Ford finally showed the world its highly anticipated all-electric crossover, the Mustang Mach-E. The vehicle, which was unveiled on Sunday at Hawthorne Airport and in Tesla's garden, marks a series first for the Ford and Mustang brand.
It is the first vehicle that came out of Team Edison, the car manufacturer's dedicated electric vehicle organization. Not only is it the first electric Mustang, it's also an SUV.
TechCrunch has seen a thorough look and run in Mach-E, the first variant will be available in the fall of 2020. While there is much to highlight, here are some of the details that stood out.
Ford went in a whole new direction with the door handles on the Mustang Mach-E. You won't find any Tesla lookalike door handles here. The doors seem to have no handle at all. However, a closer look shows illuminated buttons on the B and C pillars. The front doors also have a small, protruding handle that is just below the button for grabbing.
Pressing the back door button immediately opens something slightly. Then the passenger reaches into the door to turn on the lock. This can sound dangerous and appropriate for a broken finger. Besides there is an immediate security in place that does not allow the door to be closed. TechCrunch tested it.
Owners can also use their smartphone to unlock Mustang Mach-E. This key technology phone is new to Ford.
It is a seemingly small detail, but so many car manufacturers ignore that their customers have smartphones and want to put these devices somewhere other than a cup holder. See the technology compartment, which has a wireless charging plate.
The cup holders, located just below the technology tray, can be used to hold actual cups.
The 15.5-inch screen receives a lot of attention, perhaps because its placement and vertical placement are similar to the Tesla Model S. But then the physical dial is located on the underside of the screen to control the volume.
Although not everyone will love this feature, it is interesting how this dial became. Team Edison gathered in 2017 to do more than create a new electric vehicle. It was created to make it different and much faster than a typical vehicle program.
How the appearance and functionality of the infotainment system was developed is an example of this new-found agility. A group of just over a dozen people with minimal supervision began a research trip to China. Further customer surveys revealed that people wanted built-in apps in their car's infotainment system and that they didn't want to learn anything new, said Philip Mason, who is part of Team Edison's user experience, during a background event before the unveiling.
A prototype of physical dial was quickly put together – no good looking prototypes – and research groups responded positively.
The infotainment system is also cloud-connected, which allows real-time traffic to be displayed in the navigation function, has natural language, activated by one of four "waking words" such as OK, Ford, and allows users to create personal profiles. The system learns the user's behavior and likes over time.
And the whole system will be updated and improved via software updates that are over-ventilated.
Ford is hardly the first to move away from leather for its interior design. Tesla has dropped leather and Porsche Taycan is also vegan. Now the Mustang Mach-E's interior is also qualified.
The synthetic material is among the better faux leather materials that TechCrunch has come across. Even the steering wheel, a challenging area for synthetic materials, feels good.
A front boot in a fully electric vehicle is nothing new. Mustang Mach-E doesn't have the biggest frunk on the market; it's not the slightest either.
But there's something interesting about this 4.8-cubic-size frunk. It is drainable and plastic lined. Josh Greiner, senior interior architect at Mach-E, was quick to note under a background image before the unveiling that the wife could be packed with ice and used during tailgating.
Another bonus item  Just above the wheel is a driver monitoring system. This may come in handy for the car manufacturer's possible plans to offer a hands-free driver assistance system in Mach-E.