There are many, many songs that mention one of the icons of gasoline-swilling, open-road Americana: the Ford Mustang.
Meanwhile, there are very few electric Ford Mustangs in the world, and even fewer songs about electric Ford Mustangs.
Leave it to Ford to change those things—both of them. Later this year, the start of deliveries of the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV will profoundly transform the Mustang badge. And as of now, there’s already at least one song about an electric Mustang.
That song is called “New Breed,” by Michigan-based electronic musician Matthew Dear, and it was released Thursday. Ford earlier this year had the team that designed its distinctive cabin and pedestrian-warning sounds for the Mach-E—and its hybrids—send its products over to Dear for a special remix.
Musician Matthew Dear, with the Ford Mustang Mach-E
As the team mentioned in an initial meeting with Dear, in creating the Mach-E sounds it didn’t want something that sounded like the digital version of a combustion engine—rather, something that sounded new and familiar at the same time.
"Mustang Sally" was most definitely not consulted. Dear then essentially wrote “New Breed” around the existing Mach-E sounds, which he called “cinematic and sci-fi.”
The team behind the Mach-E’s sounds were indeed influenced by classic 1980s sci-fi cinema, including Blade Runner and Batman’s Tumbler, in coming up with the Mach-E sound, which gets tailored to each of the Mach-E’s drive modes.
Ford Mustang Mach-E Active Drive Assist
Among them, Engage is the mode Ford calls balanced, with a “subtle acceleration sound enhancement” plus coordinated sounds for pedestrian awareness. Whisper is calm and quiet, with no sound enhancement and exterior sound only used for pedestrian awareness. And Unbridled—the performance mode—“pays homage to the legacy of Mustang sound,” with interior and exterior sound enhancements.
Ford isn’t the only automaker to come up with innovative sound solutions for the electric-car pedestrian alerts that are required by law—and in the U.S., quite flexible. For instance, Nissan has been preparing a “Canto” theme with varies its tune based on driving style; and Tesla has considered letting its cars talk—or, potentially, to become the driver’s megaphone.
But Ford is the only one we’re aware of yet to commission a new song for an EV.