Ford finally showed the world its much-awaited all-electric crossover, the Mustang Mach-E. The vehicle, which was unveiled Sunday at Hawthorne Airport and in Tesla's backyard, marks a series of first plates for the Ford and Mustang badges.
It is the first vehicle released by Team Edison, the automaker's dedicated electric vehicle organization. Not only is it the first electric Mustang, it is also an SUV.
TechCrunch has taken a close look and ride in Mach-E, the first variant to be available in the fall of 2020. Although there is much to emphasize, some of the details stood out.
Ford went 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 lack handles at all. However, a closer look reveals illuminated buttons on the B and C columns. The entrance doors also have a small, protruding handle that is located just below the button to grab.
When you press the back door button, it immediately opens slightly. Then the passenger reaches into the door to hit the lock. This may sound dangerous and appropriate for a broken finger. Except there is an instant security in place that does not allow the door to close. TechCrunch tested it out.
Owners will also be able to use their smartphone to unlock the Mustang Mach-E. This phone as a key technology is new to Ford.
It is a seemingly small detail, but so many carmakers ignore that their customers have smartphones and want to place these devices somewhere other than a cup holder. See the technical drawer which has a wireless charging pad.
The cup holders, located just below the technical tray, can be used to hold actual cups.
15.5-inch display will get a lot of attention, perhaps because the location and vertical location are similar to the Tesla Model S. But then there is the physical dial located at the bottom of the screen to control the volume.
Although not everyone will love this feature, it is interesting how this disc came about. Team Edison came together 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 newfound agility. A group of just over a dozen people with minimal supervision started a research trip to China. Further customer surveys revealed that people wanted native apps in the 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 unveiling.
A prototype of physical disks was quickly put together – no fancy prototypes – and research groups responded positively.
The infotainment system is also cloud-connected, allowing it to display real-time traffic in navigation mode, has natural language, enabled by one of four "wake up words" like OK, Ford, and allows users to create personal profiles. The system learns the user's behavior and likes it over time.
And the whole system will be updated and improved via over-the-air software updates.
Ford is hardly the first to move away from leather to the interior. Tesla has dropped skin and Porsche Taycan is also vegan. Now the interior of the Mustang Mach-E also qualifies.
The synthetic material is among the better faux leather materials TechCrunch has come across. Even the steering wheel, a challenging area for synthetics, feels good.
A boot in an all-electric vehicle is nothing new. The Mustang Mach-E doesn't have the biggest frunk on the market; it is not the smallest.
But there's something interesting about this 4.8-cubic big frunk. It is taps and plastic lined. Josh Greiner, senior interior architect at Mach-E, was quick to note under a backman before uncovering that frunk could be packed with ice and used while it was being coated.
A bonus point for  Just above the wheel is a driver monitoring system. This could be of use to any car manufacturer's plans to offer a hands-free driver assistance system in Mach-E.