Ford is today pledging to car enthusiasts across Europe that the acclaimed “fun-to-drive” character that has helped define generations of the automaker’s vehicles will remain at the heart of a new era of electrified and connected products. As Ford prepares to showcase an all-electrified line-up of road, competition and concept cars for the first time at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed, West Sussex, UK, the company is doubling-down on its commitment to continue delivering the most engaging, stimulating and rewarding driving experiences for customers – whether they choose mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all‑electric powertrains. Ford is already enhancing the driving dynamics of its passenger vehicles by harnessing the performance credentials and further benefits of ultra-responsive, high-torque electrified powertrains.
Now the company is also promising that in addition to never sacrificing stimulating driving experiences in the quest for optimised electrified efficiency, it will also expand its fun-to-drive commitment to deliver exceptional experiences for passengers, as well as to make Ford vehicles enjoyable and entertaining when stationary – such as when charging. Connected, digital experiences will be enabled by FordPass Connect modems, 1 the FordPass app 1 and sophisticated technologies including next-gen SYNC. 2 “‘Fun-to-drive’ is in Ford’s DNA. Every vehicle we make is designed to put smiles on faces. Now we’re ready to shift fun-to-drive into a new gear for the all-electric era, supported by innovative new powertrain and connectivity technologies, and starting with our all-new, all-electric Mustang Mach-E,” said Roelant de Waard, general manager, Passenger Vehicles, Ford of Europe.
Ford earlier this year announced that 100 per cent of its passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by mid-2026; moving to all-electric by 2030. The Mustang Mach-E GT – the highest performing road-going version of Ford’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV – makes its driving debut at Goodwood this weekend where it will star on the famous hill climb. Mustang Mach-E GT produces up to 487 PS, 3 and features advanced MagneRide® 4 adaptive suspension alongside a high-performance Brembo braking system for sports car responses and agility. Ford will also at the Goodwood Festival of Speed deliver the global public debut of the Team Fordzilla P1 concept race car – developed with collaboration between the company’s designers and the gaming community – and will reveal further exciting electrified motorsport news on July 8.
Every electrified Ford passenger vehicle features innovations designed to complement optimised efficiency with enhanced driving experiences. For example:
In future, connected features will continue to dial up the joy of driving by dialling down the stress, enabled by integrated FordPass Connect modems. For example, Intelligent Range for Mustang Mach‑E helps reduce unplanned stops for charging by more accurately predicting how much driving range remains using past driving behaviour, weather forecasts and crowdsourced data from other Mustang Mach-E vehicles. Ford also is testing predictive smart headlight technology 5 that uses real-time location data to directs headlight beams into upcoming corners even before drivers may have seen them, making driving more enjoyable at night. Inventive technologies will make being a passenger in an electrified Ford vehicle an even greater experience. Selectable drive modes including Mustang Mach-E’s Whisper mode 5 are already helping make journeys more comfortable and enjoyable for passengers, building on the inherent refinement of pure-electric driving. FordPass Connect allows connectivity for up to ten devices, helping families stream entertainment and stay connected for fun on the move. Next-gen SYNC technology uses machine learning to truly understand Mustang Mach-E owners’ routines and make navigation and communication suggestions that benefit drivers and passengers alike.
Connected technologies such as next-gen SYNC are also key to Ford’s commitment to delivering stimulating experiences even when stationary. Whether touchscreen drawing and simple gaming using Mustang Mach-E’s 15.5‑inch display, monitoring charging status and reviewing journey logs using the FordPass app, or entering your vehicle to discover new features have downloaded wirelessly via Ford Power-Up – Ford electrified vehicles will not need to be moving to be enjoyed.
Human-centred design lies at the heart of Ford’s fun-to-drive philosophy, and the company is demonstrating at Goodwood a full-size replica of one of its most innovative examples to-date: the extreme Team Fordzilla P1 race car. Seen for the first time in an all-new livery celebrating the 55th anniversary of Ford’s famous Le Mans 24 Hours 1-2-3 victory, the Team Fordzilla P1 is the first virtual gaming race car designed in collaboration between the gaming community and a car brand. Almost 250,000 fans voted on Twitter to choose elements including seating position, cockpit style and drivetrain to create the ultimate virtual race car, designed purely to deliver digital driving thrills. The vehicle features a dramatic jet fighter-style canopy and combines a Ford GT-like, heavily-sculpted front end with a completely exposed rear to highlight the aerodynamics. The interior is equally radical, with LED notification units to keep the driver and passenger up-to-date on track status, while an integrated screen on the steering wheel enables live data to be shared with the pit wall.
“To build cars that customers love, you first need to truly understand what customers want. We’ve taken that thinking to extremes with the Team Fordzilla P1 race car, and we’ve applied the same innovative approach to creating our Puma ST Gold Edition that customers will actually be able to order later this year,” said Amko Leenarts, director, Design, Ford of Europe. “It’s exactly this kind of human-centred design that’s going to take us to a whole new level of fun-to-drive in the electrified era.” In addition, Ford president and chief executive officer Jim Farley will demonstrate the true fun-to-drive potential of all-electric powertrains as he tackles the Goodwood hill climb in the unique Mustang Mach-E 1400 prototype. The result of 10,000 hours of collaboration by Ford Performance and RTR Vehicles, the one-of-a-kind vehicle uses seven motors to deliver 1,419 PS, with a single driveshaft connecting them to differentials that have a huge range of adjustability to set the car up for everything from drifting to high-speed track racing. The chassis and powertrain are also set up to allow investigation of different layouts and their effects on energy consumption and performance, including rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive.