Ford has plans to produce a “family” of Model E vehicles with various levels of electrification according to a future-product guide published by industry trade journal Automotive News.
The strategy is similar to that of the Hyundai Ioniq: Use the same vehicle platform for a pure electric, plug-in hybrid and gasoline-electric hybrid models.
The Model E could be offered not just with multiple electric powertrain options, but also be available as a crossover SUV as well as a car.
It’s not known which variation of the Model E will be produced first.
Model E vehicles would borrow the new Ford Focus platform with different exterior and interior designs.
The trade journal suggests that production will take place in a new $1.6 billion factory that Ford plans to build in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, as will the next-generation Focus.
Unveiling of the Model E is likely at a major 2018 auto show, and will go on sale soon after as a 2019 model.
The EV version is expected to have a range of about 200 miles per charge.
This is a target Ford CEO Mark Fields confirmed the company is shooting for to challenge the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3.
Currently Ford has two hybrids, the Fusion and C-Max; two plug-in hybrids, the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi; and one EV, the Focus Electric.
Presumably, the C-Max, C-Max Energi and Focus Electric would be discontinued as they fall into the same market segments and price ranges as the Model E.
Ford trademarked Model E in 2013 as a reference to the company’s heritage models, the Model T and Model A.
There was brief battle over the name with Tesla Motors. Ford won and Tesla turned around the letter E to name its Model 3.