VW and Ford are teaming up for a smallish crossover for Europe, but North America may need something different.
- Ford of Europe prepares to reveal new battery-electric crossover based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform.
- The unnamed vehicle is one of nine battery-electric models Ford plans to launch in Europe by 2024.
- The MEB-based Ford is expected to share quite a bit with the Volkswagen ID.4, and will be positioned below the Mach-E in size and price.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E may have kicked off the Blue Oval’s first real foray into EVs, but it’s not the only electric SUV that the automaker will release in the first half of this decade. Earlier last week Ford gave the world a modest but still quite telling glimpse of one of its next electric models, and it will actually be an EV based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform.
Martin Sander, general manager of passenger vehicles at Ford of Europe who took up the post almost a year ago, peeled back a cover showing part of a new EV, one that will be positioned below the Mach-E, which is also on sale in Europe, but not one that North America is expected to receive.
That’s right: this smaller electric Ford is not for the US, at least not at first, and it will share its platform with Volkswagen’s ID.4 and other vehicles, which use the MEB architecture. The boxy but compact model is expected to be aimed at the likes of the Nissan Ariya, but not really models with a pricier badge, like the Audi Q4 e-tron, which is also an MEB variant underneath.
The point of the unnamed Ford model is to be an affordable electric SUV, just like the VW ID.4. And it happens to be one of nine battery-electric models Ford plans to launch in Europe by 2024. On the chart below, it’s the second model from the left labeled Medium-Size Crossover, while the Sport Crossover is expected to be its coupe-shaped variant.
Ford has quite a bit planned for Europe when it comes to electric vehicles in the next couple of years.
It remains to be seen just how far Ford will be able to differentiate its SUV from its MEB-platform siblings, or what name it will use. The automaker has been flipping through its own history book recently when it comes to model names, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a dormant nameplate from decades back return, but with some kind of twist.
The return of the Maverick nameplate, as well as the Mach-E, were pretty good indicators of what we could expect, but we wouldn’t overlook Ford of Europe’s history in trying to guess the name. That division had plenty of its own unique nameplates seldom seen elsewhere in the world. (But we can probably rule out Ford Eiffel as too French).
This new SUV does bring up one other issue: Ford will need a small electric SUV stateside. soon, positioned and priced below the Mach-E. That vehicle will actually be an electric version of the Explorer, so it won’t be as compact as the MEB-based Ford Europe will produce in Cologne, Germany. It will sit a segment higher and will be more suited to American consumer tastes.
Jay Ramey Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum.