We've known for a while now that there will be a 2020 Ford Mach 1, and that it will be a performance crossover electric vehicle. This all comes from a teaser trailer shown this past January, and that was all we heard about it. Now one of our spy photographers has found a crossover prototype that's clearly from Ford, and we have reason to believe it's this mysterious sporty, practical EV.
Ironically, some of the most compelling evidence are the details that imply it actually has an internal combustion engine. At the back, there's an awkward, long exhaust tip that is practically impossible to miss. And on the sides, there are stickers that say "diesel fuel only." There are problems with these details. For one thing, that tail pipe is so outrageously prominent we sincerely doubt it's really being used. For another, there doesn't seem to be any openings for fuel near the diesel stickers. Also, there's no way Ford is working on a diesel for the U.S. market. And we believe this crossover is for the U.S. market, because it's fairly large.
Further evidence that this is an electric vehicle are the many coverings around the rear to hide what's actually powering the car. That rear diffuser panel is absurdly large, and it hides the rear axle very well. It could be hiding a battery tray, or hiding the fact that there isn't a conventional rear differential, but rather electric motors. Finally, there are the tires on this prototype. They're rather economy-minded Michelin Primacy A/S tires.
Now that this is all established, we should talk about the way this thing looks. As we mentioned, it's a fairly large vehicle, close in size to the Edge and the Explorer. Since the teaser trailer featured an Explorer, along with a Mustang, this makes sense. It's also quite tall, with a huge front fascia and large passenger compartment. The hood and windshield have similar rakes, and the whole thing has a one-box design. In some ways, it looks like a supersized Ford EcoSport. Interestingly, the distance between the front wheels and the base of the windshield is very short, making it look like a front-drive vehicle. We can't say for sure, though, since electric powertrains are compact and can provide rear drive in a practical front-drive-style body.
We still have awhile to see more prototypes and for Ford to provide more details. But at least we do have the 2020 deadline for the car, so we shouldn't have more than about a year and a half to see what Ford has in store.