Sadly, it's not the silent Gymkhana 11 preview we were hoping for.
Did you hear the news? Ford has a new electric crossover called the Mustang Mach-E. Okay, you probably heard that news, and if you watched Ford’s livestream of the historic reveal ahead of the LA Auto Show, you saw a short clip featuring some notable Ford-friendly celebrities sampling the Mach-E. Among them was Ken Block, who recently released a very different Ford-themed video featuring his twin-turbocharged, 914-bhp F-150 Hoonitruck climbing a mountain in China.
Unfortunately, this clip isn’t nearly as exciting. It does, however, offer an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the new Mach-E through the eyes of someone who most decidedly has one of the most radical Mustangs ever built. Block visited Ford’s Dearborn Proving Grounds a few weeks ahead of the Mach-E’s debut for some PR work, and while he was there, he took a close look at a couple of the prototypes. More importantly for our purposes, he drove one of the prototypes. And what does Ken Block usually do behind the wheel of a car?
Gallery: Ken Block Mustang Mach-E
Despite the question posed in the video title, Block is not allowed to hoon the Mach-E. The Ford buzzkills gave him explicit instructions to not even generate any tyre noise, never mind get sideways. That’s too bad, because right now enthusiasts around the world – and especially Mustang fans – are blowing a gasket over this four-door crossover bearing the Mustang name. What better way to address those detractors than to let Mr. Hoonigan himself rip some smoky donuts in the Mach-E?
The GT Performance version of the Mach-E should be capable of such tomfoolery. Ford says it will develop 459 bhp and turn all four wheels, sending the crossover to 60 mph in the mid-three-second range. The downside? The GT is still a long way off – it won’t arrive until later in 2021 – and it will cost over $60,000 (approx. £46,500 at the current exchange rate).
Block ultimately gives his approval to the Mach-E, though with Ford being one of his major sponsors it’s hard to imagine him saying anything bad about it. As for the rest of the world, there’s a petition to change the Mach-E’s name with thousands of signatures in less than 24 hours, and the controversy over the Mustang branding seems to overshadow the fact that this looks like a legitimately good crossover.
Did Ford make a mistake calling this a Mustang, or is it a smart, gutsy move? Only time will tell.