The first Ford electric car based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform has been finally spotted. Ford Authority published spy pictures of what looks like a concept version of the future Ford electric car.
The semi-covered future Ford EV is a compact SUV belonging to the segment of the VW ID.4. It sits an awful lot closer to the ground for an SUV, but this is probably a design concept, and attributes could change by the time it enters series production. It features noticeably raked A-pillars, a smooth front-end, sharp, clean edges, a gently sloping roofline, and a fashionably (but not overdone) hunched rear-end. The Ford MEB EV’s headlamps and faux grille could be more aggressive than those of the ID.4, though.
The dimensions could be similar to those of the ID.4, around 4.6 metres in length, 2.1 metres in width, and the wheelbase covering about 2.8 metres of the length.
Ford’s first MEB-based vehicle will be designed and engineered in Cologne-Merkenich and is expected to get a compelling nameplate. Announcing it in June 2020, the Blue Oval said the product would be “a highly differentiated Ford electric vehicle,” without mentioning the segment or shape of the car, which we now learn is a boxy crossover.
Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG have signed agreements for their global alliance that includes the development of midsize pickup trucks and commercial and electric vehicles. Both the brands are looking at other additional ways to cooperate on electric vehicles, and this project is the first step in the extension.
In February, Ford announced plans to build its first volume passenger EV for Europe at its Cologne factory in Germany from 2023. The company is investing $1 billion in retooling that factory for EVs, including the MEB compact SUV, perhaps as the first vehicle.
Electric crossover that combines Ford design & VW tech
German publication Autobild reported last year that the design of the first electric car would come from Ford while the technology would be by Volkswagen. The design would be more “emotional” than the VW ID cars with more than a few design cues borrowed from Ford’s first electric crossover, the Mustang Mach-E.
Ford MEB EV customers could be given the same two battery pack options like the VW ID.4 customers, a 52 kWh unit, and a 77 kWh unit. The Ford electric SUV could also borrow the motors from the Volkswagen SUV, 109 kW (148 PS)/220 Nm and 125 kW (170 PS)/310 Nm units for the 52 kWh variant and a 150 kW (204 PS)/310 Nm unit for the 77 kWh variant. Similarly, the maximum charging capacity will likely be 11 kW with alternating current (AC) and 125 kW with direct current (DC). The latter allows a 5-80% recharge in just around half an hour.
While Ford has said that it is planning to sell over 600,000 units of MEB-based cars over several years from 2023, talks were already on at some level last year for other product possibilities on the modular architecture.
Ford Britain’s Managing Director Andy Barratt and Executive Director for Business Transformation Graham Hoare talked about Ford’s electric plans for Europe to British publication BusinessCar.co.uk in an interview published in March 2020. Hoare said that the Blue Oval wants to put its best foot forward when it comes to electrification, and the company’s credible EV products will be aspirational. With the VW partnership, Ford will be able to jointly scale the MEB platform, as the market is small now, and the companies need to maximize the benefits.
Ford is looking to launch EVs that will be affordable but will still have all the features and functions that customers expect, and the first MEB-based car would reflect these qualities.
Featured Image Source: Volkswagen Group