When Ford first announced the Mustang Mach-E, hardcore Mustang fans were outraged by the use of the name. But as Ford pulled the sheet off the seventh-generation S650 Mustang, which features zero electrification whatsoever, it’s clear that the Mach-E gamble has paid off, without the need to tamper a successful formula that has enthusiasts rallying around, as it will be the last V8 muscle car standing by the end of the decade. Why? Because it still comes down to corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) regulatory framework for automakers, and the success of the Mach-E leaves room for the fun things to stick around.
Ford Mustang Mach-E Gamble: Well Worth It
Ford CEO Jim Farley spoke with CNBC and stated that a big reason Ford is continuing with gas-powered Mustangs, while their competitors in the muscle car segment are transitioning to electrification, or complete removal from the market is, ironically, the success of the Mustang Mach-E. The all-electric crossover first went on sale in late 2020 and has actually outsold the gas-powered version during some months. While the Mach-E shares practically nothing with the gas-powered Mustang other than a name, it has led Ford to become the country’s second bestselling brand of EVs. The Ford F-150 Lightning also moving the needle, as well.
That EV success has given the automaker more flexibility to carry forward with gas-powered models compared with rival automakers that have to chase electric vehicle sales and the regulatory emission credits awarded to them. Car makers are required to have a certain amount of regulatory credits each year. If a company can’t meet the target, it can buy the credits from other companies, such as Tesla, that have excess credits. Dodge has said such emission regulations are among the reasons it’s ending production of its gas-powered Charger and Challenger at the end of next year.
So, while the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E – aka “the Mustang truck” – started as an insult to some Mustang fans. It’s now the pony car’s saving grace and has allowed Ford to bring about an even more powerful and impressive Mustang amid the competition marking the next few years as the “end of an era.”