Ladies and gentlemen, as's resident Mustang owner it's time for me to assume control of these digital airwaves for a long-overdue, opinionated diatribe about the Mustang Mach-E. Fortunately for me, Ford went batshit crazy and dropped a press release showing people eating shrimp (yes, shrimp) and hot wings (yes, hot wings) from the frunk of a Mach-E. Thank you, Ford, for further proving my position that the Mach-E contains absolutely no "essence of Mustang" beneath its crossover skin. And also, this is just gross. But I digress.

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In case you missed the point-counterpoint podcast I had with Editor-in-Chief John Neff a few months back, I argued at length why Ford’s forthcoming Mach-E is decidedly not a Mustang. Aside from not fitting the Mustang's 55-year definition of being a 2+2, two-door coupe driving the rear wheels, I highlighted how Ford’s own advertising campaign was about as non-Mustang as you can get.

In fact, I believe Ford's decision to brand Mach-E a Mustang was made primarily out of fear. Instead of letting the Mach-E succeed on its own merits – and early indications point to it being a properly fun EV crossover – Ford tied it to Mustang in hopes of riding the pony car's marketing coattails. Frankly, the move suggests Ford doesn't have confidence in the Mach-E, and it shows the company is willing to toss over a half-century of its history and pedigree under the bus for a blind stab at a new direction. 

That said, I give you a Mach-E with ice and shrimp filling its frunk to the brim. Because you know, when I take my Mustang to meets with other Mustang owners, this is exactly what we do. 

Gallery: Ford Mustang Mach-E Frunk Demo

Let’s take a moment to discuss this press release, which did officially drop today and is available at the end of the article. It’s obviously a Super Bowl tie-in and I certainly can’t blame Ford for jumping on that bandwagon. The release talks about the Mach-E’s frunk, which is an enclosed 4.8 cubic-foot plastic storage area that has a drain in the bottom. If a cocktail of melted ice mixed with shrimp bits makes you a bit queasy, the press release also mentions fitting 1,000 “regular-sized” hot wings in there. This is brilliant, because car enthusiasts love eating food directly from the trunk. For us Mustang owners, dumping shrimp and messy chicken wings into the car ranks right up there with burnouts and uncontrolled crashes leaving car shows.

Admittedly, dumping shrimp into a car grabs attention, but it's rather like taking naked selfies at Walmart for your Tinder profile. Is that really the kind of attention you want?

I get what Ford is doing here. This isn’t about a car, but rather, a lifestyle. Ford wants to sell the Mach-E to buyers who want a fun, Mustang experience but need something more practical. And you know what? Filling the frunk with food for a party is a lifestyle thing, and it could be fun. Taking four passengers on a coastal road trip in relative comfort could be fun. Stabbing the accelerator on an all-wheel-drive EV crossover with instant torque and hitting 60 mph in 3.5 seconds could definitely be fun. Too bad none of this is even remotely related to the vaunted “Mustang essence” or indicative of a Mustang lifestyle in any way. 

The new shrimp fiasco only further proves that the automaker is well and truly lost with this endeavor. Ford is contradicting itself with two messages – one that says this car is a Mustang simply because it has a Mustang badge. Meanwhile, the other seeks to push a lifestyle that’s not remotely accurate to Mustang ownership. Having frequented many large and small-scale Mustang events both on my own and with clubs over the past 20-odd years – not to mention the three Mustangs I’ve owned in that timeframe – I’d say I have a pretty clear view of the situation.

So Ford, stop sending us mixed signals. This isn’t a Mustang. The fundamental design says it isn’t a Mustang. Your advertising says this isn’t a Mustang. The sad part is the Mach-E might actually be a great vehicle, but that’s getting overshadowed by all this lifestyle pomp and circumstance that now includes a frunk full of shrimp.

To the Blue Oval execs reading this: Show us how the Mach-E can set a new bar for EV performance. Show us how the Mach-E can be better than a Mustang. Don't tell us all theFirst Edition models are spoken for then not say how many that actually is. Don't tell us this four-door crossover has "Mustang essence" just because it's fast. You didn't call the Focus RS a Mustang, did you? 

And for crying out loud, don't fill a car with shellfish that you're trying to sell as a Mustang and then brag about it. I can't believe I actually have to say that.

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Kansas City football fans can bask in the glory of a world championship – at least for the next six months or so – but for fans across the country, it’s not too early to start thinking about next season. Specifically, the tailgating.

Here are four ways football fans can elevate their tailgates for next season with the all-electric Mustang Mach-E’s front trunk, or frunk, a 4.8-cubic-foot plastic space – the equivalent to a 36-gallon cooler – that sits underneath the hood. (In a gas-powered vehicle, where the engine is typically located.)

  1. The trunk in the front is about the size of a large cooler, so fans can forget about lugging a heavy cooler to a tailgate. Just fill the front trunk with ice and beverages and cruise right up to your tailgate. When you’re done, open the drain cap at the bottom of the front trunk and let gravity do the rest.

  2. Sign up to bring a gameday spread best served chilled? Top off the frunk with some shaved ice to keep veggies, dips and even shrimp cold and ready to eat.

  3. Feed an entire team by loading the front trunk with hot wings: you can hold more than 1,000 regular sized wings with the extra storage space. And don’t worry about the sauce – you can open the drain cap and hose down the front trunk when you get home.

  4. Play a game of long-distance cornhole or show off your passing skills by challenging friends to a “closest to the front trunk” contest.

Deliveries of the electric SUV begin late 2020. Reserve the Mustang Mach-E to secure yours for next season.

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