The Mustang is an icon. But who expected this to happen?

No, the Ford Mustang is not the first vehicle to exploit the formula of combining off-the-shelf parts with a short-trunked body to achieve something special. That distinction more correctly lies with another Ford Motor Company product, the original Lincoln Continental of 1939. But everybody knows what a Mustang is. Short wheelbase, occasional room for four, choice of powertrains, definite performance cred, a car everyone can appreciate. It’s a formula that’s worked wonderfully since the midpoint of the 1964 model year, and it’s still going strong. Everyone knows what a Mustang is. Now, we’re getting a strong sense that more people than we reasonably expected have some firm ideas of what it could be.

The vehicle on the right is the one that’s driving this discussion. It’s officially known as the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and it’s a fully electric compact crossover that Ford is bringing to market. You can see the Mustang styling hints in the curve of its front fenders, the rear-quarter kickup, and the scoop-like scalloping along the Mach-E’s sides. It merits saying once again that electric power is the future of the global automotive industry, and for any would-be buyers who understand that internal-combustion power is a contributing factor to climate change. Especially by making it part of the storied Mustang lineup, Ford is taking a real chance with this technology. The biggest, probably, since it risked everything on the success of the first Taurus back in 1985. So far, it looks like the greater public is ready to accept it. Ford announced last year that the First Edition model of the Mach-E could be ordered through an online buyer-registration process, and this week disclosed that the reservation process is officially full, with all the pre-production Mach-Es spoken for. Thirty-eight percent of the buyers chose Carbonized Gray as their color, although 27 percent picked Rapid Red, the finish of the Mach-E in the Ford photo. More than half specified all-wheel drive, and about 30 percent picked the Mach-E GT model. More than a quarter of the reservations came from California. It’s not too late to get in the game here, as reservations for the Mach-E Premium and GT editions are still open.

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