Ford will build its own electric vehicle on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, the one used to underpin EVs from VW, SEAT, Skoda and Audi. However, the Blue Oval has no plans to make the vehicle in any way resemble models from the aforementioned brands - it wants to infuse it with American design, to drive the point home that it’s a Ford.
The model will slip below the Mustang Mach-E in Ford’s EV lineup and it’s expected to be unveiled sometime next year; it will most likely go on sale in 2023. Ford plans to build it at one of its historic European plants, in Cologne, where it also assembles the Fiesta (until it is phased out in 2025).
The Cologne plant is currently getting a major addition and expansion in the form of what Ford calls the ‘Cologne Electrification Center.’ It will cost the automaker $1-billion and it’s the largest single investment ever in the Cologne facility.
Now if you were hoping for a fun and nippy electric hatchback, you will be disappointed, because instead of making a car similar to the ID.3, Ford has opted to make it more of an ID.4 type vehicle, a crossover. It won’t look anything like the ID.4, though, as Ford really wants to differentiate it.
Gallery: 2021 Ford Evos (CN)
Stuart Rowley is the boss of Ford’s European arm, and he recently said that
Ford is the only American brand in Europe now and that’s a unique position that we can build on. A lot of people are attracted to some of those characteristics and only Ford can bring products like that to the market.
We don’t know what kind of design this will result in, but if the recent Chinese market Evos (the vehicle in this article's opening photo) is anything to go by, we have some idea of where Ford’s design language is headed. The manufacturer could also go down the retro inspiration route, like it has done with the new Bronco, which in turn spawned the Bronco Sport, a model that kind of looks like it, but is completely different mechanically (as well as cheaper and far less capable off-road).
So are we going to see an MEB-underpinned Ford with Bronco cues in Europe? Well, Rowley certainly makes a very good when he mentions there are no other American automakers in Europe and this puts Ford in a unique position that can and should be exploited. Could this mean the revival of an iconic, historic nameplate as an electric vehicle? We’ve seen Ford does not shy away from putting iconic nameplates on new electric cars, so this may very well be the case.
My money is on a revival of the Cortina name - tell us in the comments if you have a better idea.