LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The first big reveal of the L.A. Auto Show is a new Mustang.
Specifically, the 2021 Mustang Mach-E. If that name sounds familiar, it's because it's a play on Mach 1 which was Ford's force to be reckoned with starting in the Mustang's original heyday in the 1960s.
Now, in a very different world, the Mach-E. It has four doors, an SUV shape, and it's pure electric.
"One thing that people thought about electrics is that they were a rational buy. That's really not true. If we've learned one thing about this first generation of electric cars is that early adopters want really good product," said Jim Farley
Ford might not be the first to the modern electric car party, but they rolled out the Mach E in a big way, at a Hawthorne Airport hangar.
It may or may not have been a coincidence, but the electric Mustang's big reveal took place just yards from Elon Musk's huge local complex, where the name "Tesla" can be seen in giant letters by drivers on the nearby 105 Freeway.
The Mach-E's early stats seem impressive. Depending on model, there will 200 to 300 miles of driving range. The vehicle will also feature advanced connectivity, a wide public charging network, and a starting price in the mid-$40,000 range before any incentives are subtracted.
So is this the right direction for the Mustang?
"When you think about a coupe, that's not going to work for everyone. Now that it's an EV SUV, I think in a market like Los Angeles, all of a sudden they may see some new customers," said Jessica Caldwell, an insights analyst with Edmunds.com.
Ford wants to make it clear, the Mach-E will be a Mustang, not the Mustang. They have no plans to stop making the internal combustion two-door that's so loved.
"No, I think that's what's cool about this car. If anything it preserves them, because we have this totally clean one as well," noted Ford's Jim Farley.
They're taking orders right now, for delivery by the end of 2020.
And if you go to the L.A. Auto Show to see the new electric Mustang, here's something to put things in perspective. The L.A. Convention Center opened in 1971, and the auto show has been held there ever since.
Back in those early days, the hottest car in the Ford display was the Mustang Mach 1. Nearly 50 years later, in that same building now called West Hall, Ford's display will include the Mustang Mach-E. A very different kind of car, in every way.