With its big V-8 engine and retro-tinged design, the Shelby GT500 is a throwback to another era, the most powerful muscle car Ford has ever produced, borrowing a name first introduced decades ago. But the Shelby is just one of several versions of the Mustang coupe that Ford is working on and the one the automaker teased on social media last week hints at a very different future.
"Hold your horses," Ford said in a tweet not so coincidentally released at 11:02 p.m. ET, minutes after Tesla's scheduled webcast unveiling of its newest entry, the Model Y battery-electric sport utility vehicle. The post, which featured a blue version of the classic Mustang logo on a black background, was a clear reference to a terse announcement Ford made 14 months earlier when — at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit — it said it was working on a project codenamed Mach 1.
Ford declined to comment on the tweet, but an executive who asked not to be named because the plans aren't public yet said they timed it with the Tesla launch to hint at big things coming in their own electric car program in the coming months.
Indeed it does have some big things in the works. President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs told CNBC that the company is moving quickly toward producing what it previously described as a "Mustang-inspired" all-electric SUV that will be in showrooms next year, about the same time Tesla begins to deliver the first Model Y battery SUV.