 Ford Ranger.

Ford also introduced a new Bullitt Mustang, honoring the 51st anniversary of the legendary 1968 movie, and a high-performance ST version of the Edge crossover. (Is it the Edgest Edge?)

But as for new hybrids or plug-in cars, nothing rolled out—though the company did show a video (above).

CHECK OUT: Ford plans 300-mile electric SUV, hybrid F-150 and Mustang, more U.S. production

It implies that Ford's future all-electric SUV, to be launched in 2020, may be a high-performance marriage of sporty Mustang DNA and Ford Explorer functionality.

Also, it appears the electric crossover may not carry not the "Model E" name, thought to be the working label for a future lineup of compact hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicles.

Instead, Ford hinted, it might be called the Mach 1.

Ford Mustang Mach 1

Ford Mustang Mach 1

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Readers of a certain age may recall the "Mach 1" as a performance version of the Mustang pony car from almost half a century ago.

In a discussion with Motor Authority, Ford spokesperson Said Deep said the cherished name is not 100-percent locked in for the electric SUV.

Ford might end up using a different name, he said, if there's notable backlash among Mustang owners and enthusiasts.

READ THIS: Ford to cut engine funding by one third, invest in electrics, autonomy

Beyond that, the compact electric utility vehicle is expected to offer 300 miles of range. It will be built at an assembly plant in Mexico, rather than the originally announced factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, which will be devoted to trucks.

Ford will invest a total of $11 billion in electrification programs and launch 40 new electrified vehicles globally by 2022—defined as conventional hybrids, battery-electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids.

The company's existing lineup of those vehicles is aging and waning: It has already killed off the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, and the conventional C-Max Hybrid will follow it into oblivion by the middle of this year.

2013 Ford C-Max Energi - Driven, June 2013

2013 Ford C-Max Energi - Driven, June 2013

Enlarge Photo
2015 Ford C-Max Energi

2015 Ford C-Max Energi

Enlarge Photo
2015 Ford C-Max Energi

2015 Ford C-Max Energi

Enlarge Photo

The Ford Focus Electric remains the same basic compliance car launched for the 2012 model year, with only a boost in battery capacity last year to bring it to 114 miles of range.

Other than that, the company is limited to hybrid models of its Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion mid-size sedans and an Energi plug-in hybrid variant of the Fusion.

The company's CEO, Mark Fields, was unceremoniously fired this spring and replaced by former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett, who spoke on Sunday afternoon during the Ranger introduction.

DON'T MISS: Ford fires CEO Fields, in part, for lagging on electric cars

Under Hackett, the company's electrification efforts have been centralized under a new group called Team Edison.

That team is said to enjoy greater autonomy than you'd normally find within Ford in order to accelerate the development of the automaker's electric cars.

In other green-car news from Sunday's truck-heavy event was a 2020 arrival date for the Ford F-150 Hybrid full-size pickup truck, slightly later than promised by then-CEO Fields a year ago.

For all the latest about the few green-car concepts and other updates at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, see our Detroit auto-show news page.


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