Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by Victor A
One of the most iconic models by Ford might be coming back soon but in a new form, the 2023 Ford Thunderbird seems to be preparing to transform itself into a compact electric SUV that will be positioned below the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Apparently, the naming of the model was a decisive factor in deciding which model to reborn, as you can see, Thunder Bird works really well for an electric vehicle.
Ford has stated its intent to bring back old names (nostalgia sells). Just look at the Bronco. Despite being a really good car, that ticks most of the boxes, one cannot deny that just using the name Bronco helps a lot in getting people’s attention.
Reports indicate that the revival of the Thunderbird will feature a similar body style as the Mach-E while still maintaining some of its retro styling clues. However, it will feature a smaller size and consequently will get a lower ground clearance.
The EV will also get the Mach-E’s technology and features and will be priced slightly below it.
As we know, the 2023 Ford Thunderbird will be built at the Global Electrified 1 (GE1) platform, the same one used for the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
That means that the car is getting a dedicated EV platform, which has proven to be way better when manufacturing these types of vehicles.
The exterior design will be getting some of the retro styling clues that the Thunderbird past models had, like the rounded taillights, the iconic roofline, and the Thunderbird badging.
Some features that the Ford Thunderbird will clearly be getting are the front trunk (frunk), a panoramic rooftop, and a power liftgate.
To keep the car up-to-date with the modern Ford design philosophy, we can imagine that many design bits will be transferred from other models to this one, especially from the Ford Puma and the Mustang Mach-E.
For the dimensions, it will likely have similar ones as the Ford Puma so expect a car that is smaller than the Mach-E and with a lower ground clearance, therefore dimensions should end up at something like this:
|164.8 inches||71.1 inches||60.5 inches|
Interior and Technology
The interior design is expected to be identical to the Mach-E, which means a very minimalistic interior where all the focus will go to the 15.5″ Touch Screen while maintaining the 10.2″ Digital Cluster.
In terms of quality, expect the best from Ford, leather seats, well-made materials, and attention to detail. The fact that many parts will be shared with the Mach-E makes us believe that Ford won’t cheap out in quality, since they can cost-cut costs by sharing parts.
Bear in mind that the cabin space will be limited, we are talking about a compact SUV, with dimensions that are comparable with some of the smallest SUVs in the market. However, the minimalistic design will help to give an impression of spaciousness.
The SUV will feature all the new technological advancements the American brand has made since its last model, which means that the Thunderbird will receive SYNC® 4A with Enhanced Voice Recognition & Connected Navigation, Phone As A Key, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0, Sequential Rear Turn Signals, Heated Steering Wheel, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, among many other features.
The 2021-2023 Ford Thunderbird specifications (Specs)
The EV will be available in either an RWD model and an AWD model.
As for the RWD model, the EPA-Estimated Range could be 230 miles, while the AWD model will get 211 miles of range. Both models will feature a 68 kWh battery.
In terms of 0-60 mph times, the RWD model will be rated at around 5,6 seconds while the AWD will speed up from 0 to 60 mph in 5,0 seconds. Since the car is lighter than the Mach-E and due to its size is more aerodynamic, there’s a high probability of improved acceleration times.
Power output for both models will be set at 266 hp (198 kW), however, torque will differ, since the RWD will be rated at 317 lb-ft. and the AWD at 428 lb-ft. These numbers are identical to the ones provided by the most basic Mustang Mach-E models since the battery and the technology will be the same.
The top speed will remain the same as its EV sibling, 111 mph (178 km/h), which we have to remember that cars like that cannot cruise for a long time at high speeds since the batteries would drain faster than they should.
Don’t expect a Ford Thunderbird Performance model, as this is an entry-level model version for those who want to get into the EV market, and a performance version would cannibalize the sales of the basic versions of the Mach-E.
How much will the 2023 Ford Thunderbird cost?
Since this model will target those who seek a smaller electric vehicle than the Mustang Mach-E while maintaining the quality and traits, expect lower prices.
The 2021-2023 Ford Thunderbird will start at an MSRP price of $35,000. (Not Including $7,500 Federal Tax Credit), however, note that the price for the AWD model will cost you $2,700 more, therefore raising to $37,700.
This pricing strategy will set the car to compete against other compact EV SUVs like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Hyundai Kona Electric, or Volkswagen ID.4.
Note that the above cars are all priced between $33,000 and $39,000; so it’s clear that Ford doesn’t want to be the cheaper nor the most expensive.
When will the 2023 Ford Thunderbird be released?
Earlier reports showed that the initial plans were to release the Thunderbird during this 2023 year, but due to the ongoing chip shortage crisis the presentation might get pushed back to late-2022 to ensure that the supply is solid.
If everything goes well we might get a first peek of the new Thunderbird before the end of 2023, however it’s possible that Ford might release during mid 2023 a teaser about the new vehicle to prepare us for what’s coming.
Nevertheless, the all-new 2023 Ford Thunderbird is exciting, many fans have been asking for its comeback for a long time. Yet, many will be disappointed to know that instead of arriving as a sporty two-seat convertible, it will be as an EV SUV.
But we need to understand that for the last Thunderbird, the 2002 version didn’t perform well in terms of sales; and a new one will probably flunk as well. Betting on SUVs and EVs is the most reasonable strategy right now since those two categories are what currently drive the most sales for the automotive industry.