Ford is working on an electric SUV due in 2020, and at a preview event on Sunday for this week's 2018 North American International Auto Show the automaker slip that the vehicle might be called the Mach 1.
Ford made the revelation in a teaser video, which indicates the automaker is going the performance route for its electric SUV, much the same way Tesla did with its initial batch of EVs. The video hints at an Explorer and Mustang being melded into one in some sort of Frankenstein-esque experiment.
Speaking of the Mustang, Ford fans will recognize the Mach 1 name as a performance option for the muscle car icon that first appeared in 1968. Ford spokesperson Said Deep told Motor Authority that the cherished name is not 100 percent locked in for the electric SUV and that Ford could end up using a different name if there's sufficient backlash among the Mustang community.
Another potential name is Model E, which Ford famously blocked Tesla from using for the Model 3. However, Ford may want to avoid the Model E name fear of association with Tesla's fleet.
Whatever the SUV ends up being labeled, we know it will have a range of 300 or more miles on a single charge. It is expected to be a small SUV, thus making it a potential rival for the upcoming Tesla Model Y, and perhaps the BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQC. Ford has a crack team of engineers working on it as well as other electric cars. Called Team Edison, the team has greater autonomy than you'd normally find within Ford in order to accelerate the development of the automaker's electric cars.
Production of the SUV was originally slated for Ford’s Flat Rock plant in Michigan but is now expected to take place in Mexico.
The North American International Auto Show starts Monday in Detroit. For more coverage, head to our dedicated hub.