2020 Ford Mach 1 Is Not What You Think It Is

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Would Ford actually be crazy enough to slap a legendary muscle-car moniker on an all-electric SUV? 

Among the many legendary nameplates we’ve been treated to over the years, Mach 1 is among the most revered. The performance-oriented package debuted on the Mustang beginning in 1969, adorning all sorts of beefed-up ‘Stangs until 1978. The nameplate was renewed, once again on the Mustang, from 2003-2004. So, when Ford announced this week at the North American International Auto Show that it was bringing back the Mach 1 in 2020, fans around the world were obviously excited.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach I

After all, this was a complete surprise, unlike the return of the Ranger and Bullitt Mustang. But it was only a matter of seconds before this exciting revelation turned sour.

Turns out, the 2020 Mach 1 isn’t going to be a Mustang at all. In fact, the legendary nameplate is making its return on an all-electric SUV. We know what you’re thinking, because we were thinking the same thing. And it was filled with a variety of creative expletives we can’t repeat here.

But wait! This electrified ‘ute is going to be a high-performance model! In fact, the short teaser-video Ford graced us with shows a Mustang and Explorer pulling into a building. Then, lighting strikes! And Ford exec Jim Farley teased us even further with a few harrowing follow-up comments. “What happens when this” (loud internal combustion engine noise) “meets an e-racer acceleration? Can a battery electric vehicle stir the soul?”


It’s nice to see that the Blue Oval is open to customer feedback, and willing to avoid making such a preposterous move!


Now, all-electric performance SUVs are nothing new, and we’ve previously reported on Ford’s proposed electric SUV that promises a 300-mile range. This is in addition to the Blue Oval bringing an F-150 Hybrid to market in 2020. Also, we’ve already got the Tesla Model X. And just about everybody from Jaguar to Porsche is working on something similar. So, given the rabid popularity of SUVs and growing interest in EVs, it was only a matter of time before they hit the market in a big way. However, we remain a bit perplexed by the vehicle’s proposed “Mach 1” name.

We certainly don’t have any qualms with Ford going after the all-electric performance SUV market. In fact, they’d be foolish not to. But reviving a beloved moniker that graced some of the better gas-powered muscle cars ever built seems a little blasphemous. Obviously, we weren’t the only ones to think so. Fans of the brand predictably freaked out in unison as soon as the news dropped, which prompted Ford exec Mike Levine to back off on the idea of affixing it to the EV SUV just a bit.

Taking these obviously strong feelings into consideration, we wouldn’t be surprised if Ford drops the whole idea of slapping the Mach 1 name on anything other than a Mustang. But it’s nice to see that the Blue Oval is open to customer feedback, and willing to avoid making such a preposterous move!

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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