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Ford’s SUV Spin on VW’s ID Platform Takes Shape, Report Says

Autoweek logo Autoweek 4/13/2021 Jay Ramey
calendar: Ford is planning to field an electric SUV in Europe in 2023 based on VW’s MEB platform. But will we see it stateside at all? © Volkswagen Ford is planning to field an electric SUV in Europe in 2023 based on VW’s MEB platform. But will we see it stateside at all?
  • An electric Ford sport utility full-scale model is spotted in spy photos, likely previewing a 2023 MEB-platform model.
  • Ford is likely to offer the ID.4-sized model solely in Europe, due to be produced at its Cologne plant for the local market.

Ford may have the Mustang Mach-E at the moment, but it's not bound to be the only electric SUV we'll see from the automaker in the next few years. Ford signed a deal with Volkswagen some time ago to cooperate on the development of a number of models, including pickups and vans, and as a part of that deal Ford will get access to the MEB toolkit that underpins a variety of electric models from Volkswagen AG, including the ID.4 that just arrived at VW dealers a few weeks ago.

For what kind of vehicle does Ford plan to use the MEB platform first?

Autocar got an early glimpse of what Ford's first MEB-based electric model could look like via some spy photos, believed to show a clay-covered full-scale model of an electric Ford SUV due in 2023. The compact sport utility shown mostly under wraps appears far boxier than the Mach-E, and is believed to show a Puma-sized model positioned close to the ID.4 in dimensions.

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While the name and final design of the Ford model will likely be a mystery for some time, we already have some idea on the specs since it will be an MEB-based model, after all. This means we're likely to see a three-battery lineup, ranging from 48 kWh to 62 kWh to 82 kWh, with a range of 260 miles and an output of 201 hp at the top end, using the EPA rating of the 82-kWh ID.4 as a guide, as well as a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. The MEB's 125-kW fast-charging battery architecture should also allow the Ford to juice up to 80% in 30 minutes.

Autocar expects this 2023 Ford model to share the ID.4's wheelbase length, even though the overall length of the overhangs could vary quite a bit. It remains to be seen just how far from the ID lineup Ford will take this MEB-based model, and just how distinct it will be on the inside and the outside from the its Zwickau siblings.

This particular Ford will be produced at the automaker's plant in Cologne, Germany, notes Autocar, which is currently undergoing a $1 billion transformation into the automaker's main EV factory for Europe. This means we're not likely to see this Ford model in the U.S. at all.

North American MEB plaftorm production is likely to take place only at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant, and won't start for a while as Zwickau-produced MEB models stream stateside. So this particular Ford model is very likely to stay confined to the European market entirely.

Should Ford offer an electric SUV smaller than the Mach-E in the U.S? Let us know in the comments below.

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