In their raft of presentations at the NAIAS in Detroit, one video from Ford caused as much confusion as excitement.
The video showed a current generation Mustang and Explorer SUV (a seven-seat model that’s slightly larger than the Everest and currently not available in Australia) entering the Detroit building that houses Ford’s ‘Team Edison’ electric car division.
After the Mustang and Explorer enter, the building is hit by lightning and the classic ‘Mach 1’ logo appears. This led to a number of theories; one of which was that the Mach 1 nameplate would be reborn on an electrified Mustang.
Shortly afterwards, Ford confirmed that the Mach 1’s return will actually be on an all-electric “performance SUV” that will combine the power of the Mustang with the space and size of the Explorer, aimed at the likes of Tesla’s Model X and the Jaguar i-Pace.
Ford says the new Mach 1 will be released to North American markets in 2020, but whether the Mach 1 will be offered here, or whether the name will extend beyond the Explorer SUV, has not been revealed.
Mach 1 history
The Mach 1 nameplate first appeared on the Mustang in 1969, continuing until the end of the first generation in 1973. The best known example from this period was a hybrid ’71 and ’73 version which was the “Eleanor” from the original Gone in 60 Seconds movie from 1974. More recently, a ’69 Mach 1 featured in the John Wick films.
The arrival of the Mustang II platform in 1974 saw the Mach 1 continue to be offered, enduring until 1978.
After laying dormant for twenty-five years, Ford revived the Mach 1 on the SN-95 Mustang platform as a 2003 model. Boasting improved performance over the standard Mustang GT, the Mach 1 returned for the 2004 model year, then was discontinued with the Mustang’s switch to the all-new S197 platform for 2005.