The Ford Explorer-Mustang Meld EV Rides on a Focus Platform: Report

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Ford’s upcoming “Mustang inspired” electric crossover, which appeared (or didn’t, really) in a video shown the Detroit auto show, stands to ride on a new architecture that doesn’t bring to mind either the Mustang or the Explorer.

While a new report doesn’t provide us with an OEM-sourced image of the 2020 crossover, which may carry the Mach 1 name, it gives as sense of what to expect in terms of size.

According to Autocar, Ford’s performance EV utility vehicle will adopt the C2 platform that underpins the next-generation Focus. With Ford largely leaving the passenger car segment, U.S. buyers will see that model in the form of the Focus Active — a slightly lifted, crossover-ized version of the five-door hatch.

The C2 platform, lighter and stiffer than its predecessor, will also appear under the next-generation Escape and Lincoln MKC.

Ford’s unnamed EV carried the codename CX430, and will appear in 2019 before deliveries begin (in the UK, anyway) the following year. Driving range is 300 miles, Ford claims. As the C2 platform is front-drive architecture, it’s assumed the EV will have an electric motor powering the front wheels only, though “performance” implies four-wheel/dual motor motivation.

Autocar provided a rendering of what it thinks the vehicle might look like, complete with exaggerated wheels, a lowered roofline, and steeply slanted front and rear glass. While it seems there’ll be an attempt to make the vehicle appealing to driving enthusiasts, Ford’s head of global markets, Jim Farley, recently described it as “a vehicle with the profile of a Porsche Cayenne and the swagger of a four door Mustang.”

See Cayenne below for reference:

Basically, we can expect a vehicle with an Escape-sized footprint, though styling could go any number of directions. Ford needs the vehicle to retain its utility factor, so cargo space and passenger room volume can’t be too compromised by exciting sheetmetal. Instant electric torque and a low center of gravity should aid the vehicle’s performance and handling.

[Images: Ford, Porsche]