New Behind-the-Scenes Video Reveals How Ford Decided on Mustang Mach-E Name

The 20-minute documentary even shows some of the internal backlash that took place.

byChris Tsui|
New Behind-the-Scenes Video Reveals How Ford Decided on Mustang Mach-E Name

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is upon us and, rather predictably, it's stirred up quite a bit of controversy in regards to its Mustang moniker. An official petition has even been launched by fans to have the thing renamed. As it turns out, not everybody at Ford was on board with it either—at least, not initially.

Ford has released a 20-minute mini-documentary that gives quite a bit of insight into how the Mach-E was developed as well as a rare look into an OEM's decision-making process, warts and all. Aside from a nixed, early design draft that Ford New Business Technology & Strategy President Jim Farley described as "a science project," there was apparently significant friction over the idea of christening it a Mustang, an idea that coincidentally came from Mr. Farley. 

"It was exhilarating but it also scared the sh*t out of me," said Chief Program Engineer Ron Heiser. "Because you are messing with the crown jewels."

"I was absolutely adamant that it not be a Mustang because, to me, it couldn't possibly deliver upon the Mustang promise," said executive chairman Bill Ford. "When I saw that it was gonna be an SUV, I really dug my heels in."

Ford Motor Company

After clapping eyes on the clay models of what it was actually going to look like, the naysayers started to warm up to the idea, and the decision was made to add an all-electric crossover into the Mustang stable. Once that happened, the stakes were clear. "The minute we called it a Mustang, everybody re-doubled effort," said Global BEV Program Director Darren Palmer.

The mini-film goes on to outline, among other things, how the Mach-E's interior straddles the line between heritage and technology, how VR was used to visualize the car in 3D space, and whether or not its driving dynamics live up to the storied name. Spoiler alert: Ford says it does but we're looking forward to getting our hands on it to see for ourselves.