When The NARN Talks, People Listen. Eventually. Maybe.

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Back in 2007 or so, James Lileks stopped by the NARN broadcast at Back to the Fifties – the classic-car show at the State Fairgrounds that used to be such a vibrant focus of life in the Midway before the same people that brought us Tony Soprano-style trash collection badgered the cruising hot rods out of existence.

Because “vibrancy”, to the new Urbanites, must exclude those who actually vibrate.

Anyway – while on the air, Lileks pointed to a 1967 Mustang Fastback, and proclaimed that “the electric car will never succeed until Detroit builds one that looks like that“.

Was Detroit tuned in that day?

I’ll just assume they were; Ford’s new battery car is going to be an electric version of the car that, along with the Model T and the F150, may be the marque’s most iconic vehicle – the Mustang:

Originally Ford was working on what it openly described as “a compliance car,” one built simply to meet incoming emissions rules in the US and Europe. But in 2017 it threw out those plans, putting together an internal skunk works called Team Edison with a brief to reimagine the project. Its goal was to design a BEV that could only be a Ford, and there’s little that’s more iconically Ford than the galloping pony.

Five models are on the way:

Between late 2020 and spring 2021, Ford will bring out a mix of rear- and all-wheel drive Mach-Es with either standard- or extended-range battery packs. The cheapest of these is the Select; $43,895 buys you a rear-driving one of these with the smaller pack, but you’ll have to wait until early 2021 to get one of those. That also applies to the $52,400 California Route 1, a RWD version with lower-drag 18-inch wheels and the long-range battery pack. All prices are before the IRS tax credit is taken into account; this will be $7,500 until Ford joins Tesla and General Motors in having sold 200,000 plug-ins, at which point it will begin to sunset. Ford expects this to happen at some point in 2021.

Maybe there’s hope?