Ford is getting ready to launch an electric three-row SUV, and it could be a big beast.
The company’s chief advanced product development and technology officer, Doug Field, confirmed the upcoming vehicle at an event attended by Automotive News journalist Michael Martinez.
It was teased alongside what appears to be Ford’s next-generation electric ute. The SUV is due in the US in 2025, with a claimed range of 563km.
Mr Field reportedly likened it to an Expedition, though whether he was referring to the amount of interior space or its underpinnings is unclear.
The Expedition is Ford’s largest SUV, derived from the F-150. The latter has already spawned the F-150 Lightning, though while it features essentially the same exterior and interior design plus plenty of carryover parts, underneath there’s a unique frame.
The vehicle depicted under silks looks markedly different from the bluff Expedition, with a sleeker silhouette and a more curvaceous front-end treatment.
Should it be an electric Expedition counterpart or even, as earlier rumours suggested, an electric counterpart to the American Explorer, it’s possible luxury Lincoln versions could follow.
An electric counterpart to the Expedition-based Lincoln Navigator would give Ford’s luxury brand a rival to the upcoming, recently confirmed Cadillac Escalade IQ.
Ford CEO Jim Farley had already hinted at a new three-row electric SUV earlier this month, indicating more information would be revealed at its Capital Markets event later this month.
Next to the shrouded SUV is what appears to be an upcoming electric pickup truck, likely the vehicle codenamed Project T3 that will be an “epic sequel to the F-150 Lightning” and “like the Millennium Falcon – with a back porch attached”.
It will be produced at Ford’s new Blue Oval City mega-campus in Tennessee, still under construction, from 2025.
The new facility, once it gets up to speed, is capable of producing 500,000 electric pickups annually – over three times its current projected annual rate for the F-150 Lightning.
Ford has already confirmed it’s rolling out two new EV architectures, one for use by full-sized pickups.
That indicates Ford is developing a rival to the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV, which ride on a dedicated EV architecture rather than sharing a platform with the combustion-powered Silverado and Sierra.
Ford reorganised its business last year into three units: Ford Blue (combustion and hybrid vehicles), Ford Model e (EVs), and Ford Pro (commercial products and services).
The company expects to lose US$3 billion (A$4.49 billion) before taxes in the Model e business this year, an increase from the US$2 billion (A$3 billion) loss it experienced in 2022.
The division had an EBIT (earnings before income and tax) decline of US$722 million (A$1.07bn) in the first quarter of this year.
However, it says it’s on track this year “toward a contribution margin approaching breakeven” in Model e, and for its first-generation products to have positive EBIT margins by the end of next year.
Ford’s investment in three EV and battery production plants is expected to cost the company around US$11.4 billion (A$15.7 billion) and create around 11,000 jobs.
The company’s EV plans include a global production goal of 600,000 units by the end of this year and two million by the end of 2026.
The company says it anticipates 40 to 50 per cent of its vehicle fleet will be electric by 2030.